WEST DES MOINES - Marshalltown junior Cassidy Blackford picked up where she left last year's regional playoff game, but once again West Des Moines Valley dealt the final blow.
The Class 5A No. 2 Tigers used two big innings to end things early against the Marshalltown softball team during non-conference action at the Steve Duncan Sports Complex here Wednesday.
Blackford hit her second home run of the season - a two-run shot - in the first inning of game one but Valley plated nine runs in the fourth to win 12-2 in five innings and then scored seven runs in the first inning of game two and won 12-0 in four.
T-R PHOTO BY TROY HYDE
West Des Moines Valley’s Mackenzie Jones, left, comes into third base ahead of the tag from Marshalltown junior Kaley Mead during game one of the Class 5A second-ranked Tigers’ sweep of the Bobcats on Wednesday in West Des Moines. Valley won 12-2 in five innings and 12-0 in four.
T-R PHOTO BY TROY HYDE
The Tigers ended a three-game losing streak by cranking out 18 hits and drawing 12 walks from Bobcat pitching.
The Bobcats (3-14) got seven hits in the opener but managed just two hits against Rachel Bakey in the nightcap.
Rachel Whaley had two hits in game one and Blackford homered and was intentionally walked. She also doubled in the second game and Whaley got the second hit.
At West Des Moines
Valley 12, Marshalltown 2, 5 innings
Cassidy Blackford, McKaylee Dawson (5) and Maggie Carnahan; Kasey Feldt and Mackenzie Jones. W-Feldt (7-2). L-Blackford (1-6). 2B-MHS: Rachel Whaley; VAL: Jones, Jill Belieu, Haley Hernan. HR-MHS: Blackford (2); VAL: Jones (5).
Valley 12, Marshalltown 0, 4 innings
Kaley Mead and Carnahan; Rachel Bakey and Jones. W-Bakey (9-0). L-Mead (1-6). 2B-MHS: Blackford; VAL: Feldt, Mandi Roemmich, Lexi Merritt. HR-VAL: Bakey (3).
Marshalltown led 2-0 after the Blackford homer in the first inning but Valley plated one in the first and two in the second to tie the game.
The Tigers then sent 13 batters to the plate and scored nine times in the fourth inning to go up 11-2 and one swing of the bat by Mackenzie Jones off Marshalltown eighth-grader McKaylee Dawson in the fifth gave the home team a walk-off win. It was the fifth homer of the year for Jones, who 2-for-3 with three RBIs in the win.
Kasey Feldt won her seventh game of the season in the circle after allowing two earned runs on seven hits while striking out four.
The seven-run first inning of game two kept the momentum with Valley (16-5) and the Tigers didn't let up on the gas in scoring another 12 runs. They ended the game early with three runs in the fourth inning. Bakey improved to 9-0 in the circle after allowing just two hits. She also fanned three while hitting her third home run of the year at the plate.
Mandi Roemmich, who came into the game hitting .509, also had two hits and two RBIs at the plate.
Two of Valley's three losses during the losing streak came against top-ranked Johnston. The Tigers have wins over No. 8 Waukee, No. 7 Pleasant Valley and Class 4A No. 7 Davenport Assumption.
Blackford (1-6) took the loss in the circle for the Bobcats in game one. She allowed seven hits and eight earned runs while walking six. Kaley Mead (1-6) was charged with the loss in game two after surrendering 10 hits, 11 earned runs and six walks.
Next up for Marshalltown will be a single game at home against Boone on Friday at 7:45 p.m.