STATE CENTER - Coming into Saturday's showdown with Class 4A No. 11 Norwalk, the Class 3A No. 4 East Marshall Mustangs had plenty of confidence.
They had won eight straight games and were about two hours removed from a 14-0, 4-inning win over Newton.
Norwalk's Taylor Goode had seen enough though. And the Warrior freshman allowed just five hits and shut down the Mustangs' prolific offense with a brilliant pitching performance during a 7-0 victory for Norwalk in the annual Rose Festival Softball Tournament here.
T-R PHOTO BY TROY HYDE
Members of the East Marshall softball team congratulate Katie Roseland (9) at the plate after the Mustang senior catcher blasted a home run against Newton on Saturday at the Rose Festival Softball Tournament in State Center. Roseland homered twice in the game and now has a Class 3A-high eight on the season.
T-R PHOTO BY TROY HYDE
"Their pitching was one of the better pitchers we've seen this year," East Marshall coach Jary Hoskey said. "She moved the ball around well and she had a rise ball that we couldn't lay off.
"If we keep seeing this kind of pitching, we'll catch up to it but they are a pretty good ball club up and down the lineup."
The most disappointing statistic to Hoskey in the loss to Norwalk (19-1) was the 12 strikeouts from the East Marshall hitters. That will have to be fixed as the competition continues to get better moving forward.
Rose Festival Tournament
At State Center
East Marshall 14, Newton 0 (4)
Norwalk 3, Greene County 1
West Marshall 6, CMB 4
Des Moines Christian 3, Newton 1
Norwalk 7, East Marshall 0
Greene County 7, West Marshall 4 (9)
Greene County 14, Newton 4 (5)
CMB 7, Des Moines Christian 3
Norwalk 13, West Marshall 0 (3)
"We got beat by a good team. What can we do to get better? We can work on our hitting a little bit," Hoskey said. "We had 12 strikeouts and that's not like us. Next time we see this kind of pitching we need to learn from this experience.. Hopefully we'll be able to move the ball a little bit better."
The Mustangs (14-2) cranked out 16 hits against Newton in the morning game Saturday. Included in those hits were two home runs by Katie Roseland and another blast by twin sister Callie Roseland. Katie Roseland now has a Class 3A-best eight homers on the season. She hit 15 last year as a junior.
"The three seniors are leading us," Hoskey said. "The Roseland twins are what East Marshall softball is about. There has never been an issue with their hustle. work ethic and with their desire.'
The third senior leading the Mustangs at the plate this year is Paige Miller. Miller injured her quad this week and was not available Saturday. She came into the game with a team-best .525 batting average. She is day-to-day right now, but Hoskey said he is not going to rush her back.
"We could have used Paige in that second game, but we want to make sure she is healthy," Hoskey said. "We have six games next week, and I am not going to rush her back until she is ready. The others stepped up though."
The offense didn't have much of an answer against Goode. She fanned 12 and scattered five hits in the victory. Three of those hits came from Taylor Fricke.
Norwalk plated two runs with the help of an error in the first inning and then used two home runs to put the game away.
Haley Long recorded back-to-back strikeouts in the fourth but then walked two straight batters before Devin Brown's three-run blast made it 5-0. One inning later, Goode helped her cause with a two-run home run of her own.
"Haley hit her spots but she threw a lot of pitches," Hoskey said. "It didn't matter where we pitched it, they were going to hit it anyway."
Mariah Fritz improved to 6-1 in the circle after allowing just one hit against Class 4A Newton (4-9) in the Mustangs' opener. She struck out six and walked two in the victory.
Freshman Kari Adams' infield single was the only hit Fritz allowed in the game.
She also had plenty of run support.
Katie Roseland had an RBI single in the first inning and then just cleared the fence in left field for a three-run homer in the second frame. Her two-run blast in the fourth was a no-doubter.
Callie Roseland's solo shot came in the second inning and it put East Marshall up 6-0.
Six more hits in the fourth ended the game early. Kylee Hoskey had an RBI single to start the scoring and then Sophie Grego followed with a two-run double.
"The kids have bought into the system, accepted what we do and worked hard at it," Hoskey said. "We had to move some kids around with Paige being out, but we are starting to grow up a little bit. We are seeing the ball well. Hopefully that continues."
The Mustangs were scheduled to play Collins-Maxwell/Baxter in their final game of the day but both coaches elected against playing because the two teams face off against each other June 27 in Le Grand.
"We need the rest," Hoskey said. "Because of the make-up games we were forced to reschedule, we play like 11 games in 11 days. There is nothing we can do about it but there was no sense in playing that game with CMB when we play them later this year anyway."
Kylee Hoskey injured her hand during an at-bat against Norwalk and had to be removed from the game. Coach Hoskey is not sure if she can return for Monday's home game with Class 2A No. 10 BCLUW. ... Long's loss in the circle against Norwalk was her first defeat of the year. She is now 8-1. ... Seven hitters for East Marshall are batting better than .400 on the season. Miller's .525 and Callie Roseland's .510 averages were leading the way heading into the weekend. ... Katie Roseland, Callie Roseland and Fritz all had three hits against Newton, while Grego and Madison Hinegardner collected two hits. Katie Roseland also finished with six RBIs. ... After the home game against BCLUW on Monday, East Marshall hosts Class 2A No. 9 AGWSR on Tuesday and South Tama County on Wednesday and then travels to STC on Thursday before playing two games in the Marshalltown Bobcat Classic on Saturday.