PREP ROUND-UP: Comets chase off Cougars

BCLUW remains unbeaten in NICL West with 1-0 win over AGWSR

CONRAD — Parker Scurr scored the game’s only run on an AGWSR error with two outs in the third inning and the Class 1A No. 5 BCLUW softball team beat the sixth-ranked Cougars 1-0 in Wednesday’s NICL West Division showdown.

Bailey Ashton threw a four-hit shutout and BCLUW (18-9, 9-0) moved one win closer to clinching at least a share of the conference title. The Comets had just one hit off AGWSR ace pitcher Taryan Barrick, but they manufactured the only run they needed when Scurr walked to start the home half of the third.

Scurr moved up one base at a time after sacrifice bunts by Kiersten Kruse and Olivia Hughes, and a grounder off the bat of Easton Swanson was misplayed as Scurr raced home as the game’s first and only run.

AGWSR (13-4, 6-3) tried to answer in the top of the fourth when Ali Gerbracht led off with a double. Barrick bunted her to third but Rachel Sicard popped out and Ashton got Josie Winterberg on strikes to end the threat.

Ashton finished with seven strikeouts and one walk, while Barrick struck out six and walked two. Gerbracht and Carrinton Hunt both had two hits to account for the Cougars’ four against Ashton.

East Marshall 6, Grundy Center 5

LE GRAND — Grundy Center scored three times to tie the game at 5-all before Class 2A No. 10 East Marshall made good on its last at-bat for a 6-5 victory in Wednesday’s NICL West Division softball game.

Madison Farrington led off the bottom of the seventh with a single, and Juliana Arifi reached safely on her sacrifice bunt attempt. Hannah Birks moved them both up before Kodie Hoskey lifted a fly ball to center field that was deep enough to get Farrington’s courtesy runner Abby Ryan home as the game-winning run.

Maria Rasmusson’s two-run single gave the Mustangs (18-4, 7-2) a 5-2 lead in the fourth, but Grundy Center (9-8, 5-4) got two runs back in the fifth and tied it in the sixth. Sydney Mathews plated Madison McMartin and Kyah Luhring with a two-out triple, and a throwing error got Emma Beck across as the tying run in the top of the sixth.

East Marshall got the run it needed in the bottom of the seventh for Hoskey, who struck out eight and walked one. The big blow was a two-run homer by Beck in the top of the first.

Melinda Puumala had two hits before getting injured, while Rasmusson and Farrington had two hits apiece.

Baxter 6, GMG 3

BAXTER — The GMG softball played Baxter 10 runs better than the first meeting, but it still wasn’t enough to get the Wolverines over the top.

Baxter scored a 6-3 win in Wednesday’s Iowa Star Conference South Division clash, a far cry from the 13-0 beating the Bolts (10-8, 8-4) furnished the first time around.

GMG (2-16, 1-9) hung tough thanks to a resistant defense that turned two double plays in the game. Marriah Stonewall caught a fly ball and fired home to Emily Vaughn to prevent a run scoring, and the Wolverines also got out of a bases-loaded jam thanks to a 1-2-3 double play that went from pitcher Kelsey Vaverka to Vaughn to Angel Schewe at first base.

Vaverka got the loss in the circle, surrendering nine hits, six walks and a hit batsman while striking out five. Vaverka also had a double, which was one of GMG’s six hits. Vaughn also doubled while Belle Duncan and Schewe had two hits apiece.

The Wolverines are back out on the road tonight for a doubleheader against Don Bosco in Gilbertville.

BASEBALL

East Marshall 3, Grundy Center 2

GILMAN — Zach Jacobson drove in courtesy runner Chase Gratopp with a third-inning double to give the East Marshall baseball team a 3-2 lead on Grundy Center, and Jacobson made it stick from the mound for an NICL West Division win here Wednesday night.

The Mustangs (7-10, 4-4) evened the season series with the Spartans (8-8, 5-4) thanks to Jacobson’s five-hitter in which he walked only one and struck out 10.

Grundy Center jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning before East Marshall answered it with two runs in the second. Hunter Vilez drove in Landon Elliott with a double and Garrett Kerber plated Seth Freese with his subsequent single.

In the third, Wesley Hamor singled and Gratopp, his courtesy runner, scored on Jacobson’s double.

Hamor finished 3-for-3 at the plate to lead the Mustangs.

AGWSR 6, BCLUW 2

BEAMAN — The AGWSR baseball team completed the regular-season sweep of BCLUW by beating the Comets 6-2 in Wednesday’s NICL West Division clash. The Cougars (3-8, 3-6) scored four times in the top of the sixth inning to break a 2-all tie.

Only three runs came earned to BCLUW hurler Treye Teske, who struck out three and didn’t walk a batter in the complete-game loss. His counterpart Ben Macy struck out eight and walked none, going the distance for the win.

Noah Gallentine had two doubles and Coby Willett had two singles to lead the BCLUW bats. Ray Callaway plated both of the Comets’ runs with his fourth-inning single, driving in Koty Kruse and Gallentine. Jack Garber also had a single in the loss.

Jaden Penning had a single, a double and two runs scored to lead AGWSR offensively.

BCLUW (1-11, 1-8) steps outside NICL West play for today’s home game against Lynnville-Sully.

GMG 5, Baxter 2

BAXTER — GMG used a four-run sixth inning to rally past Baxter and ace pitcher Carter Nelsen on Wednesday during Iowa Star Conference action.

The Wolverines trailed 2-1 through five innings but won 5-2 to improve to 8-3 in conference play.

Zach Krull went the distance on the mound for GMG. Krull (2-1) got the win, allowing two earned runs on seven hits with five strikeouts, one walk and three hit batters.

Krull pitched with a runner on base in every inning but the sixth. Baxter left the bases loaded in the second, fifth and seventh innings and stranded 13 on base in all.

GMG (9-9) took a lead in the first inning when Brock Baldazo put a charge in a 1-0 pitch from Nelsen. The towering shot hit the fence in the air in left field and made it 1-0.

Baxter (5-12) answered with a pair of runs in the first and its 2-1 lead lasted until the sixth.

In the sixth inning, GMG sent nine batters to the plate and four of them scored. The first three reached by walk and consecutive bloop singles. The next two reached on Baxter errors.

Kolton Gill had two hits, one run and one RBI to lead the offense, and Aaron Fleming was 1-for-3 with a walk and two runs scored.