Bice’s 40th career home run not enough to rescue Hawks

Woodward-Granger senior Dalaney Bice broke Josie Barrow's school record for career home runs with her 39th dinger Wednesday. On Thursday she hit her 40th -- after missing her entire junior year to injury.

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From left, W-G's Anna Tague, Kaycee Major, Ashlyn Soelberg and Alissa Smeltzer listen in a postgame huddle last season.

HARCOURT — Dalaney Bice jacked a three-run home run Thursday, but it was not enough to deliver victory as Woodward-Granger’s rally fell short in a 5-4 loss to Southeast Valley.

Bice, who missed her junior season to a knee injury, launched her fifth rocket in seven games this season in a four-run fifth inning. The four-bagger was the 40th of her career and increased her own school record, which she set Wednesday after passing Josie Barrow with home run number 39.

Southeast Valley (4-1) scored twice in the first and once in the third to post a 3-0 lead, with two unearned runs in the fourth inning pushing the Jaguar advantage to 5-0.

Kaycee Major walked to begin a W-G (5-2) surge in the fifth, with Carli Major swatting a double. With first base open, the Jaguars elected to pitch to Bice and swiftly paid the price. Bree Lesch kept the rally going with a single. She sped home moments later when Meagan Bandstra doubled to trim the Hawk deficit to 5-4, but that was a close as the guests would come.

Riley Jamison’s double was the only other hit for W-G, with Lesch, Jamison and Kaycee Major each drawing a walk in the loss.

Bice suffered the setback in the circle. She threw six stanzas, yielding five runs (three earned) on nine hits while walking two and striking out seven.

Morgan Castenson threw 4.2 frames for the hosts, allowing four runs on five hits while walking two and fanning two. Natalie Lambert collected a save with 2.1 innings of scoreless relief. She walked one batter and struck out three.

Castenson led the Valley offense with a 3-for-4 effort at the plate that included two RBIs. Erica Rittgers did her part as well with a 2-for-3 outing.

W-G travels to Bondurant-Farrar tonight. In a change for Saturday, the Hawks will play Williamsburg at 1:45 p.m. before facing host Belle Plaine immediately afterward.

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