COUNCIL BLUFFS — Sergeant Bluff-Luton had its long winning streak snapped on Tuesday.
It rebounded to end Abraham Lincoln’s on Thursday.
The Class 3-A No. 2 Warriors clinched the outright Missouri River Conference title by beating the Lynx 7-4 at City Park. Abraham Lincoln had won 15 straight games.
Sergeant Bluff-Luton (25-3, 10-1) carried a string of 19 consecutive victories into its Tuesday game with Sioux City Heelan before falling 4-3. The Warriors trailed 2-0 Thursday before rallying with seven straight runs.
The Lynx (23-9, 8-3) later pulled within two and had the bases loaded in the bottom of the sixth. But Miles Ludwigs got Abraham Lincoln’s best hitter, Lauren Meeker, to ground into a rally-killing force out at third.
“I really thought that they were motivated, but we did not play well,” Sergeant Bluff-Luton coach Tom Prince said. “We weren’t ready to play at the start of the game, and I don’t know the reason why.
“Tonight, we really struggled early. As the game went on a little bit, we got a little better.”
The Lynx opened the scoring with a two-out, two-run single by Lyslie Barrett in the second. The Warriors tied the game in the third before moving in front with a three-run fourth.
A dropped fly ball and a balk opened SB-L’s big inning. With runners at first and third and one out, Lindsay Johnson laid down a suicide squeeze bunt that landed inches in front of home.
A.L. catcher Maddie Sapienza hesitated as she picked it up while looking toward first. She turned to the plate, but Kennedy Colvert slid in front of her tag to put the Warriors up 3-2. A sacrifice fly by Ludwigs and an RBI single from Ashtin Hazel extended the lead to 5-2. SB-L then added two more runs in the sixth on a Johnson sacrifice fly and a single by Tayler Moriarty.
Five of its seven runs in the game were unearned as the Lynx made five errors.
“On defense this season, we’ve had some great defensive games,” Abraham Lincoln coach Val Hallagan said. “We’ve had zero errors against very good teams. And tonight, they were hitting the ball and we still had errors. And some of them were routine.”
The Warriors weren’t flawless either, committing four errors.
A bases-loaded error in the sixth gave the Lynx a run that made it 7-3. Ludwigs got Lauren Nahnsen to pop out before walking Sapienza. That forced in a run and brought up Meeker, Abraham Lincoln’s team leader in batting average and RBIs.
Prince said he considered intentionally walking Meeker, even with the bases full. But Ludwigs, who had walked five batters and hit two others, had been so erratic that he decided to pitch to the Lynx slugger.
Meeker grounded an 0-1 pitch to third for the final out of the sixth. Ludwigs then worked a 1-2-3 seventh to clinch the conference title for the Warriors.
“It was just one of those nights,” Prince said. “We didn’t play well. We hit the ball well at times. I guess it’s a W.”
Sergeant Bluff-Luton (25-3, 10-1)...........................002 302 0—7 9 4
Abraham Lincoln (23-9, 8-3)..................................020 002 0—4 4 5
W: Miles Ludwigs L: Lauren Nahnsen
2B: SBL, Abby Kolar.
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