The No. 15 (Class 2A) St. Edmond softball team finished up play Saturday at the Fort Dodge Invitational with a pair of losses.
More importantly, however, the Gaels saw first-hand what it takes to compete with some of the elite teams from around the state over these past two days.
St. Edmond (11-7 overall) finished 12th after falling to fourth-ranked (1A) Newell-Fonda, 12-2. Earlier in the day, the Gaels were defeated by Atlantic, 7-3.
In a tournament filled with rated squads from 5A down to 1A, SEHS head coach Paul Hunt knew the end result would not be as important as the lessons learned by his squad.
"To get this kind of game experience against this level will only help us going forward," Hunt said. "We'll take a step back, look at some things, and work towards the next few weeks. We have plenty to work on, but we can only get better from here."
Jaci Stumpf and Lexi Peed each finished with three hits on the day, while Josie Heesch belted a solo home run against Atlantic.
FORT DODGE INVITATIONAL
Atlantic 7, St. Edmond 3
St. Edmond010 002 0 - 3 7 4
Atlantic004 012 x - 7 10 0
Katie Donnelly (L, 9-4, 3 IP, 4 R, 3 ER, 5 H, 3 K, 1 BB), Amanda Lansman (3 IP, 3 R, 0 ER, 5 H, 3 K) and Jessica Kuebler; Tori Bruck (W, 1-1, 7 IP, 3 R, 3 ER, 7 H, 3 K, 1 BB) and Tiara Edelman. HR - SE: Josie Heesch. 2B - SE: Jaci Stumpf, Kuebler; A: Reann Cappel, Marrisa Berns, Alisha Hinzmann. RBI - SE: Heesch, Lansman; A: Bre VonWeyhe (2), Mackenzie Holmes, Berns, Hinzmann. SB - SE: Lexi Peed; A: Edelman, Cappel (2), Holmes (2), Hinzmann, Leah Tjepkes. Multiple hitters - SE: Stumpf (2), Peed (2); A: Holmes (2), Hinzmann (2).
Newell-Fonda 12, St. Edmond 2 (6 inn.)
St. Edmond001 100 - 2 4 5
Newell-Fonda330 016 - 12 14 1
Lansman (L, 2-3, 5 2/3 IP, 12 R, 5 ER, 14 H, 4 K, 1 BB) and Kuebler; Jenna Falline (W, 13-2, 6 IP, 2 R, 1 ER, 4 H, 6 K) and Hailey Falline. 2B - NF: Alyssa Henrich. RBI - SE: Stumpf; NF: Renee Maneman, Henrich (3), J. Falline (3), Brooke Hammen, Missy Morenz. SB - SE: Anna Yung; NF: Maneman (3), Henrich, Sydney Kay, Andrea Christensen (2), Brianna Wells, Maddie Morenz. Multiple hitters - NF: Maneman (3), Henrich (3), J. Falline (2), H. Falline (2).
The problem areas were runners left on base (eight) and errors (nine), which left Hunt seeing two glaring areas that need improvement quickly.
"We didn't do a good job of letting the little mistakes go," Hunt said. "We'd have an error, and that would kind of snowball on us. Credit Atlantic and Newell-Fonda, though, because they took advantage of the opportunities we gave them."
The Mustangs finished as state runners-up two years ago. Renee Maneman and Alyssa Henrich each had three hits, while Maneman stole three bases. Henrich drove in three runs, as did pitcher Jenna Falline, who improved to 13-2 after striking out six and scattering four hits.
St. Edmond will return to the field on Monday, hosting Clear Lake. They follow that up with games on Tuesday (at Saydel), Wednesday (at Eagle Grove), Thursday (vs. Jefferson-Scranton) and Friday (vs. Bishop Garrigan).
"We'll enjoy our off day (Sunday) before getting right back after it," Hunt said. "We have some small injuries that need to heal up, so we'll do that."