Bobcats get long-awaited split

Marshalltown softball team scores first CIML Iowa Conference win since June 1, 2018

T-R PHOTO BY ROSS THEDE - Marshalltown senior Marina Rosalez, right, smiles on her way toward home plate after hitting a game-tying, two-run home run in the bottom of the seventh inning in Game 1 of Monday’s CIML Iowa Conference doubleheader against Mason City.

Home runs by Gabby Himes and Marina Rosalez went wasted in Game 1.

The Bobcats made their chances count in Game 2.

Himes homered in both games of Monday’s CIML Iowa Conference doubleheader against Mason City, and Marshalltown rallied from a disheartening extra-inning loss in the opener, 12-5 in eight innings, to beat the Mohawks in the nightcap, 8-3.

Both teams got their first conference wins of the season. The victory in the second game marked Marshalltown’s first divisional win in the CIML since splitting with Waukee on July 1, 2018. The Bobcats had a chance at the first game as well after leading Mason City 3-2 heading into the seventh inning, but the Mohawks struck for three runs to take a 5-3 lead.

Marshalltown (5-15, 1-7) had enough of an answer to force extra innings, but that’s where the Bobcats ran out of gas.

T-R PHOTO BY ROSS THEDE - Marshalltown third baseman Madi Finch, left, makes a catch in foul territory near the fence during the first game of Monday’s CIML Iowa Conference doubleheader against Mason City.

Emma McWherter led off the bottom of the seventh with a single up the middle, and her pinch-runner Maggie Augustine was able to trot home when Rosalez hammered a 3-0 pitch over the left-field fence to tie the score at 5-all.

Marshalltown eventually loaded the bases with two outs, too, but was unable to come up with the game-winning hit. Mason City had plenty of them in the top of the eighth, racking up seven runs on six hits and a walk against freshman Avery Mull, who relieved MHS eighth-grader Ella Grife when the game went into extended play, and the Bobcats went down in order to end the eighth.

Rosalez finished 3-for-3 in the first game, getting a double, her first-career home run, two runs scored and three RBIs. Himes had two hits, including a two-run homer that capped the Bobcats’ three-run third inning, and Madi Finch finished with two hits, including a double.

In the nightcap, Marshalltown made the most of its seven hits while Kailee Pollard and Mull scattered 12 hits across the seven-inning win. They combined to walk two and strike out one, but limited the Mohawks (9-12, 1-7) to just three runs while stranding 11 runners on base.

“I’m very proud of how they responded after the first game,” said MHS head coach Jim Palmer.

T-R PHOTO BY ROSS THEDE

The Bobcats scored in five of their six at-bats in the second game, and five of the team’s eight runs came from the bottom five batters in the lineup.

Kyra Feldman singled and Ella Grife walked to start the fourth, and McWherter’s groundout got Feldman home. Rosalez added a sacrifice fly to make it 5-2 Bobcats.

In the fifth, Feldman hit a two-out single to center and Grife walked again to chase Mason City’s starting pitcher from the circle. After a passed ball plated a run, McWherter greeted the reliever with an RBI single up the middle to make it 7-3 Marshalltown.

Himes hit a solo homer in the sixth, adding an insurance run the Bobcats wouldn’t need.

Finch and Feldman each had two hits to lead MHS, while McWherter drove in two runs and Himes homered for the second time in the doubleheader and the third time this season. Grife was 1-for-1 and scored three times.

T-R PHOTO BY ROSS THEDE

Marshalltown remains at home for Wednesday’s CIML Iowa twinbill against Class 5A No. 1 Waukee, hosts Des Moines Hoover for two games on Thursday, and the Bobcat Classic is Friday and Saturday at the Marshalltown Girls Softball Association diamonds.

T-R PHOTO BY ROSS THEDE