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PREP ROUND-UP: BCLUW softball secures share of NICL West title

GLADBROOK — The Class 1A No. 6 BCLUW softball team overcame a slow start on the road and scored nine unanswered runs to clinch at least a share of the NICL West Division title by defeating Gladbrook-Reinbeck 9-2 on Monday night.

The Comets (19-1, 10-0) trailed 2-0 after Rachel Cooley’s two-run home run boosted the Rebels (1-12, 0-10) in the bottom of the second inning, but BCLUW finally doubled them up with a four-run eruption in the fifth.

BCLUW added another run in the sixth and four more in the seventh to seal the win.

Bailey Ashton settled in after an error set the table for Cooley’s two-out, two-run homer. She allowed only two more singles while striking out nine in all.

Easton Swanson, Kennedy Williams, Kiersten Kruse and Cate Nason each had two of the Comets’ 12 hits. Kruse drove in two runs, as did Madison Ubben, who was 1-for-3 with a walk. Parker Scurr and Kruse both scored twice.

BCLUW needs one more conference win to clinch the outright title, going to West Marshall on Wednesday and hosting Grundy Center on Friday.

East Marshall 4, West Marshall 0

STATE CENTER — Madison Farrington had an RBI double and a solo homer to help push the Class 2A No. 12 East Marshall softball team past West Marshall 4-0 in Monday’s NICL West Division clash between cross-county rivals.

East Marshall junior pitcher Kodie Hoskey pitched a five-hitter for her fifth shutout of the season, scattering five singles and one walk against 10 strikeouts as the Mustangs (20-4, 9-2) completed the season sweep.

Farrington, a Central College signee, followed up Maria Rasmusson’s first-inning double with one of her own to drive in what would prove to be the go-ahead run. She connected for her seventh home run of the season to lead off the sixth, tying her for fourth in 2A, to bring the score to its eventual final.

Hannah Birks doubled to lead off the fifth, moved up on Hoskey’s single and scored on a throwing error. Two outs later, courtesy runner Ellie Hull came around on Melinda Puumala’s single up the middle.

Puumala, Rasmusson, Farrington and Hoskey each had two hits to lead the Mustangs.

Renae Schaper was the only West Marshall batter to advance as far as second base, going 2-for-3 with a pair of singles to lead the Trojans (11-10, 3-7). Karisa Blocker, Morgan Cripps and Delaney Nichols each added a hit in the loss. Sophomore pitcher Loran Nicholson surrendered five extra-base hits of the nine allowed, walking one while striking out two.

East Marshall visits Dike-New Hartford on Wednesday before closing out the NICL West slate with Thursday’s home game against Gladbrook-Reinbeck. The Mustangs would need league-leading BCLUW (19-9, 10-0) to lose its last two conference games to hope for a shot at a share of the crown.

West Marshall travels to Jewell tonight to take on South Hamilton before hosting BCLUW on Wednesday.

BASEBALL

West Marshall 11, East Marshall 2

STATE CENTER — Nat Markle threw 6 2/3 innings of four-hit baseball and Cameron Bannister homered to help West Marshall complete the season sweep of East Marshall, 11-2, in Monday’s NICL West Division showdown.

The host Trojans (16-4, 9-0) clinched at least a share of the conference title with the victory. Markle allowed four hits and two unearned runs, walking one while striking out four. Bannister gave up two hits but got the final out.

Jake Tollefson hit a bases-loaded double, driving in three runs in West Marshall’s five-run sixth inning to boost the final deficit. Bannister’s solo bomb in the fourth made it 6-2 Trojans. Kinnick Christensen and Kaden Davis both had a single and a double.

Seth Freese took the loss pitching for East Marshall (7-13, 4-6), allowing six hits and four runs — three earned — over four innings. He walked three and struck out four. Zach Jacobson led the Mustang offense going 3-for-4 with a double. Austin Elliott, Dane Thompson and Chase Gratopp each contributed a single.

West Marshall visits South Hamilton for a non-conference game tonight, while East Marshall entertains Gladbrook-Reinbeck on Wednesday.

Gladbrook-Reinbeck 8, BCLUW 0

REINBECK — Gladbrook-Reinbeck junior pitcher Tyler Tscherter struck out 17 BCLUW batters in a near-perfect game, allowing no hits but one hit batsman in the Rebels’ 8-0 blanking of the Comets in NICL West Division action here Monday.

G-R (11-6, 7-3) got its season-high fourth-straight win, and needed just five hits to do it as BCLUW pitching combined to walk eight batters. Treye Teske took the loss for his four innings of work, allowing five runs on four hits while striking out four and walking four.

Keagan Giesking had an RBI single and Aiden Wyatt added a two-run single in Gladbrook-Reinbeck’s four-run fourth. Cody Gebel had a double and Kale Hasselmann added a single to the Rebels’ ledger.

G-R entertains Denver tonight in a cross-CIML contest, while BCLUW (1-13, 1-9) goes on the road to face West Marshall on Wednesday.