CHUBBUCK, Idaho – Something happened Saturday to Casey Stangel and the Lake City softball team that’s only happened one other time in the last two years.
Unfortunately for Lake City, the loss cost the Timberwolves a chance at back-to-back state titles.
Coeur d’Alene upset Lake City with a 5-2 win in the 5A state championship game at Capell Park.
The victory by the Vikings snapped an eight-game losing streak to Lake City.
“I love being the underdog,” Coeur d’Alene head coach Larry Bieber said.
“We came into the game with nothing to lose and they had everything to lose.”
Just as it had done in the first two games of the tournament, Lake City struck first, scoring a run in the bottom of the first on a sacrifice fly by Katie Rowe.
But unlike the other games of the tournament, the Timberwolves’ bats were held in check the remainder of the game by Vikings starter Lindsie Scholwinski.
The junior pitcher retired 10 straight Lake City hitters after giving up the first-inning run, and allowed just one hit and one run in the final six innings.
While Scholwinski held Lake City’s offense in check, the CdA offense did most of its damage against Stangel and the Timberwolves in the third inning.
Four consecutive hits brought home three Vikings runs and gave CdA a lead for good.
Elli Tindall and Kayla Albertson each had RBI doubles in the inning.
Trailing for just the second time this year, Lake City appeared to panic.
“Nobody gets ahead of those guys,” Bieber said. “Once we got ahead of them, I knew they would be rattled.”
Hitters began swinging at first pitches resulting in easy plays for the CdA defense.
The sense of urgency from Lake City even caused a miscue on defense that sealed the game and resulted in a run for the Vikings.
With a runner on second base and one out in the seventh, Lake City’s Rowe caught a pop-up and tried to catch CdA’s Randi Spencer off the base.
But instead of getting what would have a been a double play, the ball went sailing into right field and allowed Spencer to score.
Scholwinski retired the side in order to end the game.
As the CdA team rushed onto the field in celebration, tears and the look of disbelief were all over the Lake City players’ faces.
Scholwinski finished her complete-game effort allowing two runs on three hits and seven strikeouts.
“It feels really good to finally get those guys,” Bieber said. “I told the girls to just keep doing what we were doing. We have overcome adversity this year with injuries and stuff like that, but things started to come together at the same time and our kids played great defense today.”
Stangel finished the game with nine strikeouts.
The schools have met three times in the state tournament since 1999.
CdA is 3-0 in those games.