EDDYVILLE – After starting the week with a loss to Davis County, The Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont softball won the final seven games of the week, including two tournament championships, and a big conference win.
In this string, the Rockets, led by starting pitchers Nataliah Hopkins and Paige Shafer, shut out five consecutive opponents. The final game of the seven-game winning streak was a come-from-behind eight-inning win over the top team in the string.
The Rockets had six wins in a row coming to the championship, but for five innings the chance to make it seven didn’t look good. PCM led E-B-F 3-0 after five, limiting the Rockets to just three hits.
E-B-F tied it in the sixth with three runs. Nataliah Hopkins had the first RBI with a line shot single that hit the Mustang pitcher and bounced over to the dugout. The big hit was a tying two-run double that one-hopped the fence in center off the bat of McKinley Moore.
“We started slow in this game but we still showed that hitting is a strength for us,” said E-B-F head coach Tony Fenton. “We get contributions all through our line-up.”
Neither team scored in the seventh and play headed to the eighth. In tournament play, the international rule is used in extra innings. To start the inning, a runner starts at second base.
PCM took advantage, as two consecutive fly balls to the outfield scored the run. Hopkins’ third strikeout limited the damage to one run.
Starting at an opportune place in the order, the Rockets were in good shape to play the international rule.
“Our team has good speed,” said Fenton. “I felt like we would get one for sure.”
Haegan Boyer’s perfect sacrifice bunt moved Paige Shafer to third. Tasha Alexander then delivered an RBI single to tie it up.
After reaching on a fielders choice, Hopkins moved to second on a throwing error by the Mustang infield. Jarrah Jensen then brought the 42nd EBF Softball Tournament to a close, grounding the first pitch for a walk-off RBI double down the line in left.
“We have lots of clutch hitters that are good with runners on base,” added Fenton. “Jarrah’s hit gave us a good win over a quality team. Great way to end the week.”
Getting to the title game was far less dramatic for EBF. The Rockets day began with a 16-0, three-inning shutout of Montezuma that saw Hopkins toss a three-inning, eight-strikeout no-hitter This game was over early as Hopkins struck out six hitters in a row after the first Montezuma hitter reached on an error on the way to an eight-strikeout three-innning no-hitter.
The Rockets had five hits in the first. Bethany Reinhard doubled and scored twice in the opening frame as EBF took advantage of five walks by Montezuma pitchers.
The Rockets’ second inning was nearly identical to the first with four hits, and five walks led to another eight runs. Alexander drove in two runs while Shafer’s second RBI of the game and Reinhard’s third helped put the opening win away.
Even though the Rockets’ streak of five consecutive shutouts was ended against Danville, thanks to a first-inning run by the Bears, the second game was just another warm-up for E-B-F.
Alexander had a double, triple, and home run for six RBI to lead the offense. Shafer earned the win in the circle.
EBF (13-4) also shutout South Central conference rival Clarke of Osceola 6-0 on Thursday after pitching three shutouts to win the Davis County Tournament earlier in the week. Hopkins pitched a four-hit, seven-strikeout game to get the win in the circle. Alexander had a solo home run in the second and Baugher had a three-run homer in the sixth to lead the offense.
Sigourney, ranked 10th in Class 1A, stepped out of class at the invite. The Savages (6-2) dropped their first two games of the season to PCM and Centerville before downing Montezuma in the fifth-place game.
Centerville used five hits in the second inning to score the first two runs against Sigourney. Colleen Boyle, Jess Demry, and Kiley Micetich had consecutive two-out singles to put the Redettes on the board.
Sigourney tied it in the third, taking advantage the young Redettes as three errors in the inning. After escaping a bases-loaded jam in the fourth, Sigourney took a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the inning, but wasted a scoring chance in the fifth after a bases-loaded walk to Boyle tied the game at 3-3.
The Redettes had 18 hits in the game, five in the sixth, including a big two-RBI single by Lexi Riggell to take the lead for good. Speed played a big factor in Centerville’s offense.
“Speed is a big part of what we try to do,” said Centerville coach Nic Belloma. “We need to get the ball on the ground.”
Centerville added three runs in the top of the seventh to make the score 9-3. The Reddettes speed contributed to two Savage errors, but the big hit was a two RBI single by Micetich.
PCM jumped on top of Centerville early in the game to determine who would face EBF in the title game, scoring three runs in the opening inning with two runs scoring on starting pitcher Kayla Jenning’s big hit. The Redettes answered with two runs in the bottom of the inning with Micetich and Rachel Valentine driving in the runs.
The Redettes had only one hit and three baserunners over the final six innings.
“Too many balls in the air,” said Belloma.
PCM added three in the third with four Redette errors causing all three runs to be unearned.
“We’re a really young team and we’ve had some ups and downs on defense,” added Belloma.
PCM closed out the scoring with two seventh-inning runs. The Mustangs had four hits in the inning — including Jenning’s third.
Centerville closed out the day with a dominant 20-3 win in six innings to claim third place in the tournament. The game was tied at three early before the Redettes (9-7) broke it open with 17 unanswered runs.
“Kind of a low energy game,” said Belloma. “We did what we needed to do and really hit the ball well.”
Kendall Streigle, an eighth-grader, pitched a complete game in her first varsity start to get the win in Sigourney’s fifth-place victory over Montezuma. Bri Schauf went two for three at the plate and Syd Davis reached base all four times (a hit and three walks) to lead the Savage offense.
“It ended up being a good weekend as we were able to work on our depth and get a lot of girls some playing time” said Sigourney coacn