SPORTS SHORTS: Comets close out unbeaten league title

CONRAD — The Class 1A No. 5 BCLUW softball team wrapped up its first unbeaten NICL West Division title since the Comets last won a state title in 2010, finishing off their 12-0 run with Friday’s 4-1 victory over Grundy Center.

Bailey Ashton struck out nine and walked one in her six-hitter, spinning six shutout innings until Grundy Center (13-10, 6-6) got on the board in the top of the seventh inning.

The Comets (21-9, 12-0) turned a two-run lead into a four-run game with two tallies in the home half of the sixth. Easton Swanson led off with a double and scored on Cate Nason’s single. Kennedy Williams followed with another hit and Jaelyn Allen plated pinch-runner Emma Hoover with her single to make it 4-0 BCLUW.

Allen finished 2-for-3 at the plate, while Kiersten Kruse was 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI for the Comets, who are off until they host 1A No. 8 Lynnville-Sully on Tuesday night.

East Marshall runs win streak to 11

GILBERTVILLE — The Class 2A No. 9 East Marshall softball team ran its win streak to 11 games with a pair of victories Friday at the Don Bosco Tournament.

The Mustangs (24-4) scored a 12-5 triumph over Kee Community before beating back Hudson 8-1 on the first day of Don Bosco’s two-day tournament.

Against Kee (19-15), East Marshall got out to a 3-0 lead after the first half inning and made it 9-2 after a six-run second that was highlighted by Melinda Puumala’s two-run home run.

Juliana Arifi added a two-run shot in the third as the Mustangs played just five innings because of the tournament’s time limit.

Kodie Hoskey struck out five and walked one for the win in the circle for East Marshall, allowing four earned runs on five hits. Reagan McIlrath went 3-for-3 with a double, an RBI and two runs scored, and Madison Farrington finished 2-for-3 with two doubles and two RBIs.

The Mustangs scored in five separate innings but never more than two runs per frame in beating Hudson 8-1 in a game that made it all seven innings.

McIlrath limited the Pirates (13-13) to six hits while striking out seven for the win. Arifi had two hits to lead the Mustangs, who managed just six hits against Hudson’s pair of pitchers Ella Engel and Abby Gaudian.

Farrington had a triple while Maria Rasmusson, Madison Duncan and Emma Pfantz pitched in singles for the Mustangs. Hannah Birks drove in two runs.

East Marshall opens today’s play in Gilbertville with a 9 a.m. game against 1A No. 10 Janesville and closes against Pella Christian at 12:30 p.m. at the town’s recreation diamonds.