Courier Staff Writer
Runs have been hard to come by for the Indian Hills softball team through their first four games of Region XI play.
Scoring chances, however, have not been. That's something that has Warriors head coach Jim Overturf frustrated as his hitters right now.
"We had 14 innings to put up more than four runs and we can only respond with two. That's unacceptable with the offense we have," Overturf said after the Warriors lost two regional games against Southeastern that were right there for the taking. IHCC dropped both games by a single run, 1-0 and 3-2, and left 15 runners on base in the process.
"I don't know what to say. I'm just very frustrated by our approach at the plate," Overturf added. "That team never should have been able to come in here and take two wins off of us. It should have been a sweep for us."
Overturf's frustration with missed opportunities by the Warriors' offense wasn't just a result of Friday's two one-run setbacks. In their first two regional games of the season, it took IHCC 18 innings just to salvage a split at Muscatine as Indian Hills had to work 11 innings in the opening game to earn a 3-2 before leaving several more runners on base in a 5-0 loss in game two to the Cardinals."
In those 18 innings, we left a total of 21 runners on base on Tuesday night," Overturf said. "We were close to that again (Friday). Somebody at the plate has to deliver for us. I don't know what else to say."
Not that Southeastern's defense allowed the Warrior hitters to do much whenever it looked like they might have broken through with the run-producing contact they were looking for. Right from the start of the doubleheader, the Blackhawks set the tone as Kaylyn Decock's two-out line drive double to the fence in left field that appeared like it would bring home Hiliary Pennington from first base instead was turned into an inning-ending out at home plate thanks to a perfect relay throw by shortstop Jocelin Diaz.
That defensive gem ended the same opening inning that saw Southeastern score the only run of game one on a two-out RBI single by sophomore catcher Fabiana Hernandez, bringing in starting freshman pitcher Cecilia Alvaerz. The Blackhawk defense also came up with another big defensive play in the third inning of game one when Laci Moore was doubled off of third base with one out on a sharply hit ground ball by IHCC hurler Kendle Schieber."
Those key outs our defense got us definitely made a difference in the games," Southeastern head softball coach Melissa Navntoft said. "
It's huge to come up with plays like that. We had smart defense all day and it worked in our advantage throughout the doubleheader."
Schieber, meanwhile, came up on the short end of the day-long struggle of her Warrior teammates at the plate. Besides coming up with a pair of hits of her own in game two, including being one of nine runners stranded in scoring position in nightcap, the freshman pitcher took two losses in the circle as Overturf called on his ace for a second-straight start after Schieber gave up just one run on six hits while striking out eight Blackhawks batters in game one."
I don't know if I was expecting that, but it's whatever coach says," Schieber said. "I know I'm going to do the best I can possibly do and I know that's all my team can possibly ask me to do."
"I knew after that first game we had to get one off of them, so I asked Kendle how she was doing between games," Overturf said. "She had only thrown 70 pitches in the first game, so when she told me she was feeling OK, I told her we were going to ride her as long as we could."
Scheiber gave IHCC more of the same dominance for most of game two, allowing just four hits through six innings and one second-inning run. The Warriors again could not find a run of their own for much of game two until Southeastern's defense allowed it as an errant throw to second base went into the outfield, allowing pinch runner Jaylinn Tressler to score all the way from second to tie the game at 1-1 in the sixth.It didn't take long for freshman pitcher Ashlee Amador to get that run back for her defense. Leading off the top of the seventh, the Blackhawk hurler pummeled the first pitch of the inning over the right-center field fence for a go-ahead solo home run as Southeastern (12-8, 3-3) scored twice in the top of the seventh to withstand a lead-off solo homer by Kaitlyn Matzen in the bottom of the inning for the Warriors.
"I knew we were not ready to quit," Amador said. "If we were down, we weren't going to hang our heads. We were going to fight right back and that at-bat was a perfect time to do it."
Indian Hills (13-20, 1-3) hosts a pair of doubleheaders this weekend at Romalynn "R.L." Hellyer Field. IHCC takes on William Penn J.V. at noon today to make up for the trip to the canceled Kirkwood Classic before hosting Iowa Western Sunday at 2 p.m. in a makeup regional doubleheader.
Southeastern 1, Indian Hills 0
Southeastern 100 000 0 — 1 6 1
Indian Hills 000 000 0 — 0 6 0
Southeastern battery — Cecilia Alvarez (W, 7-1) (7IP, 6H, 3K, BB), Fabiana Hernandez catching.
Hits — Jordyn Hamann 1-2, Alvarez 1-3, Ashlee Amador 1-3, Alex Brayley 1-3, Jocelin Diaz 1-3, Hernandez 1-3.
RBI — Brayley.
Runs — Alvarez.
Indian Hills battery — Kendle Schieber (L, 8-8) (7IP, 6H, R, ER, 8K), Kaylyn Decock catching.
2B — Decock.
Hits — Hiliary Pennington 2-3, Laci Moore 1-1, Decock 1-3, Carrie Hudson 1-3, Kaitlyn Matzen 1-3.
Southeastern 3, Indian Hills 2
Southeastern 010 000 2 — 3 8 3
Indian Hills 000 001 1 — 2 11 1
Southeastern battery — Ashlee Amador (W, 2-2) (7IP, 11H, 2R, 2ER, 3K, BB, HBP), Fabiana Hernandez catching.
2B — Amador, Alex Brayley.
HR — Amador
.Hits — Amador 2-3, Hernandez 2-3, Chelsey Banks 1-1, Brayley 1-2, Jordyn Hamann 1-3, Jocelin Diaz 1-4.
RBI — Amador, Banks, Brayley.
Runs — Amador, Brayley, Hernandez.
Indian Hills battery — Kendle Schieber (L, 8-9) (6 1/3IP, 8H, 3R, 3ER, 4K) and Courtney Collins (2/3IP), Kaylyn Decock catching.
HR — Kaitlyn Matzen.
Hits — Hiliary Pennington 3-4, Matzen 2-2, Schieber 2-2, Cheyenne Ellis 1-3, Laci Moore 1-3, Olivia Starcevich 1-3, Decock 1-4.
RBI — Matzen.
Runs — Matzen, Jaylinn Tressler.