The Maquoketa Valley softball team rebounded from a tough opening week to the season by splitting six games to improve to 4-5 overall.
Bouncing back seems to be their thing as the Wildcats lost game one in each of the three doubleheaders they played this week and won the nightcaps to go 3-3 for the week.
Pitching has played a big role in the Wildcats’ ability to be in every game so far this season.
“We have been getting quality pitching from our starters our last seven games. Abbie Sheehy threw a no-hitter when we beat Beckman and from that game on our pitching has given us a chance every game,” said Trevor Arnold, head coach. “Abbie, Macy Thompson, Payton Beaman and Molly Anderegg have all done their part to give us a chance when they have been in the circle. We can’t ask for any more from those girls pitching-wise.”
The week started with a road trip to Starmont June 1 where the Wildcats lost game one 4-2, but took game two 7-5.
The Wildcats scored a run in the top of fourth to tie the game at 2-2, but Starmont responded with a run in both the bottom of the fifth and sixth innings to get the win.
Carissa Sabers and Erin Knipper had two RBIs while Jada Knipper and Leah Ries each had a hit and scored a run. Sheehy took the loss giving up four runs, three of them earned, on six hits. She walked two and struck out six.
In game two, the Wildcats plated two runs in the top of seventh to get the win.
Beaman had two hits, scored three times and had an RBI, Knipper two hits, both doubles and an RBI.
Thompson went the distance to get the win. She allowed five runs, four of them earned, on seven hits, issued three walks and struck out seven.
The Wildcats let one slip away when they lost game one of their doubleheader 6-5 to Midland in Delhi June 2.
Down 4-0, Midland rallied to score three runs in the fifth inning and three more in the sixth.
Anderegg pitched the first five innings giving up three runs on three hits. She walked four and struck out two. Thompson came on in relief and threw the final two innings and took the loss. She was charged with three unearned runs on two hits. She walked two and struck out one.
Offensively, Beaman led with two hits including a double. She also had an RBI and scored two runs.
It was all Wildcats in game two as they exploded for six runs in the third inning to beat Midland 13-1 in four.
Beaman was the star on the mound and with the bat in this game. She allowed just three hits and one earned run in four innings of work, walked one and had six strikeouts. She also had three hits, all triples, and an RBI, plus she scored three runs. Kendra Hillers added two hits and two RBIs and Sabers had two hits, scored and drove in a run.
On June 4, the Wildcats participated in the North Fayette Valley Tournament where they suffered a 6-0 game one loss to Osage. Ashley Halbach threw a one-hitter against the Wildcats and Leah Ries got that hit.
The Wildcats did regroup in game two to score seven runs in the top of the first inning and cruised to a 9-2 win. Tucker blasted a two-run homer to cap that seven-run first.
Beaman stayed hot collecting two more hits, scored a run and had an RBI. Sabers, Ella Mensen and Knipper each had a hit.
Thompson pitched 3 2/3 innings to get the win. She allowed two runs, both unearned, on two hits, walked two, hit two batters and struck out five.
Beaman came in for the final four outs to close out the game. She gave up one hit, walked one and struck out one.
With the pitching staff doing their job, Arnold knows that it’s just a matter of time before the bats get hot to support them.
“In most our of games this year, we have struggled to make consistent contact. We are giving up too many outs via strikeout or when we do put the ball in play, it tends to be a flyout or pop up to an infielder,” said Arnold. “We have gotten better with our discipline in terms of taking first pitches and making the opposing pitcher work a little more, but we need to make the opposing defense work more too. That will be our focus going forward, especially with some of our line-up that is struggling more than they want to be in the box. However, I know it’s only a matter of time before a couple more girls get going and we have a few more consistent bats in the line-up.”