MUSCATINE — Less than two weeks ago, the Indian Hills Warriors traveled to Muscatine and split a Region XI softball doubleheader with the Cardinals.
On Tuesday afternoon, at R. L. Hellyer Field, the results were the same. The Warriors scored three first-inning runs, went up 5-0 and rode the complete game pitching performance of Kendle Schieber to a 5-2 win in game one, but the visitors used a three-run home run of Dana Suiter to grab the nightcap 4-1.
The top of the IHCC batting order got them off to a fast start. Hilliary Pennington and Olivia Starcevich had two infield hits, and, coupled with two Muscatine errors, the Warriors led 1-0. Schieber and Carrie Hudson had back-to-back two-out doubles to plate the final two runs of the first.
“We’ve been inconsistent with quick starts this season” said Warrior coach Jim Overturf. “The early runs are big because it sends a message to the other team — that they will have to score to beat us.”
Schieber ended the first with a strikeout and the three-run lead helped her breeze through the second and third by adding five more strikeouts.
“The early runs are really good” said Schieber. “Then it’s my job to go out and keep them down.”
The Warriors added two third-inning runs to go up 5-0. Kaylyn Decock and Hudson had singles. Cheyenne Ellis’ single plated the first run and Pennington reached base for her third-consecutive time with an RBI walk.
“I think being a sophomore really helps. I know how teams are going to play defense in certain situations,” said Pennington. “If I try and lead by example, then I have to be a problem for teams at the top of the order.”
Muscatine used three hits to score two runs in the fourth. Suiter drove in both runs with a two-out double. Muscatine threatened again in the fifth — it left the bases loaded. In the sixth, the Cardinals left two more runners stranded on base. Schieber ended the threat with her ninth strikeout.