BCLUW softball’s state dreams slip away against Sailors

   WATERLOO – BCLUW and Waterloo Columbus played Monday’s softball game with a dream in mind.

   The allure of reaching the Class 2A state tournament after a grueling summer is so enticing, but keeping a grip on that dream, when only one could come true and when both teams were oh-so-close, meant giving it everything they had.

   And so, the Comets and Sailors, two of the best teams in Class 2A, grasped that dream with the white-knuckle fury that only the sheer force of will can generate for 11 memorable innings.

   But just when the game felt like it could go on forever, Emily Mollenhoff made contact with two outs in the bottom of the 11th.

   The Waterloo Columbus freshman slipped a ball between first and second base. BCLUW’s dream slipped away in a matter of moments over a matter of inches. The Sailors slipped by the Comets and into the 2A state tournament, 1-0 in 11 innings, a final score that left the Comets stunned and Columbus grateful to dream another day, beating back BCLUW’s tremendous challenge for the first state tournament berth in the school’s history.

   “These seniors had their hearts set on Fort Dodge and that didn’t happen,” BCLUW head coach David Lee said, “and everything in life isn’t going to be how you planned it to be. The best thing is taking things that don’t go the way you want it and make something better out of it and hopefully that will happen to those kids.”

   Samantha Ubben, one of the six Comet senior starters who played their final game for BCLUW on Monday, went 10 and two-third innings in the circle, allowing one earned run on eight hits with five strikeouts and one walk.

      BCLUW couldn’t get much offense off Columbus starter Kayla Sproul and the Sailors’ defense, holding the Comets to five hits and not allowing a runner to reach second base until the 10th inning.

   The Comets’ season ends with a 29-9 record and an NICL West conference title.

   The full story will be available in the July 13 Grundy Register.