Three wins, three losses: — that’s the record for the Beckman softball team as it entered the final night of their first week of ball. June 19 pitted them Blazers against Maquoketa Valley (see story page 9A).
Beckman dumped South Tama for their sixth and seventh straight career wins over their WaMaC foes, 12-0 and 13-3, June 17 at home, split with Marion June 18, winning 10-8 and falling 12-3, and dropped both games to third-ranked in Class 3A Mount Vernon June 15, 13-0 and 11-1.
Opening the season midway through the tough WaMaC schedule, and against your conference nemesis, never bodes well for any team. The Blazers were no different, having fallen to the Mustangs every time they met since 2009, save a 10-8 upset in 2012.
The Blazers managed just a single hit off the Mustang pitcher in the 13-0 loss, to Emily Wulfekuhle. Kaylee Ludwig took the loss, giving up seven runs in nine hits, two walks and four hit batters. Elisabeth Kerper came in to relieve her and gave up six runs on one hit, two walks and two hit batters. The Mustangs took a 4-0 lead into the third where they plated seven more runs, adding two in the fourth to end the game early.
In the 11-1 loss, three hits came off the Blazer bats, allowing Shea Steffen to score. Jadyn Welling, Kamryn Klas(triple) and Wulfekuhle tagged the hits. The Mustangs led 10-0 when Steffen scored in the bottom of the fourth off Klas’s three-bagger and then sealed the win with a run in the sixth. Frosh Steffen took the loss in the circle, giving up eight runs, only three earned, on six hits, walking one and striking out one. Ludwig ended the game with three runs on four hits, two walks and a hit batter.
The Blazers bounced back June 17 with home wins from South Tama. In the 12-0 win, they tagged eighth-grader Mary Kate Frakes for all 12 runs off just five hits and seven walks. Abby Knepper and Keeley Schmitt were both 2-for-3 with Knepper hitting a triple and Schmitt a double. Lauren Osterhaus added a three-RBI single, while Welling, Steffen and eighth-grader Reece Osterhaus all got hits. Ludwig got the win, giving up just four hits and fanning three.
In the nightcap, the Blazers scored six first-inning runs, added three in the second, to take a 9-0 lead into the third. South Tama got one back in that frame, matched by the Blazers who added another in the fourth and two in the fifth to end this one early.
Bats were going big time for the Blazers who racked up 13 hits in the game, 3-for-4 from Klas in the lead-off position. Wulfekuhle, Lauren Osterhaus and Schmitt were all 2-for-3, Steffen 2-for-4. Reese Osterhaus added a double, as did Schmitt, Lauren Osterhaus and Klas. Schmitt tallied four RBIs, Wulfekuhle three, Steffen two. Steffen took the win in the circle, giving up three earned runs on six hits, passing three and fanning one.
Marion came to town June 18 and took the first game by virtue of an 11-run third inning, making it 12-1 going into the fifth for the Blazers, who got a lone run back but still couldn’t stem the early ending. The Indians totaled 13 hits, two of them longball, from Cloee Kraft and Gracie Goad, both in the big third inning.
The Blazers got some of their own back in the nightcap, trailing 6-2 before exploding for eight fourth-inning runs to win the game, 10-8.
In the opener, they managed just five hits, from Welling (2-for-3), Steffen, Schmitt and Reese Osterhaus. Steffen took the loss, surrendering nine hits for six runs and whiffing two.
Their bats started connecting in the second game, especially in the fourth inning. The Blazers trailed going in, 6-2, tallied those eight runs to build the lead, 10-6. Lauren Osterhaus went 3-for-3, Steffen 3-for-4, Reese Osterhaus 2-for-3, Klas and Schmitt 2-for-4 with Knepper, Welling and Emily Wulfekuhle adding a hit. Both Steffen and Reese Osterhaus drilled two-run home runs. Ludwig gave up seven runs on nine hits, three walks while Steffen allowed one run on three hits.