Aggressive offense leads Warriors to 3-1 week

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Brandy Beatty gets a hit against Clayton Ridge during a June 23 doubleheader. Central lost the opener but came back to win game two. (Photos by Bev Hamann)

Abby Cummer swipes second base during a June 21 doubleheader sweep of the Bulldogs.

Ashlyn Scherf throws the ball from center field to the infield during a game against Clayton Ridge.

By Willis Patenaude, Times-Register

 

The Central softball team came alive offensively last week, scoring 28 runs over a 3-1 stretch. 

 

The winning ways started on June 21 with a doubleheader against MFL MarMac. In game one, the Warriors jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first inning, and after the Bulldogs pulled within one run after the top of the third inning, they responded with a three-run bottom of the third. That effectively sealed the game, which the Warriors won 9-5. 

 

Chelsia Larson had a remarkable outing, going a complete game seven innings and holding the Bulldogs to six hits and five earned runs. She also struck out 10 batters. 

 

The defense played almost perfect in the field, committing just one error, but did allow four stolen bases. 

 

The Warriors were aggressive at the plate and on the base paths. Brandy Beatty set the tone, reaching all four times in the game and scoring three of Central’s runs. Abby Cummer went 2-4 with three RBIs, Maddy Wille went 1-4 with two RBIs and a run scored and Ashlyn Scherf went 1-4 with two RBIs and a run scored. Gracie Cummer singled and drove in two runs. 

 

The Warriors had a combined nine hits, all of them singles, and struck out just two times. 

 

It was a similar story in game two, as the Warriors jumped out to an early lead and kept pouring it on. A six-run fifth inning closed the door on any Bulldog comeback, and securing a 12-10 victory. 

 

Katelyn Scherf started game two and got through the batting order once before Larson returned to the mound. Larson was able to cruise through the middle innings, but the stamina faded in the sixth and seventh, as she walked five batters and hit two.

 

The pitching was aided by an aggressive offense, which came away with 15 hits. The Warriors were also aggressive on the base paths, stealing six bags. Game leaders were Kaitlyn Wiley, who went 2-4 with a stolen base and three RBIs, and Delaney Scherf, who went 1-3 with a stolen base, two RBIs and two runs scored. Abby Cummer was 2-3 with two RBIs and two runs scored, while Ashlyn Scherf finished 2-4, including two doubles, with two RBIs and two runs scored. Larson went 2-4 with a double and two RBIs. 

 

“In game one, we didn’t sit on the lead that we got in the first inning. We continued to add runs, which was necessary to keep MFL MarMac at a distance going into the later innings,” said head coach Mark Wiley. “In game two, it was another great approach at the plate and on the base paths. The fifth inning was an offensive explosion for us, sending 10 batters to the plate. Six runs scored on six hits. Defensively, we made the plays in the later innings and came away with the win.”

 

The Warriors next faced Clayton Ridge in a June 23 doubleheader. Game one did not go the Warriors’ way, as the offense was unable to get a hit, giving Eagles pitcher Savannah Meyer a no-hitter in the 4-0 loss. 

 

The Warriors struck out four times and were thrown out on their only stolen base attempt. 

 

While the defense played strong, Central committed two errors and struggled to prevent stolen bases, giving up all four attempts the Eagles took. 

 

Larson pitched one of her best games of the season, holding the consistent Eagles lineup, which has six hitters averaging over .300, to only .152 at the plate. Larson also allowed just five hits and two earned runs, while walking two and striking out six. 

 

In game two, the Warriors were able to turn the tables, as they had four hits in the first inning and scored two runs. They tacked on two more runs in the second inning with a two-RBI triple by Beatty, and Delaney Scherf drove in another run in the fourth inning. But the Eagles did not go quietly, taking the lead in the fifth inning with a four-run barrage. The Warriors responded with the tying run in the bottom of the fifth, before securing a 7-6 victory with the game winning run in the bottom of the sixth.

 

Katelyn Scherf pitched four solid innings, holding the Eagle offense to just four hits and four earned runs. Larson took over in the fifth inning, surrendering two hits, two walks and an earned run, but had scoreless sixth and seventh innings. 

 

The Central offense rebounded with nine hits, including five singles, three doubles and one triple. Beatty led the effort, going 2-4 with a single, a triple and two RBIs. Delaney Scherf went 2-4 with a single, a double, two RBIs and two runs scored, while Abby Cummer went 1-4 with a double and one RBI. Fern Diersen doubled, drove in a run and scored once.

 

“Every position in the lineup found their way on base at least once in game two, and seven of the nine were on base at least twice. We worked to be tough outs in the second game with 10 hits, three walks and two hit-by-pitches. Our approach at the plate stayed aggressive and we capitalized on a couple Clayton Ridge mistakes to get the win. We are now 7-7 in the conference and 8-13 overall,” Wiley commented. 

 

The Warriors continue their push toward the postseason with a four-game schedule this week, starting with a home game versus 10-17 Waukon on June 28. They will travel to West Central for a double header on June 30, then finish the week on the road against 2-14 Dunkerton on July 1.

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