Gaels top Algona
St. Edmond’s home dominance continued here Tuesday on Senior Night.
Keeping their co-North Central Conference title hopes intact, the No. 6 (Class 2A) Gaels (22-7 overall, 14-2 in the league) blanked Algona by a 4-0 final at Rogers Sports Complex.
With its third straight victory, SEHS wrapped up a perfect 12-0 mark on its own field this year. The Gaels, who close out their regular season Friday at Clarion-Goldfield, still remain one game behind 12th-ranked (4A) Webster City in the conference standings with two more to play.
“Our plan going into (last night) was to do our best to win out and keep our fingers crossed that we can still get a share of the conference title,” St. Edmond head coach Paul Hunt said. “We made it a point at the beginning of the year, especially in conference games, not to lose at home and at least find a way to split on the road.
“We always feel real comfortable and play with a nice rhythm (at Rogers Sports Complex).”
Jaci Stumpf, Katy Bocken and Brigid Hanley each delivered two hits for the Gaels, while Anna Yung added a clutch two-out, two-run double to deep left field. Maggie Harvey and Bocken both contributed RBI singles.
SEHS plated one run in the first, two in the second and one more insurance tally in the sixth.
“Starting off the game by scoring in the first inning is always a big accomplishment,” said Hunt. “We had a few good executions at the plate early in the game to give us some momentum.”
Katie Donnelly (14-5) went the distance in the shutout, yielding just four hits. The Coe College recruit walked one and fanned seven. She retired the Bulldogs (10-13, 7-10) in order in the fourth, fifth and sixth frames, while also striking out the side in the seventh.
“Katie’s starting to hit her stride at the right time before heading into the tournament,” Hunt said. “Our defense also deserves credit for playing a really good game behind her (Tuesday).”
Defensively, the Gaels received a sparkling running grab from center fielder Cassie Sells to rob Beth Benschoter of an extra-base hit and potential RBI in the third. Donnelly gunned down another Algona baserunner at the dish after faking a throw to first on a Mallary Wegener bunt single in the second.
“Cassie set the tone for us with another great catch,” said Hunt. “With her excellent range, I just feel like there’s not a gap in the outfield right now.”
Wegener finished 2-for-3 offensively for the Bulldogs, who were swept by SEHS in the season series. Sara Steinman and Justine Yeoman each managed singles.
Seniors Bocken, Donnelly, Josie Heesch and Allie Oberg were all recognized prior to Tuesday’s contest.
The Gaels visit Clear Lake today for a makeup NCC game. Algona travels to Humboldt on Friday.
Following Friday’s matchup against the Cowgirls, St. Edmond will host the winner of either Prairie Valley or Ogden in a 2A, Region 7 quarterfinal next Wednesday at 7 p.m.