Bobcats break BCLUW in extras
CONRAD – Chalk it up as a lucky break, an extra opportunity or simply a great at-bat.
Whatever you want to call it, Marshalltown softball coach Jeff Lamb likes his chances with Taylor Wagner at the plate.
After fouling off several pitches, the Bobcats’ leadoff hitter crushed a sacrifice fly to deep center field in the top of the eighth inning to bring home Morgan Bellile for the go-ahead run in a 2-1 eight-inning victory over Class 2A No. 8 ranked BCLUW at the David Lee Classic Friday.
Using international tiebreaker rules, Bellile started the inning on second before Wagner came through with another clutch contribution.
“Taylor did exactly what she needed to do,” Lamb said of Wagner’s at-bat, which stayed alive after a foul ball fell just out of the grasp of Comet catcher Sarah McCoy’s glove.
“She may catch some breaks every once in a while, but at the same time she’s also the hitter that we need up there,” Lamb added. “That’s a tough play for Sarah to make and it’s one of those plays that could go either way. We always like those second chances and we like to take advantage of them.”
Wagner took advantage of another opportunity and tied it up for the Bobcats (4-6) in the fifth.
The Eastern Michigan recruit drove in Bellile on an error when her pop fly to shallow left field fell harmlessly to the grass on a miscommunication in the Comet outfield. Emily DeVenney moved Bellile into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt for the second out of the inning, before Bellile raced home on contact on Wagner’s at-bat.
The Comets (6-3) used their own opportunistic bounce get on the board in the first when Kayla Benjamin’s two-out hit past the circle took a funny hop to score Makayla Van Cleave. With no play to make at first, Bobcat shortstop Kari Smith turned and fired to Bellile, who tagged out Haley Veldhouse at third.
“That ball was going to take a bad hop, I could see it right off the bat,” Lamb said. “The good thing is Kari stayed with it and got the out at third. That’s the most important part of that play.”
The Comets couldn’t say the same in the eighth, when BCLUW’s errant throw to third allowed Bellile to reach safely on a bunt from DeVenney.
“They put the ball in play and we didn’t make the play,” BCLUW coach Casey Moberly said of DeVenney’s bunt. “I’m glad we tried to get the lead runner, but we need to make a better throw and we need to make sure we catch it.”
Lauren Mazour tossed a complete game allowing one run on five hits, while striking out nine and walking two. Mazour escaped three jams including a bases-loaded situation in the sixth as the Comets stranded eight runners.
(Mazour) hit her spots, she’s a pretty good pitcher,” Moberly said. “We just couldn’t capitalize on the times we had runners in scoring position.”
Olivia Callaway went the distance for the Comets allowing two runs (none earned) on three hits, while fanning nine and walking one.
Cassidy Blackford tallied a double, while Megan Major and DeVenney each singled to supplement the Bobcats’ offense. Wagner drove in both runs for MHS and threw out Haley Veldhouse at second in the fourth.
Van Cleave, Callaway, Jessica deNeui, Kayla Benjamin and Mallory Vawter each singled for the Comets, while McCoy drew a pair of walks.
The Comets open today’s action of the David Lee Classic against Class 2A No. 4 Sumner-Fredericksburg at 1 p.m., before battling Charles City at 4:30 p.m.
Marshalltown matches up with Gladbrook-Reinbeck at 1 p.m. and Class 2A No. 10 AGWSR at 4:30 p.m.
The Comets’ other two losses this season have come against ranked foes in Class 5A No. 7 Ankeny and Class 3A No. 6 East MarshallThe Bobcats have fallen twice to both Class 5A’s No. 1 Ottumwa and No. 5 Waukee.
Moberly was happy with McCoy’s effort on Wagner’s eighth-inning foul ball that slipped just out her grasp.
“That was a really high fly ball,” Moberly said. “Sarah did a good job getting under it, but she just couldn’t hold onto it. She made the effort though.”