The Ottumwa Courier

Sports

July 7, 2014

Mohawks mow down Mormon Trail in postseason opener

MORAVIA — The postseason began on something of a bad note for the Moravia softball team.

Playing Mormon Trail on its home field in first round the Class 1A, Region 6 tournament, the Mohawks were designated the visiting team after losing the opening coin toss.

That was about the only bad news Moravia received on Monday, and even that turned out to be a positive. The Mohawks used the first at-bat of the postseason to stake ace pitcher Autumn McDanel to a 3-0 lead, a lead that would never be challenged as Moravia needed a little less than an hour to advance in the postseason with a 13-1, four-inning win over the Lady Saints.

“It worked out to our benefit,” Moravia head softball coach LaVada McDanel said. “It allowed us to jump out on top. When you score right away like that, it’s a good way to get the girls motivated and get them pumped up.”

Errors allowed Moravia extra outs to work with early. After back-to-back two-out hits by Cheyenne Maddy and Autumn McDanel, Emma McDanel hit a grounder to short that appeared to end the first-inning Moravia threat.

Instead, a high throw from short allowed Emily Moore to score the third of her three runs and kept the inning alive for Samantha Williams. The Mohawk first baseman drove in the first two of her three RBI with a single to left center to open a 3-0 lead for Moravia.

“We started off hitting really well,” Emma McDanel said. “That just really gets us motivated right away.”

Getting any kind of a lead for Autumn McDanel to work with is motivation enough for the Mohawks. The three-year ace pitcher tossed a four-inning no-hitter, adding four more strikeouts to her season total of 168 in 19 starts.

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