’Cats can’t hang with top-ranked Waukee

Erica Johnson

WAUKEE — The top-ranked Waukee softball team took little mercy on Marshalltown here Monday night, knocking off the Bobcats twice to secure the CIML Iowa Conference championship with wins of 8-0 and 11-1 in six innings.

The Class 5A No. 1 Warriors (34-3, 16-2) assured themselves the outright division title with the sweep of Marshalltown, even if the Bobcats (6-30, 1-19) did strike for their first run in four games against them this season.

Trailing 9-0 in the top of the sixth inning of the second game, Marshalltown manufactured its only run of the series starting with Erica Johnson’s leadoff single. After a strikeout, Johnson was forced out on Madi Finch’s fielder’s choice, but Sophie Younkin followed with a single and Emma McWherter walked to load the bases.

Autumn Finch, with just eight hits to show for the season, made it one more with a run-scoring infield single.

Waukee still finished off the victory in the home half, starting with a leadoff single by Molly Jacobson and ending with Reagan Bartholomew’s two-run home run on the very next pitch from MHS freshman hurler Avery Mull.

Waukee hit four doubles and three home runs among their 15 hits in the second game.

Johnson and McWherter both had two singles for the Bobcats in game two. Madi Finch added a single against Elly Bates, who still struck out 10 and walked only one in the complete-game seven-hitter. Mull was tagged for eight earned runs in five innings.

In the opener, Jacobson struck out 13 in a two-hit shutout and two of Waukee’s 12 hits against Kailee Pollard and Mull, who split the innings down the middle. Both gave up six hits, but Warriors got six of their eight runs against Mull.

Gabby Himes had a bunt single and Johnson added another hit to account for all the offense the Bobcats got against Jacobson.

The regular season now behind them, the Bobcats turn to 5A regional play and Thursday’s postseason opener at Ames. Game time is 7 p.m.