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Marshalltown softball falls to pair of ranked foes on final day

T-R PHOTO BY JAKE RYDER - Marshalltown’s Bella Avise has the ball glance off her glove while trying to make a leaping catch at the fence during the Bobcats’ game against Lisbon on Saturday at the Bobcat Softball Classic. The Bobcats fell to a pair of ranked teams to complete a 1-3 weekend.

Two ranked teams spoiled the last day for Marshalltown softball at its home tournament on Saturday.

Pella, rated 14th in Class 4A, defeated MHS 4-1, and 2A No. 6 Lisbon rallied for a 9-4 win over the Bobcats at the Marshalltown Girls Softball Association Complex to conclude the two-day Bobcat Softball Classic.

Marshalltown went 1-3 at the tournament, with all three losses coming to ranked teams, and is now 10-19 overall.

“I’m glad we played the teams we played in the Bobcat Classic,” MHS head coach Jason Bowers said. “It gives us a good benchmark of where we stand.”

The Bobcats only mustered three hits off Pella in Saturday’s opener, unable to consistently find the gaps in Pella’s defense.

T-R PHOTO BY JAKE RYDER - Marshalltown’s Ava Kusserow, left, and Karsyn Price converge on a pop-up near the first-base line during the Bobcats’ game against Pella on Saturday at the Bobcat Softball Classic. Price caught this ball off the bat of Pella’s Avery Parks, but the Dutch defeated MHS 4-1.

Kate Sandvick hit a first-inning double but was thrown out trying to advance to third on an Emma Stupp fielder’s choice. MHS didn’t have another hit until Gianna Baune’s two-out single in the sixth — Sandvick flew out to left field to end the threat.

Stupp smashed a solo homer in the seventh but the next three Bobcats were retired in order.

“We played well defensively, Karsyn Price pitched a good game for us to keep us in it, we just couldn’t capitalize and get some runs across,” Bowers said. “Would’ve been nice to see what would’ve happened if Emma had a couple runners on in that situation.”

Pella manufactured single runs in each of the first four innings, with a pair of RBI groundouts, a RBI triple and a run scored on an infield error. The Dutch stranded one baserunner in scoring position in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings, but MHS ultimately couldn’t make them pay.

“We were hitting the ball really, really good — just right at people,” Bowers said.

Bowers felt the overall energy was higher for the Bobcats’ finale against Lisbon, and it showed on the scoreboard.

As the visitors in the game with the Lions, Laney Danielson doubled home Gianna Baune in the first inning and Baune got an RBI bringing home Bella Avise in the second. Kennedy Feldman chipped in an RBI double in the fourth and Emma Stupp singled home Kate Sandvick in the fifth, and Marshalltown seemed like they’d be able to weather the storm, leading 4-1 going into the bottom of the fifth.

Instead, Lisbon exploded for eight runs on five hits, two walks, two infield errors and a wild pitch.

“Initially, they just kind of found some holes, not really hard hits but putting the ball where we weren’t,” Bowers said. “Then you have a couple errors and you look up and it’s a tie ballgame.

“And then I felt like we honestly just gave up. I talked to them about it after the game and they owned up to it — nobody went out there to make a play, to finish. Like any team, it’s a work in progress of having the energy to stay up when things like that happen.”

Up against the time limit, the bottom of Marshalltown’s order was unable to muster anything in the sixth and the game was called.

Sandvick was 2-for-2 with a run scored; Bella Avise scored twice for the Bobcats. Marshalltown starter Briley Danielson, in her first four innings, allowed just one hit with four walks before Lisbon’s big fifth inning.

Another big challenge awaits Marshalltown on Monday back at the high school field, with 4A No. 3 Fort Dodge coming to town for a 5 p.m. doubleheader.

“They’re very talented, one of the best teams in the state, and we have to come ready to play,” Bowers said.

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