Comeback trail evades ’Cats twice

MHS softball dropped twice

T-R PHOTO BY ROSS THEDE Ñ MarshalltownÕs McKaylee Dawson, right, is tagged out trying for a double by Central DeWitt second baseman Alyssa Eden (4) during the second inning of SaturdayÕs final game at the Dave Lee Classic in Conrad.

CONRAD — A come-from-behind victory over then-No. 6 Waukee a week ago provided the Marshalltown softball team with its only win to this point, and head coach Jim Palmer fears it’s given his squad a false sense of security in late-game situations.

The Bobcats put themselves in holes in both games of their return trip to BCLUW’s Dave Lee Classic on Saturday, and neither were shallow enough to climb out of.

Marshalltown (1-11) was bumped off by Waterloo West, 8-6, and then Central DeWitt, 5-3, to go 0-3 for the weekend during Conrad’s annual Black Dirt Days celebration. It was a painful reminder of how fleeting the moment can be on the diamond, whether it’s offensively or defensively, to take advantage of the opportunities the Bobcats needed to.

“I think we still made great contact with the bats, we put a lot of balls in play, but today we had some unfortunate misplays on defense,” said Palmer. “And our pitching has got to stay a little tighter. We’ve got to do a better job hitting our spots.

“These are important games for us try and get wins, and it’s just not rolling for us right now.”

T-R PHOTO BY ROSS THEDE Ñ MarshalltownÕs Regan Mazour, right, beats Central DeWitt second baseman Alyssa Eden to the bag as shortstop Talbot Kinney (10) makes the flip during the final game of SaturdayÕs Dave Lee Classic in Conrad. Mazour was safe on the play.

The Bobcats’ losing streak slipped to five games since that CIML Iowa Conference split at Waukee on June 1, and Saturday’s losses saw struggles from all facets of the game. Palmer was quick to put some of those woes on himself and his coaching staff, which tried to be aggressive on the basepathes and didn’t get the rewards to match the risks.

In the eventual 8-6 loss to Waterloo West to start the day, Marshalltown stranded seven runners on base and had another three thrown out on the bases. One got caught stealing, one tried to score on a grounder back to the pitcher’s circle, and another got doubled off on a popped-up bunt attempt.

“The coaches pushed the bags and it costed us at least two runs,” Palmer said after MHS stranded another nine runners on base in the 5-3 loss to Central DeWitt. “But we need to be able to start working from ahead and not always from behind. Once we get that mindset it’s hard to get out of that.”

The Bobcats never got ahead on Waterloo West, but scored four times in the bottom of the third inning to pull into a 4-all tie with the Wahawks (4-14). Alyvia Chadderdon walked, Regan Mazour slapped a single and MHS capitalized on a pair of wild pitches during consecutive walks to McKenna Major and Madi Finch.

Waterloo West took Carlie Frost from the circle and replaced her with Bre’Ann Olsson, who got an out before McKaylee Dawson drove an RBI single back up the middle to even the score.

T-R PHOTO BY ROSS THEDE

The Wahawks tacked on two more for a 6-4 lead, but MHS squared things up again on Mazour’s two-run double. Marshalltown was headed toward more after Mazour stole third, but she was cut down trying to score when Madi Finch’s grounder up the middle was gloved by Olsson.

Waterloo West scored twice more for the fourth time in as many innings to make it an 8-6 advantage in the fifth. The Wahawks loaded the bases off relief pitcher Abby Brennecke, who took over for Dawson in the third inning, and chased home a pair when Olsson singled to right field to welcome Kailee Pollard to the pitcher’s mound.

Ciara Feldman reached on a one-out single in the bottom of the fifth and Kyra Feldman was hit by a pitch, but both runners were left stranded.

Brennecke took the loss for her 1 1/3 innings of relief work, allowing four earned runs on four hits with two walks and one hit batsman. Dawson surrendered four runs — one earned — on five hits over 2 2/3 innings as the starter, striking out two, while Pollard allowed only Olsson’s game-winning single in her one inning as the game ended after five frames because of the tournament’s time limit.

Sophie Dehl and Abby Payne led Waterloo West with two hits apiece. Dehl hit a triple, an RBI double and scored twice, while Payne had a run-scoring grounder, an RBI double and a single while also scoring two runs.

Mazour was 3-for-3 to account for half of Marshalltown’s hits, singling twice to go with her two-run double.

The Bobcats and Central DeWitt both ran themselves into missed opportunities in the early stages of their final game of the day. Mazour was cut down trying to score from second on a hard-hit single to left by Finch, who was caught stealing moments later to end the inning. Dawson’s bid for a one-out double in the second frame was foiled on another outfield assist for Sabers left-fielder Katie Fox.

MHS finally broke through first. Gabby Himes reached with a one-out walk and Chadderdon dumped a single into right field. Central DeWitt didn’t get an out on Mazour’s dribbler back to the circle, and Major drove a two-run double down the left-field line to put the Bobcats on top for the first time all weekend.

The first shift in the score snapped the Sabers out of their slump, as Alyssa Eden doubled to left and scored on an Ava Morris single to cut Central DeWitt’s deficit in half. The Sabers went in front in the top of the fifth as singles by Talbot Kinney, McKenzie Rosenboom and Mya Cavanaugh led to two runs and a 3-2 lead.

The Sabers’ bats delivered another run in the sixth as Morris led off with a double and later scored on a groundout. Rosenboom’s double to start the seventh chased Dawson from the circle, and an errant pickoff attempt and a passed ball plated Central DeWitt’s final run.

After scoring twice in the third to take the lead, Marshalltown managed to get at least two baserunners on in each of the final four frames but failed to score until the bottom of the seventh. Mazour started the at-bat with a slap-bunt single, moved up on Major’s swinging bunt and scored on Finch’s line drive to left. But that’s where the Bobcats’ last gasp ran out of air.

“We can’t keep coming from behind, you can’t always handle that pressure,” Palmer said. “We took the lead and we’ve got to do a better job of not relaxing. On a hot day like today, you’ve got to really stay focused.”

Dawson surrendered 12 hits in six innings for the loss, allowing four earned runs and striking out three. Dawson and Finch both had two of the Bobcats’ nine hits.

“We’ve got to do a better job of moving runners,” Palmer added. “It was a decent caliber of play this weekend and that is only going to help us in the long run.”

Kinney, Rosenboom and Morris had three hits apiece to lead the Sabers (9-5), who finished the weekend 3-0.

Marshalltown gets a day’s rest before turning around to host No. 14 Johnston in a CIML Iowa Conference doubleheader on Monday night. The Bobcats visit No. 9 Dowling Catholic on Wednesday, entertain No. 10 Southeast Polk on Thursday and Boone for a single game Friday.

Comet Invitational Classic

At Conrad

Friday’s Games

Waterloo West 14, Gladbrook-Reinbeck 6

Cedar Falls 1, Sumner-Fredericksburg 0

Central DeWitt 10, South Hardin 0

BCLUW 11, Marshalltown 2

Saturday’s Games

BCLUW 5, Waterloo West 0

Sumner-Fredericksburg 6, South Hardin 2

Central DeWitt 19, Gladbrook-Reinbeck 3

Waterloo West 8, Marshalltown 6

Sumner-F’burg 19, Gladbrook-Reinbeck 0

Cedar Falls 10, South Hardin 0

BCLUW 11, Cedar Falls 3

Central DeWitt 5, Marshalltown 3

——

BCLUW 5, Waterloo West 0

BCLUW 200 101 1 — 5 7 2

Waterloo W. 000 000 0 — 0 4 0

Lauren Anderson, Bailey Ashton (6) and Lili Wilson; Christina Campbell and Alli Schaffer. WP–Anderson. LP–Campbell. 2B–BCLUW: Wilson, Parker Scurr. HR–BCLUW: Easton Swanson (2). LOB–BCLUW 5, WW 7.

Sumner-Fredericksburg 6,

South Hardin 2

S-F 202 101 0 — 6 7 1

S.HARDIN 010 000 1 — 2 5 2

Kaylyn Hoth and Landree Kobliska; Shelby May and Hannah Rewoldt. W–Hoth. L–May. 2B–S-F: Abby Meyer. 3B–S-F: Jordan Burrows; SH: Faith Owens. LOB–S-F 8, SH 3.

Central DeWitt 19, Gladbrook-Reinbeck 3, 3 innings

C.DEWITT (12)43 — 19 11 0

G-R 300 — 3 5 0

Hannah VanderHeiden, Kathryn Grau (2) and Talbot Kinney, Drew Anderson (2); Gracey Nagle, Tessa Sienknecht (2) and Taylor Gienger. WP–VanderHeiden. LP–Nagle. 2B–G-R: Megan Swanson. LOB: CD 8, G-R 4.

Waterloo West 8,

Marshalltown 6, 5 innings

WW 022 22 — 8 10 4

MHS 004 20 — 6 6 1

Carlie Frost, Bre’Ann Olsson (3) and Alli Schaffer; McKaylee Dawson, Abby Brennecke (3), Kailee Pollard (5) and Erica Johnson. W–Olsson. L–Brennecke. 2B–WW: Sophie Dehl, Abby Payne; MHS: Regan Mazour. 3B–WW: Dehl. LOB–WW 6, MHS 7.

Sumner-Fredericksburg 19,

Gladbrook-Reinbeck 0, 3 innings

G-R 000 — 0 1 6

S-F (12)7X — 19 13 0

Tess Sienknecht, Alyssa Morgan (1), Rachel Cooley (2) and Taylor Gienger; Chantelle Nuss and Landree Kobliska. WP–Nuss. LP–Sienknecht. 2B–S-F: Krayton Allen 2, Jordan Burrows, Kobliska. HR–S-F: Allen (8). LOB–G-R 2, S-F 3.

Cedar Falls 10, South Hardin 0, 6 innings

S.HARDIN 000 000 — 0 2 3

C.FALLS 003 232 — 10 12 0

Shelby May, Rylee Nelson (6) and Hannah Rewoldt, Emma Salvo (6); Cyrah Rasmussen and Lex Hesse. W–Rasmussen. L–May. 2B–CF: Cara Forsblom, Rasmussen. LOB–SH 4, CF 8.

BCLUW 11, Cedar Falls 3

BCLUW 421 400 — 11 14 2

C. FALLS 000 030 — 3 5 2

Bailey Ashton, Kiersten Kruse (5) and Lili Wilson; Cyrah Rasmussen, Abby Runyan (9) and Delphin Hellenthal. WP–Ashton. LP–Rasmussen. 2B–BCLUW: Cate Nason, Kaylee Goecke, Wilson; CF: Tjaden Petersen. HR–CF: Keeley Rath. LOB–BCLUW 3, CF 3.

Central DeWitt 5, Marshalltown 3

C.DEWITT 000 121 1 — 5 12 3

MHS 002 000 1 — 3 9 2

Mya Cavanaugh, Hannah VanderHeiden (5) and Drew Anderson, Talbot Kinney (5); McKaylee Dawson, Kailee Pollard (7) and Erica Johnson, Kyra Feldman (7). W–Cavanaugh. L–Dawson. 2B–CD: McKenzie Rosenboom 2, Alyssa Eden, Ava Morris; MHS: McKenna Major. LOB–CD 6, MHS 9.