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’Cats compete in own Classic

Marshalltown takes Assumption to the wire, beats BCLUW on first day

T-R PHOTO BY JAKE RYDER - BCLUW catcher Cassie Nason, left, applies the tag too late to Marshalltown’s Bella Avise on a play at the plate in the third inning of Friday’s game at the Bobcat Softball Classic. Avise singled and scored in the Bobcats’ six-run inning en route to a 9-6 victory over the Comets.

Marshalltown softball put the ball in play to challenge their competition on the opening day of the Bobcat Softball Classic on Friday.

The Bobcats couldn’t quite close out a hard-fought game with a ranked Davenport Assumption squad to start their day, but had an energetic showing against BCLUW to end the day as winners by a 9-6 margin over the Comets at the MCC/MGSA fields.

Assumption, rated fifth in Class 3A, snuck past the Bobcats 5-4. Marshalltown is scheduled to play 2A No. 6 Lisbon and 4A No. 14 Pella on Saturday morning in the final day of the tournament, weather permitting.

“We’re gonna see two good teams tomorrow and we just want to bring the same thing we did today,” MHS head coach Jason Bowers said. “Bring the same atmosphere, come and compete and see what happens.”

The Comets had an early 2-0 lead on the Bobcats after a bases-loaded walk for Morgan Bergman in the first and an RBI single for Callie Swanson in the second.

T-R PHOTO BY JAKE RYDER - Marshalltown second baseman Ava Kusserow, left, collides with right fielder Aubree Mundt as both attempted to catch a shallow fly ball off the bat of BCLUW’s Klayre Gallentine during the fifth inning of their game Friday at the Bobcat Softball Classic.

Bella Avise got Marshalltown on the board in the bottom of the second with a double that scored Laney Danielson, but the Bobcats soared further in the third inning, sending 10 batters to the plate and scoring six runs on five hits and two walks.

Emma Stupp, Briley Danielson, and Avise had single RBIs and Aubree Mundt singled home two more Bobcats.

“I was very selective in what I wanted to hit,” said Avise, who finished 2-for-2 with two RBI. “We had a lot of energy and we were very positive.”

The Bobcats plated two more runs in the fourth on an RBI groundout for Kate Sandvick and a triple to center field by Briley Danielson.

“Offensively, we were flat from the get go,” Bowers said. “But then we started selecting good pitches and it paid off there in the end. The wind was blowing and we thought it’d be tough to hit one out anyway so I told them to just get the ball on the ground, get some bunts down and we’ll score some runs.”

T-R PHOTO BY JAKE RYDER - BCLUW right fielder Marissa Schnathorst tries to catch a fly ball off the bat of Marshalltown’s Bella Avise during the second inning of Friday’s softball game at the Bobcat Classic.

Errors allowed BCLUW to get something going in the fifth and final inning, scoring four runs and having a runner at second before Briley Danielson coaxed a groundout to end the game.

“You get a couple errors in a row and it gets in your head, you look at the scoreboard and they’re a run closer each time,” Bowers said. “It puts a lot of pressure on these kids to perform and we finally got that out. I thought Briley pitched a good game and was around the zone a lot, didn’t give up many free balls.”

Assumption led 4-0 after two innings before Marshalltown got it all back in the third inning — Aubree Mundt scored on an error by the catcher, Kate Sandvick had a two-RBI single and Briley Danielson added a sacrifice fly.

The Bobcats held the Knights in check in the bottom half of the third inning but in the fourth, a leadoff single eventually moved to third and a one-out bunt attempt by Assumption’s Sophia Caudle was placed perfectly on the first-base line, with Marshalltown unable to get the throw home in time to catch the runner. MHS was retired in order in the fifth to end the game.

“We didn’t fold when we got down and that’s the most important thing,” Bowers said. “A lot of times when you play good teams they get that big inning and we kind of just sleepwalk the rest of the game. We just couldn’t quite close it out there.”

A BCLUW final-inning comeback was a common theme of both games for the Comets on Friday. BCLUW scored five runs in the sixth inning but couldn’t catch Lisbon, also a 9-6 loss for BCLUW.

“I really liked their effort today,” BCLUW head coach Megan Yantis said. “We just kept making things happen, putting some pressure on, but early on we left some runners stranded and we needed to score those.”

Lisbon closed out the game with a successful pickoff from the catcher to first base, a disputed call that was held up to end the game.

Callie Swanson, Klayre Gallentine and Grace Farnsworth had RBIs in the sixth inning for BCLUW.

The Comets are scheduled to play Grundy Center and Pella on Saturday in Marshalltown.

“This is just great, great softball,” Yantis said. “The teams are all tough and we just need to be ready to play.”

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