‘Cats knock off state-ranked Cougars
CONRAD – The Bobcats place their confidence in strong pitching and a sound defense.
And when those two areas are clicking, the offense usually takes care of itself.
Following that script in Saturday’s finale, the Marshalltown softball team wrapped up its third straight win with a 1-0 victory over Class 1A No. 10 ranked AGWSR in the David Lee Classic.
“Our pitching and defense are what’s going to win us games,” MHS coach Jeff Lamb said.
“Our offense will score some runs when we need it.”
With as well as Lauren Mazour pitched and the Bobcat defense played, one run was plenty as MHS (6-6) returned to .500.
Mazour tossed a seven-inning shutout on five hits while fanning five and walking one. The senior hurler also sparked the offense, clubbing a double to open the second inning, before courtesy runner Tabby Steffensen stole third on a passed ball and reached home on a misplayed pickoff throw at third.
Marshalltown’s early bit of offense was surrounded by stellar plays in the field.
Kari Smith tagged out AGWSR’s Ella Frazier to cap a double play from first to second in the third before rightfielder Megan Major made a diving grab in the fourth. Third baseman Madi Bellile initially bobbled a bunt but stuck with the play to retire Hannah Johnson at first, before the Bobcats wrapped things up with three quick outs in the seventh.
When it comes to defense, the Bobcats bring a business-like attitude to their work and it starts before the first pitch.
“We’re just trying to have the confidence of going out and showing people even before the game that we came here to take care of business,” Lamb said.
“It’s a mental thing with us. If we go out before the game and have a good warmup, or we’re in practice and everyone’s moving it’s usually been good for us on the field.”
Giving up just five runs in three games over the weekend, the Cougars have also demonstrated a defense-first mindset.
Though they needed a bit more from the offense and finished 1-2 in the David Lee Classic.
“Three or four runs are really big for us,” AGWSR coach Scott O’Brien said. “We’re going to win a lot of games with three or four runs Our defense played really well. I’m a little disappointed with how we hit the ball this weekend, but (Mazour) is a nice pitcher and hits her locations.”
Morgan Rose also did her part from the circle for the Cougars, giving up one unearned run on five hits, while striking out two, walking a pair and hitting one batter in six frames.
Taylor Wagner roped a double in the third, while Cassidy Blackford, Major, and Madi Bellile each added a single for MHS.
Marissa Horner, Frazier, Ashley Sicard, Abbie Young and Madison Fryslie each singled for the Cougars.
Marshalltown faces Ames in a twin bill on the road Monday at 6 p.m.
Marshalltown also claimed a 10-4 victory over Gladbrook-Reinbeck earlier Saturday with a winning effort from Jasmine Judge in the circle AGWSR had two errors and Marshalltown finished with one Taylor Wagner was ruled out in the first inning for leaving first base early on a steal attempt Both teams stranded six runners … MHS returns home Wednesday to battle West Des Moines Valley in a doubleheader beginning at 6 p.m.