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Hoskey handcuffs Tigerhawks in regionals

No. 12 East Marshall softball team goes on the road to beat Colfax-Mingo 2-0

T-R PHOTO BY NOAH ROHLFING - East Marshall senior pitcher Kodie Hoskey, center, delivers to the plate during the Mustangs’ Class 2A Region 4 quarterfinal against Colfax-Mingo on Wednesday night in Colfax. Hoskey struck out 14 Tigerhawks in a two-hit shutout, leading the Mustangs to a 2-0 victory.

COLFAX — Chances were at a premium Wednesday night in Colfax with No. 12 East Marshall visiting Colfax-Mingo in the first round of Class 2A Region 4 action.

In a rematch of a postseason game from 2019, which the Mustangs won 3-2 in walk-off style at home, the Tigerhawks had a chance to exact revenge and end the senior season of pitcher Kodie Hoskey early.

It didn’t go to plan.

Hoskey struck out 14 Colfax-Mingo (12-6) batters and allowed just two hits as the Mustangs (14-2) advanced with a 2-0 victory.

Coach Jary Hoskey said it’s hard to beat his team when Kodie is pitching like she was Wednesday.

T-R PHOTO BY NOAH ROHLFING - East Marshall senior Reagan McIlrath (11) hammers a double to left field, driving in Callyn Curphy in the third inning of Wednesday’s Class 2A regional softball game against Colfax-Mingo in Colfax. McIlrath scored shortly thereafter in the Mustangs’ 2-0 win.

“[Kodie] was pretty dominant tonight,” Jary said. “Her ball was moving, she had giddy-up and she likes to throw in this cooler weather, which helps.”

The game started slowly, with both teams not creating much offense in the first two innings. It wasn’t until the top of the third that a real threat of scoring appeared — and East Marshall took advantage of it. Callyn Curphy got a leadoff walk and advanced to second base on a grounder from Morgan Neuroth. With two outs and Curphy on second, Reagan McIlrath smacked a double into the outfield, driving Curphy home and setting herself up in scoring position as well. The next batter, Emma Pfantz, scored McIlrath on a single to give the Mustangs a 2-0 lead — the only runs of the contest.

East Marshall had four hits, with Kennedy Wheater and Catelyn Fisher each hitting a single.

But despite recording two errors on defense and not creating much at the plate, it was a confident display from the Mustangs.

Kodie said she slumped in the sixth inning and nearly let the game get away but felt good overall.

T-R PHOTO BY NOAH ROHLFING - East Marshall’s Morgan Neuroth (4) lines out to the shortstop for the final out of the fourth inning on Wednesday in Colfax.

“I kind of had a slump, couldn’t really find the strike zone,” Kodie said. “So I asked to see where the pitches were and I adjusted and got my 14 [strikeouts], so it worked out for us.”

After holding the Tigerhawks scoreless in innings four, five and six, Kodie gave up a single with one out in the bottom of the seventh inning. She then struck out two to end the game and send the Mustangs into the Regional semifinals against the winner of Interstate 35 and Pella Christian.

If I-35 wins Thursday, the Mustangs will travel to Truto to play Friday at 7 p.m. If Pella Christian wins the Mustangs will host in Le Grand.

Two wins from a Regional title, Jary said he was impressed with his young squad’s season to this point.

“If we can move the ball, get a couple runs like we did tonight, it’s going to take a home run or something to beat [us],” Jary said.

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