116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
SOLON — A strike away, once. A strike away, twice.
But strike three never came, and back came Solon.
The Class 3A third-ranked Spartans rallied for a pair of two-out runs in the bottom of the ninth inning and outlasted No. 7 West Delaware, 4-3, in the first game of a Wamac Conference East Division softball double-header Tuesday night at Spartan Field.
The Hawks earned a split with a 4-1 win in the nightcap behnd a four-hitter by freshman Macey Kleitsch.
Tuesday's outcome keeps both teams in the middle of the divisional race. West Delaware (12-2, 3-1) is part of a three-way tie for second, a game behind Western Dubuque.
Solon is 9-3, 2-2.
West Delaware took a 3-2 lead in the top of the ninth on Heidi Yonkovic's RBI single, and the Hawks appeared to be in good shape in the bottom half of the inning.
After Bryn Hanrahan doubled to lead off the frame, Hawks pitcher Emily Klostermann got the next two batters to pop out.
Taylor Moore walked on a full count, then Madison Rogers did likewise to load the bases and set the table.
Taylor Ryan drove home the tying run with an infield single, then Tara Lance legged out an infield single of her own to give the Spartans the victory.
It was Solon's first lead of the game.
West Delaware scored a run in the first (RBI single for Paighton Lindauer) and another in the second (No. 9 batter Ally Martin singled home Claire Demmer).
Jaclyn Jeter's RBI single in the bottom of the second got Solon within 2-1, then Rogers went deep to center in the fourth to knot it at 2-2.
And that's how it stayed until the ninth.
In the nightcap, West Delaware struck for three runs in the top of the third on back-to-back-to-back hits by Lindauer, Kleitsch and Demmer. And that was plenty for Kleitsch (6-0) in the circle.
SOLON 4-1, WEST DELAWARE 3-4 (1st,9)
West Delaware 110 000 001 — 3 10 2
Solon 010 100 002 — 4 12 2
Emily Klostermann and Maleah Georgen. Kayla West and Jess Heick. W — West (5-1). L — Klostermann (6-2). HR — SOL: Madison Rogers (2).
West Delaware 003 000 1 — 4 10 4
Solon 001 000 0 — 1 4 3
Macey Kleitsch and Maleah Goergen. McKenna Miller and Jess Heick. W — Kleitsch (6-0). L — Miller (4-2).
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