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Ames leaps and bounds past Bobcats

No. 14 Little Cyclones run series win streak to 16 by sweeping Marshalltown softball

T-R PHOTO BY ROSS THEDE - Marshalltown’s Briley Danielson, right, drops down to slide under the throw home to Ames catcher Kate Nigh to score a run during the second inning of the second game in Thursday’s Iowa Alliance Conference softball doubleheader at MHS. The Bobcats fell 14-3 and 8-1.

The Marshalltown softball team got halfway home against Ames on Thursday night. Now the Bobcats have to figure out how to finish.

The Class 5A No. 14 Little Cyclones broke open a pair of close games by scoring repeatedly down the stretch in wins of 14-3 and 8-1 in Thursday’s Iowa Alliance Conference North Division doubleheader at the MHS diamond.

Marshalltown (9-16, 4-8) trailed Ames 1-0 through three innings of the first game before the Little Cyclones (20-10, 12-0) charted seven runs in the top of the fourth and six more in the fifth.

In Game 2, the Bobcats were within 2-1 for the first three frames before Ames added at least one run to its lead in each of its next three at-bats.

The end result was the Little Cyclones extending their series streak to 16 straight wins while remaining unbeaten in conference play this summer.

T-R PHOTO BY ROSS THEDE - Marshalltown center fielder Gianna Baune makes a diving catch on a ball hit by Ames leadoff batter Kaylee Mescher during the second game of Thursday’s softball doubleheader at MHS.

“They’re a good ball team,” said MHS head coach Jason Bowers. “They swept Fort Dodge the other day. They’re solid. They’ve got 18 girls and all of them are fast. You can’t sleep at all and they did run the bases on us and caught us sleeping in that first game.

“We didn’t see that in the second game so I’m glad we could clean that up a little bit.”

The Bobcats played error-free behind freshman pitcher Briley Danielson in the nightcap, but the Little Cyclones simply swung the bats too well. Ames had 11 hits off Danielson and scored in four of their seven at-bats, including a two-run top of the first.

Marshalltown answered back in the bottom of the second as Danielson led off with a double, took third on a groundout by Bella Avise, and scored on Aubree Mundt’s sacrifice bunt. Mundt reached safely on the play and advanced all the way to third before Ames hurler Sydney Smalley got out of the jam, and the Bobcats never advanced a runner as far as second for the remainder of the contest.

Smalley allowed just three hits, hit a batter and struck out three.

Kate Sandvick and Emma Stupp both singled for MHS, but the Bobcats couldn’t match the Little Cyclones’ production at the plate.

Jaya Theilen was 3-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored to lead the Little Cyclones. Camryn Johnson was 2-for-4 with two doubles and three RBIs, while leadoff batter Kaylee Mescher was 2-for-3 with a walk, an RBI and three runs scored.

“I thought Briley worked really well,” Bowers said. “I love the tempo that she had, you saw a smile on her face. Even in that sixth inning when we gave up four, she was still competing. She didn’t give up and didn’t have a bad attitude or anything. It was all good stuff.”

In the opening game, the Little Cyclones broke away with a pair of big innings, the latter of which chased starting pitcher Karsyn Price from the circle. Price was tagged for 12 runs — seven earned — on nine hits, three walks and one hit batsman. She struck out one.

Marshalltown got its three runs once behind 14-0 in the bottom of the sixth. Mundt reached on an error and Ava Kusserow drove her home with a double one out later. Gianna Baune singled before Kusserow scored on a passed ball. Baune later came around on a hit by Stupp.

Johnson was 2-for-3 with a home run, three runs scored and three RBIs, while Mescher was 2-for-4 with a double, two runs and three RBIs. Theilen was 3-for-4 with an RBI triple and two runs scored.

“It was a 1-0 game and then they scored seven on us,” said Bowers. “Obviously that’s deflating a little bit after that one big inning.

“We even saw that up in Ames — we compete with them and all of the sudden they hit you.”

Baune and Stupp had two hits apiece to lead MHS, which is back in action Friday and Saturday with the Bobcat Classic. Marshalltown meets 3A No. 5 Davenport Assumption today at 1:30 p.m., and the Bobcats face BCLUW at 3:15 p.m. on Field 1 at Marshalltown Community College.

“We play some good teams this weekend,” Bowers said. “We’re going to face some good teams and we’re going to have to come to play and compete against them.”

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