After an impressive close to the regular season and a big first-round tournament win last Saturday, the magic ran out for the Pella softball team last night in Fairfield. In a hard-fought and very well-played game in all aspects, the Lady Dutch came up short against Keokuk 1-0 in the Class 3-A Region 7 Semifinals.
Even in defeat, Pella Head Coach Krista DeMeulenaere was extremely pleased with the effort put forth by her players.
“I’m sad for them, because they came out tonight to play their guts out – and they did. I mean they left it all out on the field,” said DeMeulenaere. “I mean they gave it their all. They played great softball tonight, all the way around. This is the sixth-ranked team in the state, and we played with them. I think that proves that that’s exactly where we’re at. I couldn’t have asked for anything more.”
The game’s only run came in the first inning, as the Chiefs used a pair of doubles to put what would turn out to be the game-winning run across the plate. After that, it was a pitcher’s dual for Pella’s Mandy DeMeulenaere and Keokuk’s Hannah Washburn, as the two hurlers forced opposing batters into a series of strikeouts, ground outs and fly outs for six consecutive scoreless innings.
The Lady Dutch were limited to just three hits, none of which left the infield, while DeMeulenaere only yielded six hits to Keokuk. The Pella softball team concludes a very successful 2010 season with a 20-10 overall record and as co-champions in the Little Hawkeye Conference. Keokuk will face Fort Madison in the Regional Finals tonight.