FORT DODGE — For the second season in a row, Lisbon was in the Class 1A state softball semifinals.
And for the second season in a row, the Lions fell short of the championship game.
No. 2 Lisbon lost to No. 3 Clarksville 1-0 Wednesday at Rogers Sports Complex in Fort Dodge.
Lisbon (33-7) got another outstanding pitching performance from Skylar Sadler, who struck out six batters in seven innings while only allowing one run and five hits.
“She’s done a great job for us for forever,” Lisbon Coach Bob Bunting said. “Today was a great performance by her. She did a really good job. They got a couple hits back-to-back (in the fifth inning), which happens, and they scored that run. But we can’t fault anything she did. She did a great job for us.”
Sadler was out-dueled by Kori Wedeking of Clarksville (33-1), who only struck out two batters but gave up just two hits.
One of the hits came in the seventh inning. Payton Robinson led off with a single and Sadler laid down a sacrifice bunt to get her over to second. But neither Stacia Hall or Sam Schrantz were able to get Robinson home to send the game to extra innings.
“Our last few ball games, it hasn’t come down to our pitching — that’s been great — it’s hitting the ball,” Bunting said. “We’ve been struggling to do that. That’s the bottom line — we struggled to hit the ball today. We’re putting it in play, there’s just nothing on the ball.”
Last season, when Lisbon lost 1-0 in the semifinals to Collins-Maxwell, the Lions came back to take third place with a 9-7 victory over Akron-Westfield.
Now, the Lions have the same opportunity to finish the season with a win against Newell-Fonda.
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“We just need to refocus and finish the best that we can,” Sadler said. “We can’t give up now. We have to keep fighting.”
Bunting is confident in his team’s ability to recover from the loss.
“I think they’ll be fine,” Bunting said. “We’ll bounce back. We bounced back last year. We have to understand that we have to hit the ball better tomorrow. If we don’t, nothing will change. We just need to be relaxed.”
Clarksville will face No. 1 Collins-Maxwell (27-1) in the title game at 6 p.m. Thursday.
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