(Denison) An impressive 2012 season has come to an end for the Exira-EHK softball team. The Spartans finished up the year with a 6-1 loss to Class 1A #10 Charter Oak-Ute, bowing out of postseason contention with 20 wins and 6 losses. The dream of making the state tournament came up one game short.
Exira-EHK fell behind early on against a very good hitting Charter Oak-Ute lineup. The Spartans committed one of their three errors and also allowed three hits in the first inning to fall behind 2-0. The deficit expanded to 3-0 when Charter Oak-Ute had a batter hit by a pitch and come into score on the Bobcats fourth hit of the game. The biggest inning came in the 5th when Exira-EHK committed two errors and gave up two more hits including a two run homer by Nocole Dobernecker, the senior's 19th of the season. Charter Oak-Ute had grabbed a 6-0 lead before Exira-EHK came through with a run in the top of the 6th inning. Rachel Smith hit a one out double and then scored when the very next batter, Kennedy Madsen, also doubled. The Spartans would only score one run in the inning however despite getting three hits and sending seven batters to the plate.
Katelyn Liesinger pitched the win for CO-U going the distance and allowing 1 run on 5 hits with 0 walks and 2 strikeouts. Charter Oak-Ute committed two errors but Liesinger was able to work around them. Rachel Smith finishes her brilliant freshman season with 319 strikeouts. Smith takes the loss last night with six hits allowed, no walks, one hit batter, five strikeouts, and three defensive errors by the Spartans.
Exira-EHK loses one key senior. The Spartans will have a tough time replacing all-conference second baseman Stacy Mortensen, but they look forward to a bright future over the next couple of years with the majority of their 2012 starters being underclassmen.