The Maquoketa Valley softball team struggled last week as the Wildcats went 2-6 ,1-3 in conference doubleheaders and 1-3 in tournament play.

The Wildcats were swept by North Linn (14-1) losing game one, 13-0, and game two, 15-2, in Delhi June 3.

Taya Tucker managed the Wildcats’ only hit in game one and it wasn’t much better in game two as they were only able to collect two hits, singles by Tucker and Maddy Anderegg. Tucker and Alyssa Langel were the only Wildcats to cross home plate against the Lynx. Rylie Aldrich battled in the circle and took both of the losses.

Two nights later, the Wildcats hosted Central City (10-5) and fought their way to a split. Aldrich earned the win in game one, but needed a lot of help from her teammates.

Maquoketa Valley was up 7-2 after five innings and looked to be cruising to an easy win. However, that’s when Central City mounted a rally and scored two runs in the sixth and three in the seventh to tie the game at 7-7. Maddie Lahr got the game-winning rally going for the Wildcats with a walk. She moved to second on a passed ball. Payton Beaman then walked and both runners moved up a base on a passed ball. Aldrich was intentionally walked and Lahr scored the winning run on a passed ball.

Tucker got hot going 2-for-3 with a triple, a home run, three RBIs and scored three times. Allie Knipper had three hits and Anderegg had two hits and scored a run. Aldrich had one hit and drove in two runs. Lahr had a double, an RBI and scored twice. Beaman roped a triple, scored a run and had an RBI.

Aldrich gave up 14 hits, allowed seven runs, four of them earned, didn’t walk anyone and struck out just one.

In game two, the Wildcats scored three runs in the second inning on an RBI single by Anderegg and a two-run single by Leah Ries to take a 3-2 lead. They held that advantage until the six inning when Central City pushed seven runs across the plate on their way to a 9-3 win.

Beaman took the loss allowing nine runs, eight earned, on nine hits. She also walked two. Anderegg, Knipper and Tucker had two hits while Ries had a hit and two RBIs.

At the two-day tournament hosted by Jesup, the Wildcats lost to Jesup, 14-1, in game one June 7 and were beaten 6-5 by Waterloo East in game two. On June 8, Maquoketa Valley lost another tough game, 9-7, to South Winneshiek and then beat up on West Central to close out the tournament with a 15-2 victory.

The Wildcats could only manage four hits against Jesup (9-3). Anderegg had two of those and scored the team’s only run of the game. Lahr and Ries had one hit and Lahr an RBI. Aldrich took the loss.

Maquoketa Valley was up 5-2 entering the bottom of the fourth, but allowed two runs in that inning and two in the fifth to suffer a tough 6-5 loss to Waterloo East (2-12). The Wildcats had nine hits in the game lead by Lahr who had two including a triple, scored a run and drove in two. Aldrich had two hits and an RBI and Brooke Elgin also had two hits. Tucker ripped a two-run homer.

Knipper took the loss giving up five earned runs on 15 hits, walked three and struck out two.

On day two, the Wildcats found themselves down 7-0 before they fought back with four runs in the fourth. South Winneshiek (5-12) responded with two in the top of the fifth. The Wildcats scored three in the bottom of the fifth, but it wasn’t enough as they lost 9-7.

Beaman was carrying the big stick as she had two hits, a double and a two-run home run.

Elgin had two hits, scored two runs and drove in a run. Knipper had a two-run single and Krista Ries added a two-run double.

The bats returned in Maquoketa Valley’s 15-2 win over West Central (1-13). The Wildcats scored three times in the top of the first, once in the fourth and 11 in the long fifth inning to secure the win.

Tucker went off collecting three extra base hits. She had two doubles, a home run (5), six RBIs and scored two runs.

Knipper added two hits and scored two runs. Lahr had two hits, scored three runs and two RBIs. Aldrich added two hits and scored one while Leah Ries had two hits and scored once.

Knipper got the win allowing just four hits, two runs, one earned. She walked four and had three strikeouts.

“We made some errors this week that hurt us, but we made some improvements with the bats during the tournament that will help us going forward. We are learning. We’re getting better handling game situations because our young team is getting experience every time we play,” said Macey Kintzle, head coach of the Wildcats. “Luckily, this group of girls has the right attitude to take on this season. They are a great group of girls who have each other’s back. We just need to put everything together in a game and we’ll be okay.”