Improved offense propels Warriors to 3-2 week

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Central catcher Fern Diersen makes a throw to first base against Kee. (Photos by Bev Hamann)

Madison Sylvester at the plate during the doubleheader against Kee.

Katelyn Scherf prepares to pitch against the Pirates.

Kaitlyn Wiley makes a throw from third to first base, getting an out against the Postville Pirates.

By Willis Patenaude, Times-Register


The Central softball team had its best stretch of the season so far last week, going 3-2 with some convincing victories. 


The week didn’t start out on a high note, however, as the Warriors lost 15-4 in game one of a June 14 doubleheader against Kee. The offense struggled to get going, finishing with four hits and striking out seven times. 


The four runs were provided by Delaney Scherf, Abby Cummer, Ashlyn Scherf and Chelsia Larson. Larson went 2-3, while Abby Cummer was 1-2, walked once and a stolen base. Delaney Scherf finished 1-3 and scored two runs. 


Defensively, errors remained an issue, as the Warriors committed three. 


On the mound, Katelyn Scherf, faced 36 batters in six innings, giving up 12 hits, six walks, six hit batters and 15 runs, 14 of which were earned. 


“Kee High took advantage of our errors in the fourth and sixth innings. They took extra bases on our tentative play, which led to a six-inning game in a 15-4 final score,” said coach Mark Wiley. “Katelyn Scherf threw strikes on the mound. Kee High did a good job of putting the ball into play and earning their runs early on. We left six runners in scoring position in the first four innings, which could have helped us gain momentum. Kee High took the momentum back in the fifth and sixth innings after we had scored two in the fourth. 


In game two, the Warriors flipped the script, jumping out to a 5-1 lead after two innings, before piling on with a four-run fourth and six-run fifth, to win 15-5. 


The offense compiled 15 hits and worked the count for seven walks. Cummer led the way, going 3-4 with three RBIs. Ashlyn Scherf went 1-2 with three RBIs, Kaitlyn Wiley was 3-4 with two RBIs and Delaney Scherf went 3-4 with two RBIs. 


The defense was also much improved from game one, committing just two errors. 


The pitching duties went to Larson, who baffled the Hawks over five innings, allowing just five hits and five runs. Larson only walked one batter and struck out four. 


“Totally different game for the Warriors as we faced a different pitcher for two-thirds of inning and then faced their number one pitcher again. The team was aggressive offensively and put the ball into play from the start of the game,” Wiley said. “We responded very well at the plate with runs in four of the five innings. We were able to build a 10-run lead in the fifth inning to end the game. It was our second conference win and a great response by our team. We definitely did not play to our potential in the first game, but laced the cleats up in game two, realizing we can compete and win.” 


The Warriors rode that momentum into a doubleheader against Postville on June 16, dominating the Pirates in both games. 


In game one, the Warriors jumped out to a four-run lead after the first inning and never looked back, winning 15-0. 


The offense lit up the stat sheet with 14 hits, including a 3-3 game for Cummer, who drove in three runs and scored twice. Brandy Beatty went 2-3, scoring two runs and picking up two RBIs, while Madison Sylvester went 2-3 with two RBIs and Ashlyn Scherf was 1-3 with two RBIs. Beatty, Delaney Scherf, Wiley and Grace Kuehl all added one stolen base apiece. 


Larson was again on the mound, allowing just one hit in four innings. She also struck out three Pirates while walking zero. 


Game two was more of the same, as the Warriors pounced early, scoring four runs in both the first and second innings. They later added two more runs, winning 10-0. 


Central racked up 13 hits, and was boosted by Delaney Scherf, who was 2-3, including a double, drove in three runs and scored twice. Cummer went 2-4, including a double, and had two RBIs and two runs scored. Wiley went 2-3 with two RBIs. The offense also stole six bases on seven attempts. 


Larson returned for a strong two and two-thirds innings, giving up just one hit and striking out two batters. Katelyn Scherf finished the game, giving up no hits or walks and striking out two. 


“Both victories were a combination of good hitting and great defense. We had one error in each of the games, and teammates picked up each other to get out of the second inning in the first game and the third inning in the second game when Postville had runners,” Wiley said. “Offensively, senior Abby Cummer led us with five hits in the two games. Every position in the lineup scored at least twice in the two games. Chelsia Larson picked up both wins on the mound. She only had a pitch count in the forties from the first game, so we started her again in the second game. She saw each batter once in the second game, and then Katelyn Scherf came in and did an excellent job for the Warriors.” 


The Warriors capped the week off against Springville, playing the Orioles close as the game entered the fifth inning tied 2-2. However, the Orioles put together a two-run fifth, followed by a seven-run sixth after some Warrior mistakes allowed 12 Orioles batters to come to the plate. The Warriors lost 11-2. 


Central put up seven hits, but was undone by 12 strikeouts. Game leaders were Delaney Scherf, who finished with two hits, including a double, and two RBIs. Wiley went 2-3 and Gracie Cummer scored a run and stole the team’s only base.


Defensively, the Warriors were haunted by six errors, which led to three additional runs, and allowed four stolen bases. 


Larson threw five and one-third innings, giving up 11 hits, one walk and nine runs, only six of which were earned. Katelyn Scherf got the final two outs, but not before facing six batters and giving up two hits and two earned runs. 


“We allowed two runs early on in the game, in which neither was earned. The team continued to battle and Delaney Scherf had a big two out hit in the third inning to tie up the game. Springville put two more on the scoreboard in the fifth inning, one of which was earned. Extra pitches due to our mistakes on defense led to Springville opening up the game in the sixth inning,” shared Wiley. “We competed for five innings, even after making some mistakes we would like to eliminate. A good test for the team against a very well coached and disciplined team at the plate. We had a few mental mistakes on the defensive end, but we continue to improve in that area.” 


As the team gets more reps, Wiley said the players will work to limit those mistakes. 


“Offensively, it was a step forward for the team. We faced a very good pitcher, Libby Moore, in the Springville game. This will help us as we go forward and face pitchers with more than just a fastball and changeup,” he added. 


The Warriors have a loaded seven-game schedule this coming week, starting with a June 21 doubleheader versus MFL MarMac. They then have a doubleheader versus Clayton Ridge on June 23, followed by a tournament at Decorah on June 26. 

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