CALAMUS — One first-inning run was enough to send the Calamus-Wheatland Warriors to a 1-0 win over the Prince of Peace Irish in an Iowa Class 1A district softball opener Saturday night.

Both teams’ pitchers were terrific. Calamus-Wheatland’s Katie Pingel hurled a six-hit shutout. She struck out six and did not issue a walk.

Prince of Peace’s Lauren Ryan fired a two-hitter. She struck out two and did not walk a batter.

“I thought we were hitting the ball well,” Irish coach Bill Manning said. “We just seemed to hit it right at them. I never thought that 1-0 would win the game. I thought we could score some runs on them.”

The Warriors had edged the Irish 6-5 in the team’s Big East Conference meeting in Clinton June 11.

Calamus-Wheatland’s Megan Lahann opened the bottom of the first inning with a single up the middle.

Lahann moved to second on a passed ball and to third on a groundout before scoring on a groundout by Pingel.

Prince of Peace, which finished the season 14-15, had its first good scoring opportunity in the second inning. With one out Alyssa Kenney belted a double to right-center.

With two outs Rachel Ryan singled to center, moving Kenney to third. No. 8 hitter Kylee Hyde then stroked a sharp ground ball between first and second base, but the ball hit Ryan as she headed to second for the third out of the inning. Hyde was credited with a hit.

Calamus-Wheatland, which tied for the Big East Conference title with Lisbon and Preston, had an opportunity of its own in the bottom of the second.

With one out Karlee Rock hit a sharp ground ball up the middle that struck Lauren Ryan in the left shin. Ryan recovered the ball and tried to throw Rock out at first, but the throw got away and went into the first-base dugout, allowing Rock to take second base.

Leah Goettsch then hit a ground ball between Prince of Peace third baseman Emily Dodd and shortstop Colleen Ryan. Ryan fielded the ball as Rock broke for third.

Dodd was not in position to take a throw from Ryan, so Ryan tried to tag Rock before she reached third. Ryan did so, but dropped the ball after the tag and the Warriors had runners at first and third with one out.

Lauren Ryan got out of the inning, however, retiring Nos. 8 and 9 hitters Jenica Minor and Jessica Schade on a soft lineout and a strikeout.

In the top of the fifth Hyde rapped a one-out double to left-center, but was left stranded.

Prince of Peace threatened again in the sixth. With one out Katie Flood cracked a sharp single down the left-field line. Lauren Ryan then hit a sharp ground ball up the middle that caromed off Pingel.

Pingel recovered the ball and attempted to retire Ryan at first, but the throw got away, allowing Flood to reach third. Ryan appeared to hit first base awkwardly on the play and was hurt for the second time in the game. She left the game for a courtesy runner, but re-entered.

“She’s a gamer,” Manning said of Lauren Ryan. “It’s going to take a lot to knock her out of the game.

“The ball hit the runner, and that was going to be a hit. We would have scored there. In the sixth inning we had a runner at third with one out and couldn’t get her home. We had a couple opportunities that just didn’t go our way. Give (Calamus-Wheatland) credit for playing pretty good defense, and when the opportunity was there they scored a run.”

With one out and runners at first and third Pingel worked out of trouble as Kenney popped out and Ari Aquilani grounded back to Pingel.

The Warriors’ only other hit came when Brittany Mente singled to left with one out in the bottom of the sixth.

Prince of Peace got a runner on with two outs in the top of the seventh as pinch hitter Katelyn Ryan reached on an error. But, Pingel finished things off with a strikeout.

“When we started the season we had a lot of girls in new positions and we were struggling,” Manning said. “I think at one time we were 3-8. Then they started getting their confidence and playing better. Then we started winning some of those one-run games we were losing earlier in the year.”

It was the final game for Irish seniors Flood and Kenney.

Calamus-Wheatland advances to a district championship matchup with tonight’s Lone Tree/Olin winner Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Calamus.

Score by Innings

Prince of Peace 000 000 0 — 0 6 1

Cal.-Wheat. 100 000 x — 1 2 2

Lauren Ryan and Alyssa Kenney. Katie Pingel and Leah Goettsch.

Two or more hits—POP, Katie Flood, Kylee Hyde. 2B—POP, Kenney, Hyde. RBI—CW, Pingel.

Records—Prince of Peace 14-15. Next—Lone Tree/Olin winner at Calamus-Wheatland (Class 1A district championship), 7 p.m. Tuesday.

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