Warriors begin softball season with loss

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Shortstop Delaney Scherf applies a tag on an Ed-Co steal attempt. (Photos by Bev Hamann)

Kaitlyn Wiley readies for a pitch. She had two hits in the Warriors’ loss to Ed-Co.

By Willis Patenaude, Times-Register


It’s a new season with a new head coach for the Central softball team, but the same pitching problems reared their ugly head in an 11-5 loss to Edgewood-Colesburg in the season opener May 26. 


The game was tied 1-1 heading into the third inning when the Vikings bats started to strike, scoring four runs in the third inning and six in the fourth. 


Central starter Chelsia Larson was relieved in the fourth inning after giving up 10 hits and seven earned runs. She also had three strikeouts. Katelyn Scherf finished the final two innings in relief, facing seven batters without giving up a hit or a walk. 


“Larson and Scherf threw strikes and we just need to continue to work on making the routine plays in the field. This will come with time as we get more practice and game time experience,” said head coach Mark Wiley. “Larson and Scherf did not have a walk in the game. Ed-Co really looked fastball when they came to the plate, so we have to get ahead in the count to be able to use our other off-speed pitches.” 


The Warrior defense was responsible for four of the Viking runs, committing four errors, giving up four stolen bases and ending the game with a fielding percentage of .879. 


Delaney Scherf was a leader on defense with two assists and three put outs, while Alyson Feickert finished with six put outs on six chances and Madison Sylvester had three put outs on three chances. 


One thing that produced as expected, given Wiley’s aggressive coaching philosophy, was the offense. Although the Warrior bats was quiet early, the offense put up five runs on seven hits, which were all singles, in 28 at bats. The Warriors also walked three times and were hit by a pitch three times. The team ended the game with a .250 batting average and .382 on-base percentage. 


The offense had several productive players, starting with Madelyn Gregerson and Delaney Scherf, who combined for two runs and three hits. Kaitlyn Wiley added one run and two hits in four at bats, while Brandy Beatty finished the game with one hit, one walk, one run and one RBI. Grace Kuehl finished the game with one hit, one run and one RBI. 


The aggressive offense also stole two bases, one by Wiley and the other by Ashlyn Scherf. 


“It’s early in the season, but we see a lot of ability in all areas of the game. Our speed will be effective on the defensive side to get to balls hit into the outfield, and when we reach base, it will be impactful in having runners steal bases. It was good to get on the field and play a game, even with limited practice for most of the returning letter winners,” Wiley said.


The Warriors look to rebound this week, starting with a double header against South Winneshiek on June 2. After that, Central will play in a varsity tournament at East Buchanan on June 5.

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