State-ranked Cougars go 1-2 in final day of tourney

CONRAD Down to its last out in a tie game in the top of the eighth, AGWSR softball co-coach Brenda Drake felt a sense of calm come over her in an otherwise stressful situation.

With Cougars’ slugger Hannah Johnson at the plate, Drake knew her team and the bat -were in good hands.

Johnson fulfilled her coach’s belief with an RBI grounder up the middle to plate the game-winning run in a 3-2 triumph for Class 2A No. 10 ranked AGWSR over Charles City at the David Lee Classic Saturday.

“Hannah has been our clutch hitter all year,” Drake said.

“Having her up to bat, I was very relaxed actually. She’s been hitting the ball well and if we wanted anyone up to bat, she would be the one.”

Johnson also knocked in the Cougars’ first run in the opening frame following singles from Ella Frazier and Morgan Rose, split by a sacrifice bunt by Kristen Zacharias. AGWSR (8-2) tallied eight hits in the game, while Charles City had five.

The Comets (8-5) tied it up in the bottom of the fourth as Hali Hillegas smacked a double and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Jackie Foster, before coming home on a passed ball. Charles City moved ahead in the next inning when pinch runner Megan Staudt scored on what appeared to be the third out of the inning on a throw to first. Katelyn Foster was ruled safe, allowing Megan Staudt to score from third after Amanda Staudt sparked the inning with a standup double.

Facing another two-out situation in the seventh, Drake didn’t have quite the same sense of ease, but felt pinch hitter Marissa Horner was up to the task.

“Marissa has been struggling a bit with her bat,” Drake said, “but she hits a lot of singles through the gaps and that’s what we needed.”

Horner came through with an RBI single to plate Madison Fryslie and knot the game at 2. Ashley Sicard started the rally with a bunt single, before courtesy runner Becca Wiarda moved to second on a passed ball. Abbie Young laid down another bunt that moved Wiarda to third, though she was tagged out on the ensuing play. Following a fielder’s choice, Horner kept the Cougars alive with her drive to shallow right field.

Ashley Sicard fanned all three batters in the seventh and two more around a pop out in the eighth to secure the win. Sicard went the distance allowing two runs on five hits, while retiring 10 batters on strikes with no walks.

Megan Roetler took the loss for the Comets allowing three runs on eight hits.

The Cougars host Gladbrook-Reinbeck Wednesday.