Warrior softball picks up first wins

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Chelsia Larson drops down a bunt in Central’s doubleheader sweep of Clayton Ridge. (Photos by Bev Hamann)

Warrior outfielder Reese Berns makes a catch in the June 10 game versus Springville.

Fern Diersen connects with a pitch against the Orioles. The Warriors lost the game 14-2.

Warrior third baseman Kaitlyn Wiley throw to first in the team's loss versus the Orioles.

By Willis Patenaude, Times-Register


The Central softball team went 2-2 last week, securing its first wins of the season and improving the overall record to 2-5. 


The week got started June 6, against Waukon, who held the Warriors scoreless en route to a 5-0 victory. The Warriors showed signs of strength, earning seven hits, but on the other hand struck out 11 times and failed to score a run. 


Central also committed three errors, which led to two Indian runs and added pressure on pitcher Chelsia Larson, who went a solid six innings and held Waukon to eight hits and three earned runs. She also had nine strikeouts. 


“We just didn’t string hits together to push runs across. Defensively, we didn’t come to play right away and they scored three unearned runs in the first two innings of the game,” said coach Mark Wiley. “Larson did a nice job on the mound with her variation of pitches, especially getting the rise ball to work in counts she was ahead.”


The Warriors put in a complete team effort in the June 8 doubleheader versus Clayton Ridge, winning both games. 


They got on the scoreboard right away in game one, with leadoff hitter Kaitlyn Wiley scoring a run. Central added a second run in the next inning by Gracie Cummer, off a fielder’s choice hit by Wiley, then tacked on two more in the fifth, when Fern Diersen walked and Larson had an RBI double. Courtesy runner Zoey Hyde scored on a sacrifice fly by Brandi Herman.


The Warrior bats finally got into the action, racking up nine hits—including eight singles and one double—with Tori Sylvester getting three of them. But it was Ashlyn Scherf, Herman and Tessa Sylvester who got the RBIs. 


The offense also induced five walks and struck out just three times. 


Larson pitched a three-hit gem, while striking out 12 Eagles, and the defense behind her committed just one error. 


The complete effort continued in game two, but the Eagles made the Warriors work for the victory. 


Central took an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second, but Clayton Ridge pushed three runs across in the top of the third. The Warriors responded with a three-run bottom of the third to retake the lead, 4-3, but the Eagles battled back, adding another three runs in the top of the fourth. The Warriors finally closed the door in the bottom of the fourth with five runs, eventually winning 9-7. 


The offense produced 10 hits and three walks and was hit by pitches eight times. Oakley Armstrong, making her first start of the season, led the team with three hits—two singles and one double—and was responsible for three RBIs. Kaitlyn Wiley snagged two hits and one RBI, Hyde got two hits and Tessa Sylvester added three RBIs on one hit and scored three runs. 


Katelyn Scherf pitched 2.2 innings, allowing six hits and two earned runs, while striking out one. Larson relieved Scherf in the third inning and pitched an effective 4.1 innings, giving up eight hits and three earned runs, and striking out three. 


“Katelyn and Chelsia worked well on the mound. We didn’t make the routine plays, which led to a lot more pitches. This meant we had to make the switch in the third inning,” Wiley said. “Tori Sylvester made a sensational play in the seventh inning from shortstop, where she caught a shallow flyball into left centerfield and doubled off the runner at second base for the second out of the inning. Larson shut the door on the game with a strikeout for the final out. Good effort by everyone on the team, and we collected our first two wins of the season.” 


The final game of the week for the Warriors was a 14-2 home loss on June 10, versus Springville. Wiley said the team “made mistakes which are not characteristic.” 


The offense managed to put up four hits and two runs, after Ashlyn Scherf doubled and Diersen reached on an error in the seventh, which allowed Katelyn Scherf to drive in both runs with a single up the middle. 


On defense, a litany of Warrior errors led to the Orioles getting more pitches and extra outs. The Warriors’ five errors led to six unearned runs. 


“Defensively, we didn’t play to our capability…we gave them six extra outs to work with and they took advantage of this at the plate,” Wiley said. 


Katelyn Scherf pitched a good 5.1 innings, striking out five and only walking three, but the errors led to six runs and Scherf gave up eight of her own. Larson came in for the final two outs, ending the game with one strikeout and giving up zero hits. 


“We’re looking to continue to pitch well and improve on the defensive end. Focus on reaching base early on in the game and getting on the scoreboard early this week. Try to build momentum as we stride into the middle of the season. Lots of good things in the middle of the week with younger players stepping up in the absence of some regular starters,” Wiley said. 


The Warriors will look to stay in the win column with a pair of doubleheaders, starting on June 13 against North Fayette Valley. On June 15, Central welcomes Turkey Valley for two games. The Warriors will end the week at Maquoketa Valley. 

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