FORT DODGE - Up and down is the best way to describe the Webster City softball team's adventure at the Fort Dodge Invitational over the weekend.
There were plenty of bright moments, but myriad of teaching moments as well as the Lynx went 1-3 to place 14th in the ultra-competitive 16-team field.
The tournament was comprised of some of the biggest Class 5A schools, down to some of the smaller 1A programs. Eight of the entrants are ranked in their respective classes and two - Clear Creek-Amana (4A) and North Union (2A) - are at the top of the rankings.
Webster City (13-11) opened play on Friday with a 5-3 loss to North Union - formerly known as North Sentral Kossuth/Armstrong-Ringsted. North Union ripped 10 hits and scored five times in the fifth inning against Lynx junior pitcher Kaitlyn Biere.
"North Union has a group of girls that you could tell are used to playing softball and used to winning games," WCHS head coach Jess Howard said. "If we could have two plays back, that game is a completely different outcome for us."
WCHS broke through with three runs in the seventh, as Erin Anderson, Hannah Myers and Kenady Highland all drove in runs. Anderson, Biere and Mikaleh McCoy roped singles in the game.
North Union000 050 0-5 10 0
Webster City000 000 3-3 3 4
Allie Ingalls and Cheyanne Boland. Kaitlyn Biere and Kaylee Schnathorst. W-Ingalls. L-Biere. RBI-WC: Erin Anderson, Hannah Myers, Kenady Highland.
Sioux City North202 100 1-6 6 2
Webster City001 001 0-2 3 6
Sami Moos and Drew Piersma. Mikaleh McCoy and Kaylee Schnathorst. W-Moos. L-McCoy. HR-WC: Kaitlyn Biere. RBI-WC: Biere.
BCLUW000 100 0-1 1 0
Webster City003 020 x-5 11 0
Nicolette Simpson and Sarah McCoy. Kaitlyn Biere and Kaylee Schnathorst. W-Biere. L-Simpson. RBI-WC: Erin Anderson, Hannah Myers, Abbey Fuhs (2).
Sioux City East350 00-8 5 3
Webster City002 40-6 2 2
Rylie Zyzda, Allison Lester (4) and Sarah Sponder. Mikaleh McCoy and Kaylee Schnathorst. W-Zyzda. L-McCoy. 2B-WC: Schnathorst. RBI-WC: Schnathorst.
Biere struck out seven in the loss.
The Lynx finished Friday without a win following a 6-2 setback against Sioux City North. The purple and gold committed six errors with McCoy in the pitcher's circle.
Biere cranked a sixth-inning solo home run - one of her two hits in the contest - and Kaylee Schnathorst added a single.
Saturday morning proved to be a bit brighter for the Lynx, who opened the consolation bracket with a 5-1 thumping of 10th-ranked (2A) BCLUW Conrad. WCHS battered Comets' pitcher Nicolette Simpson for 11 hits - all singles.
"We played a great game and the girls put everything together against BCLUW," Howard said. "They went up against a good pitcher who puts a lot of movement on the ball and were able to put up a lot of hits."
Anderson went 3-for-3 with an RBI at the dish, while Myers and Highland both finished 2-for-3. Abbey Fuhs laced a two-RBI single; Schnathorst, Tiffany Constable and Chelsey Wagoner all singled as well.
Biere was in control in the circle. She twirled a one-hit gem and struck out 13.
WCHS ended the tournament with an 8-6 loss to Sioux City East. The game was shortened to five innings because of the time limit.
Schnathorst pounded an RBI double and Myers added a single in the loss.
East scored three times in the first inning and five times in the second to take control.
WCHS will now gear up for an important week in North Central Conference play. Winners of nine straight NCC games, the Lynx will travel to Algona on Monday, Humboldt on Wednesday and then Iowa Falls on Friday to take on the league-leading Cadets.
On Saturday, WCHS will travel to Forest City to take part in the Forest City Invitational.