BOBCAT CLASSIC: Cougars have nothing to show for adjustments

Once the Cougars brought a more patient approach to the plate, they created the momentum they were looking for.

Unfortunately for AGWSR, Ali Givens and the Lisbon offense weren’t waiting around.

Putting up two runs in the first and three in the fourth, the Class 1A No. 9 ranked Lions negated Class 2A No. 7 AGWSR’s adjustments with enough cushion to earn a 5-1 victory at the Bobcat Softball Classic Friday.

Givens retired the first 12 batters she faced and allowed just two hits and two walks in seven innings. The senior surrendered one run, while fanning four and walking two.

“We just weren’t patient, we weren’t waiting for our pitch,” AGWSR co-coach Scott O’Brien said of his team’s early offensive struggles. “(Givens) doesn’t throw very hard, but we were way out ahead of her a lot and hitting the ball off the end of the bat with no power.”

Ashley Sicard hit the meat of the ball and ended the Cougars’ drought with a standup double to open the fifth. Courtesy runner Morgan Kappel advanced to third off an error before scoring on Alexa Johnson’s fielder’s choice. Though that was all the scoring AGWSR (15-5) could manufacture despite getting much better at-bats later in the game.

“The last four innings we started to be more patient and started hitting the ball hard,” O’Brien said. “If you start the game that way, lots of times it will multiply by the end of the game. We just didn’t start doing it early enough to see the results we wanted.”

Sicard allowed five runs (four earned) on nine hits, while striking out one and walking two in seven innings. Ella Frazier provided the Cougars’ other hit with a left field single in the bottom of the sixth. Kristen Zacharias followed with a walk, though the Lions turned a double play at third and first to end the threat.

Paige Felderman put Lisbon (17-8) on the board with a two-run single in the first. Brittany Frey brought two more runs across in the fifth on a center field double, before McKenna Kilburg ripped a single down the third base line to plate Frey.

Marion 7, AGWSR 6

The Cougars had their bats ready from the start of their second game, though so did Marion. The lead changed hands three times before the Indians rallied for a 7-6 victory, which ended in six innings due to the 90-minute time limit.

Michalyn Mohr brought home Beth Knapp for the winning run on a sac fly to center field in the top of the sixth as Marion (10-17) rallied from a pair of two-run deficits. The Indians pounced on five Cougar errors and scored in every at-bat.

Marion trailed 6-4 entering the fifth before Bayley Fuller’s RBI double and Mahlia Brown’s RBI single knotted it up. Brown smashed a solo shot in the second and Knapp added a run-scoring double in the third to give Marion a 3-1 lead.

Hannah Johnson gave the Cougars their first lead with a three-run double in the third and Alexa Johnson added a sac fly to push the score to 5-3. Lauren Rausch’s RBI single brought the Indians back within one in the in the top of the fourth, before Ella Frazier plated a run to reclaim a two-run cushion for the Cougars in the bottom of the frame.

Marissa Whitney threw the final three innings in relief for the victory allowing one run on two hits and striking out a pair. Ashley Lappe gave up five runs on seven hits and a walk.

“We struggle a little bit with slower pitching,” AGWSR co-coach Brenda Drake said.

“We just need to learn to stay loaded and do what we need to do. We’re capable of doing it, but we just have it in our head, ‘Oh, another slow pitcher.'”

Addie Johnson was on the losing end of the decision, surrendering a run on one hit and striking out one in the final frame. Morgan Rose was chased after the fifth allowing six runs (two earned) on eight hits, while fanning three and walking four.

Hannah Johnson led the offense with 3 RBIs, while Ingledue added a triple. Frazier and Alexa Johnson each plated a run.

AGWSR returns to the Bobcat Classic today to battle Roland-Story at 10:45 a.m. and Marshalltown at 4 p.m.