Spartans stop Carlisle

Emily Ira’s grand slam wound up being the game-winner for third-ranked Solon Thursday night.

Ira, a junior, broke a 3-3 tie in the bottom of the fifth inning with her fourth homer of the season, lifting the Spartans (39-2 overall) to a 7-3 victory over No. 4 Carlisle in a Class 4A state semifinal.

Ira finished with five RBI and two runs scored. She is now tied for the tournament record with nine RBI.

Ira also went the distance in the circle, scattering six hits and three earned runs with two walks and nine strikeouts.

Taylor Nearad added three hits, three runs and a RBI for Solon, while Mallory Madsen chipped in two hits and two runs.

For the Wildcats (34-3), Gabby Dubois was 2-for-3 with a run scored.

The Spartans will now face No. 1 and defending state champion Dallas Center-Grimes (40-1) in the 4A title round today at 4:45 p.m. on Mittera Field.

Carlisle will play 11th-ranked Norwalk (28-13) for third place this afternoon at 3:30 p.m. on INS Field.