It was a tough week for the Maquoketa Valley softball team, but they showed resilience by pulling out a 3-1 win in game two to earn a split with the Alburnett Pirates threre June 9 after losing five straight games to start the week.

Things were looking good for the Wildcats as they entered the third week of the softball season on a high after beating Clayton Ridge 20-8 in Guttenberg June 3 to end a five-game losing streak. It was the second time this season the Wildcats had scored 20 or more runs in a game and they rapped out 18 hits, six for extra bases, including two home runs.

Well, this past week was a big move away from that as the Wildcats were swept twice in doubleheader losses to Springville (7-1, 10-0) and Bellevue Marquette Catholic (15-9, 15-11), both at home, and then were beaten 11-0 in game one of their doubleheader against the Pirates before they rebounded to for the 3-1 victory.

Springville (10-3/7-1) scored three runs in the top of the first to take quick control of that game.

The Orioles added one run in the second, two in the fourth and one in the seventh to hold a 7-0 lead. The fighting Wildcats managed to score a run in the bottom of seventh, before losing 7-1.

Macy Thompson took the loss in the circle giving up seven runs, only one was earned. She allowed five hits, walked two, hit a batter and struck out four.

Izabella Heffernan had the team’s only RBI single after being forced into action when catcher Addie Vorwald got hurt. Carissa Sabers, Cadence Freiburger, Erin Knipper, Emma Richter and Dannielle Burkle had the other five hits.

“It was a tough one. Those bats just weren’t going and we need to hit. We need to do a better job of just making contact,” said Emily Ludovissy, head coach. “I don’t understand it. We’re coming off a night of multiple home runs when everybody’s bats were hot. We have to go back to the drawing board on why we have off and on nights. We have to figure out how to make these bats consistent.”

It was a rough game two for the Wildcats’ defense as Springville jumped on Freiburger for nine runs in the top of the first inning, eight of them unearned. She settled in after that shaky inning to only give up one more run, on a home run by Morgan Nachazel in the fourth. In the five inning game, Freiburger took the loss giving up five hits, issuing four walks and struck out two.

The Wildcats had three hits in the game, all singles by Freiburger, Sabers and Heffernan.

“That first inning, we did not help her out. We made a lot of mental errors. Things that we know to do, we just weren’t doing them,” said Ludovissy. “We’re together as a unit. That’s not the issue. In the first game, we weren’t giving out Level 10 effort so we talked about that between games and in game two it was much better. It could be a little louder, I’d like it louder, but we really need to work on our mental toughness and where we have to go with that ball to get the out we want.”

The next night the bats were better, but Maquoketa Valley still struggled defensively as they allowed Bellevue Marquette Catholic (4-4) to score 15 runs in both games of their non- conference doubleheader in Delhi June 7.

The Wildcats scored seven times in the bottom of the first inning to grab a 7-2 lead, but Marquette Catholic responded with three runs in both the third and fourth inning to go up 8-7.

Bellevue wasn’t done as they added six more runs in the top of the fifth inning and another in the sixth to close out the win, 15-9.

For the Wildcats, Freiburger went three-for-four with a double, an RBI and scored two runs. Emma Richter was two-for-four with an RBI and run scored. Ella Mensen had a single and RBI. Thompson had a hit, Erin Knipper and Heffernan each had a single and an RBI, and Trista Elgin also had an RBI.

In game two, the Wildcats again jumped out to an early lead and again they let it get away. They scored five runs in the bottom of the second to take a 5-1 lead, but Bellevue responded, scoring four in the third, three in the fourth, five in the fifth and two more in the sixth, 5-6.

The Wildcats tried to fight back posting five runs in the bottom of the sixth, but it was too little too late as they dropped that game 15-11.

Knipper went two-for-two with a home run, an RBI and scored three times, but it wasn’t enough. Sabers went two-for-three with two RBIs and scored a run.

Freiburger stayed hot going two-for-four with a double and a triple, drove in in three runs and scored once. Burkle also was two-for-four and scored a run. Mensen had the Wildcats’ other hit, scored two runs and drove one in.

Going on the road didn’t look to help the Wildcats as they lost game one to Alburnett 11-1 with Mensen having the only hit for the Wildcats.

However, in game two, the Wildcats supported Kallie Freiburger to earn a win in her first varsity start by beating the Pirates 3-1.

Maquoketa Valley scored two runs in the top of the third and added one in top of the fifth to go up 3-0. The Pirates managed to score a run in the bottom of the fifth to cut the lead to two, but were unable to get any closer.

Mensen kept her groove going as she was moved to lead off and went two-for-three with two singles and drove in two runs. Knipper also two-for-three with a single and a double and scored a run. Kennedy Rausch didn’t have a hit, but got the ball in play at the right time as she had an RBI and scored a run.

Kallie Freiburger went seven innings to get the win giving up just three hits and one unearned run.

She walked three and struck out one.

Maquoketa Valley now sits at 5-9 for the season, tied for sixth place in the Tri-Rivers Conference West Division with a record of 3-9.