BOBCAT CLASSIC: Marshalltown snaps back to win two at Classic

Marshalltown coach Jeff Lamb wanted a better effort and got it.

The Bobcats rebounded from a disappointing effort on Friday with two wins Saturday at the annual Bobcat Softball Classic at Marshalltown Community College. Marshalltown gave up just one run on the day and claimed an 11-0 win over South Hardin and a 10-1 victory over Class 2A No. 7 AGWSR.

“This was a much better day and a much better team effort,” Lamb said. “This was big. It was frustrating to see what we did yesterday so it was good to come back and show what we are made of. I am really pleased with how we played today.”

The Bobcats improved to 10-14 on the season. Class 3A No. 7 Bondurant-Farrar was the only two-day undefeated team, finishing 5-0 after wins Saturday over Class 2A No. 9 BCLUW, Class 1A No. 9 Lisbon and South Hardin.

Class 3A No. 4 East Marshall and Class 1A No. 7 Lynnville-Sully both went 2-0 Saturday but did not play Friday.

After losing to Marshalltown in its opener Saturday, South Hardin then played the Lady Jays tough for five innings before falling 9-4.

“We were in this game for most of the way,” South Hardin coach David Donahue said. “(Bondurant-Farrar) is a good enough team to be patient and find their opportunities to get their hits.

“We had a positive beginning, some really bad experiences in the middle and another positive to end the tournament.”

The Tigers went 0-4 on the weekend and are now 5-10 on the season.

AGWSR also played four games and went 1-3 overall. The Cougars did not throw ace pitcher Ashley Sicard against Marshalltown and she only saw action in half of the 4-3 victory over Roland-Story.

“This game wasn’t that meaningful in the grand scheme of things,” Cougar co-coach Scott O’Brien said of the game against Marshalltown. “If we would have been tied or had the lead late in the game, we probably would have put (Sicard) in for a couple innings.”

Marshalltown got off to a quick start against South Hardin. The Bobcats strung out four straight singles in the their first at-bat and led 5-0 before freshman Jasmine Judge hit the circle.

That ended up being plenty of support for Judge, who collected the win after surrendering just four hits against the Tigers. She struck out four and walked none in the victory.

“Our pitchers did a lot better today,” Lamb said. “When you only give up one run on the day, that means you are pitching pretty well and playing good defense, so I am happy with the effort.”

Quinn Goodman, Lauren Mazour and Kari Smith each collected RBI hits in the first inning before Cassidy Blackford collected her second hit of the game with an RBI single in the second that made it 6-0.

Megan Major doubled and scored on Rachel Whaley’s RBI triple in the third and then Whaley was plated on Emily DeVenney’s RBI hit that made it 8-0.

The Bobcats did not score again until the seventh when Taylor Wagner’s two-run single drove in McKaylee Palmer and Smith. The hit came with the bases loaded and DeVenney also scored following an error in the outfield.

“We came out and showed that we want to be here and those nine players showed up today,” said Lamb. “We picked each other up well today and if we play like this, we’ll be OK. We’ve got some improvements to still make though.”

Marshalltown collected 18 hits in the win. Donahue said he expected 5A Marshalltown to hit the ball. He hoped his offense would do a little better though.

“Marshalltown is going to feast on that kind of pitching and they are supposed to do that,” he said. “We just didn’t hit the ball in that game. We just didn’t score enough runs against Marshalltown and Lisbon to compete this weekend. For whatever reason, we just couldn’t put the ball in play. I tried to change up the lineup but that didn’t work either.”

Like they did against South Hardin, the Bobcats used a big inning against AGWSR to take control of the game.

Kaley Mead doubled and then eventually scored on a wild pitch to make it 1-0 after the second inning, but Marshalltown went up 5-0 after scoring four more runs in the third.

In the third, Wagner and Blackford both doubled and then scored on RBI hits by Madi Bellile and Mazour, respectively. Goodman and Mazour eventually scored on a two-out error by the Cougars.

“The couple mistakes we made were a big part of the game,” O’Brien said. “We knew they would hit the ball and we would have to make plays, and we didn’t quite make enough plays.”

Two more runs scored in the fourth and fifth innings and an RBI double by Judge in the sixth made it 10-0.

The Cougars (16-6) plated their only run in the sixth as they took advantage of one of two Bobcat errors in the game. But AGWSR managed just five hits against Mazour and the MHS senior struck out four in the victory.

“For some reason, we have trouble scoring on this young lady,” O’Brien said of Mazour. “We have seen her a lot, but she knows how to move the ball around. She kept us off balance.”

The Cougars used three pitchers against the Bobcats. Morgan Rose made just her second start of the season and took the loss after tossing the first three innings. Eighth-grader Addie Johnson and Jodi Johnson also threw in relief.

The Bobcats next play a Central Iowa Conference Northern Division doubleheader in Fort Dodge at 5 p.m. Monday before making up a CIC game at Urbandale at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. The Bobcats return home Wednesday to face Southeast Polk in a doubleheader at 6 p.m.

Bondurant-Farrar 9,

South Hardin 4

The Tigers trailed 5-4 after five innings before running into control issues in the circle.

The Lady Jays collected three hits in the sixth inning but also walked three times with the bases loaded to pull away.

“Alaina Lake is our ace pitcher and we use her a lot, but with a busy schedule coming up, we just couldn’t throw her the entire game,” Donahue said. “We threw two eighth graders and I think it gave Bondurant a little different look. We just had trouble with the strike zone late in the game.”

Before allowing the Lady Jays to pull away in the sixth inning, the Tigers were in the game. They tied it at 2-all in the first inning following an RBI groundout by Kortney Crosser and an RBI single by April Skartvedt.

Bondurant-Farrar came right back with three more runs in the second but did not score again until the sixth. South Hardin trimmed the lead to 5-3 in the third inning. Becky Mazurik doubled and then moved to third on a single by Kassidy Rewoldt. Rewoldt, who will play for North Iowa Area Community College next season, was caught stealing on the next play but Mazurik scampered home to make it a two-run game. Mazurik will walk-on to the Iowa softball team next year.

The Tigers added a fourth run in the fifth when Jenny Allen walked and then scored on a Blue Jay error.

Unfortunately, that was the last time the Tigers would score. They finished with just six hits in the loss. Bondurant-Farrar had 15 hits and stranded 11 on base in the victory.

“The offense has been most of our issues all season long,” Donahue said. “We just can’t get the girls to hit the ball up and down the lineup.”

Lake threw the first two innings for the Tigers and took the loss. She also singled and scored in the first inning. April Skartvedt had two hits to lead the South Hardin offense.

The Tigers will next face Class 2A No. 9 BCLUW in Conrad at 8 p.m. Monday before hosting South Tama County at 8 p.m. Tuesday.