Bats bring sweep in MCC’s home opener

The runs came in bunches for the Tigers Monday.

But after scraping by with a 9-7 win in the nightcap, it’s evident the Tigers will need every single one they can get.

Breaking through the brisk temperatures with a hot bat, the Marshalltown Community College softball team opened its home slate with a doubleheader sweep over Ellsworth CC in ICCAC Division II play.

Powered by a combined five homers and 25 hits, the Tigers rallied for a 13-4 six-inning victory in the opener before hanging on for a two-run difference in the nightcap.

“We’re a team that’s going to have to do that,” Lamb said of his team’s 9-7 win in the second game. “Our pitchers are going to keep us in most of the games and our offense, as good as it can be, will have to score some more runs.

While Lamb, who picked up his 100th victory at the helm, was pleased with the offensive explosion in game one, the nightcap was likely more indicative of the type of games his team will face down the line.

“We’re going to be a close-game team and we’re doing a pretty good job with that so far,” Lamb said.

Marisa Basham, Erica White, Mackenzie Gott and Hailee Beals each homered in the opener as the Tigers (4-9, 2-2) pulled away with a six-run surge in the fifth before Basham ended the game with a two-run double in the sixth.

The Panthers claimed a 3-0 advantage in the third and led 4-2 entering the bottom of the fourth when the Tigers’ offense came alive. Basham sparked the Tigers with a two-run homer to knot the game, before Mackenzie Gott added a solo shot. Back-to-back doubles from Alexis Farren and Brianna James started the sixth before Beals and White each smacked two-run homers and Gott added an RBI single to stretch the gap to 11-4.

Basham finished 3-for-5 with four RBI, while White was 3-for-4 and knocked in three runs. Gott was 2-for-4 and drove in a pair as seven different Tigers tallied a hit.

“Our whole (batting) order did a really good job in the first and game as well as the second,” Lamb said. “It’s good to see on a day like today when it’s cold.”

Stacy Roggentein went the distance for MCC allowing four earned runs on nine hits, while striking out six and walking three.

Nicole Festge took the loss for Ellsworth (3-5, 0-4), while Jessica Wenger and Aimee Madrid paced the Panthers with two hits apiece.

MCC carried the momentum into the late game with three runs in the first though Ellsworth retaliated with four in the second.

White put the Tigers back on top for good with a two-run shot in the third, before James scored on a bases-loaded walk and Basham brought in Sarah Wilson on a fielder’s choice to push the lead to 7-4.

Ashley Eisenbraun’s RBI double trimmed the Tigers’ lead to two in the fourth, before Basham and Brooke Dunkin hit back-to-back run scoring singles in the fifth to extend MCC’s cushion to 9-5.

Kelly Sykes put the Tigers on their heels with an RBI double to start the sixth before eventually scoring a on a wild throw to first before MCC closed it out.

White triggered the Tigers with a 3-for-4, 4 RBI outing, while Basham drove in two runs and Dunkin, James and Beals each plated one. Wilson and White each had two doubles as MCC totaled seven as a squad.

Taylor Vaske tossed a complete game allowing seven runs (four earned) on 10 hits, while striking out three and walking three. Sam Ness was saddled with the loss for Ellsworth giving up eight earned runs on 11 hits and walking two in six innings.

Already postponing 11 games this year – including six at home – the Tigers’ schedule picks up in a hurry with 12 games in the next week. Lamb believes the busy stretch will pay quick dividends for his defense, which committed four errors in the nightcap after just one in the opener.

“We’re going to get better as we play more games and see more live hitting,” Lamb said. “After the first few innings we did a lot better with our defense in the second game. We’ll need to play more like we did in the first game.

The Tigers face Simpson College in a doubleheader on the road today at 4 p.m., before continuing the road trip against Kirkwood in a twin bill Wednesday with the first pitch set for 3 p.m.