OSKALOOSA — Three complete games in 24 hours, including 19 consecutive scoreless innings.
Reina Taylor just got better, as did the defense playing behind her. The senior pitcher for 13th-ranked (3A) Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont tossed a pair of shutouts on Saturday afternoon at the Oskaloosa Classic, following up a 10-1 South Central Conference win over No. 12 (3A) Centerville on Friday night.
After allowing the first run of the game to the Redettes on Friday night, Taylor allowed just three more hits over the final six innings as EBF roared back for a key SCC victory. Taylor then returned the pitching circle for the first game in Oskaloosa, allowing just five hits in an 8-0 win over the Little Dutch that was shortened to six innings due to a 90-minute time limit.
Five hours later, Taylor was back in the circle as EBF wrapped up the tournament shutting out Norwalk 3-0 in the final game at the Lacey Recreational Sports Complex. The EBF senior retired the first 10 batters of the game and worked out a fifth-inning threat by the Warriors, striking out Jayden Lammers with the tying run at third base.
"I was a little bit tired, but you just have to come back and get refocused," said Taylor after improving her pitching record to 7-1 on the season with a 0.86 ERA. "It was actually not horrible. Pitching one game and coming back was actually better. I usually take forever to warm up, so I was feeling pretty good going into the game with Norwalk. I don't think I've ever pitched two shutouts in one day, but I'll take it."
Taylor put EBF (9-2) on top in the finale of Saturday's Osky Classic, lofting in an RBI single to left scoring Madysen Wade in the third inning. Wade also scored twice against Pella, as did Peyton Deevers who also had an RBI double in the sixth inning against Norwalk and the game-ending catch in right field.
"We made some really good plays and our bats came to life when they needed to," Fenton said. "This team is young, but we play really good defense. That's what is carrying us right now."
Between wins for EBF on the fifth diamond of the Lacey Complex, sixth-ranked (3A) Albia split a pair of games in the tournament. The Lady Dees scored 11 times in the third inning of a 12-0 win over Iowa City Liberty, but fell 6-5 to 4A state semifinalist Newton on a two-run walk-off double by Peyton Maher.
"That was a tough loss in the last game, but we're hitting the ball really well," Albia co-head softball coach Darren Hill said. "That type of loss is only going to make us better. The one thing about softball is that you have to have a short-term memory because you're right back on the dirt the next day."
The Lady Dees matched Ottumwa, another area team playing in the Oskaloosa Classic, by reaching eight home runs as a team for the season during the tournament. After hitting pair of home runs one night earlier in an 11-5 SCC win at Knoxville, Albia (6-3) hit four more homers on Saturday including two in one inning by lead off hitter Abbey Griffin who followed up a lead-off solo shot in the third inning against Liberty with a grand slam later in the frame.
"I told (teammate) Alex (Beard) before we left Albia that my goal for the day was not hit ground balls. I wanted to hit line drives," Griffin said. "When I got back to the dugout after the first home run, she reminded me that it wasn't a grounder. It gave me a lot of encouragement that I was getting a solid swing on the ball.
"The first one I hit with a lot of confidence and was pretty sure I got it over the fence. The second one I thought was going to go foul, but I kept rounding the bases and just went on home. That's not only the first time I've hit two home runs in one inning, it was also my first grand slam."
Makenna Jones, who pitched the four-inning shutout against Liberty for the Lady Dees, hit a two-run homer later in the day against Newton to tie the score at 3-3. Kennedy Schroeder and Makenna Ross each had tiebreaking RBI hits later against the Cardinals, but a pair of bunts in the bottom of the seventh set the table for Maher who delivered the game-winning hit to deep left center just past Lady Dee outfielders Abigail Martin and Danica Workman.
"Newton is no slouch. They're a solid program from a bigger school," Hill said. "I like how we battled back. I'm satisfied overall for the day in how we played."
Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont 8, Pella 0
Pella 000 000 — 0 5 1
EBF 012 005 — 8 6 0
Pella battery — Ally Almond (L, 3-1) (2IP, 3H, 3R, 2ER, 3BB) and Ella Corbin (4IP, 3H, 5R, 5ER, K, 5BB, HBP), Brynnlin Kroymann catching.
Hits — Courtney Thompson 2-3, Corbin 1-1, Kroymann 1-2, Maddie Parks 1-3.
EBF battery — Reina Taylor (W) (6IP, 5H, 4K, HBP), Rylee German catching.
Hits — Peyton Deevers 2-3, Madysen Wade 2-3, Darian Johnson 1-2, Faith Roberts 1-3.
RBI — Deevers, Johnson, Wade.
Runs — Emalee Davis 2, Lillie Hynick 2, Whitney Klyn 2, Johnson, Wade.
Albia 12, Iowa City Liberty 0
Liberty 000 0 — 0 2 3
Albia 00(11) 1 — 12 10 0
Iowa City Liberty battery — Kara Maiers (L, 2-1) (2IP, 6H, 6R, 5ER, 3K, 2BB), Blythe Geiman (IP, 3H, 5R, 5ER, 4BB) and Eva Stewart (2/3IP, H, R, ER, 2BB), Claire Geiman catching.
Hits — Tiffany Jones 1-1, Mallory Jones 1-2.
Albia battery — Mackenna Jones (W, 3-0) (4IP, 2H, 6K, 2BB), Alex Beard catching.
2B — Jones, Makenna Ross.
HR — Abbey Griffin 2, Beard.
Hits — Beard 3-3, Griffin 2-3, Ross 2-3, Jena Lawrence 1-1, Rylee Leshen 1-2, Jones 1-3.
RBI — Griffin 5, Beard 2, Taylor Colwell, Jones, Lawrence.
Runs — Griffin 2, Beard, Colwell, Stacie Etcher, Lawrence, Leshen, Allison Major, Abigail Martin, Kennedy Schroeder, Ellie Spurgin, Taylee Wolfer.
Newton 6, Albia 5
Albia 012 100 1 — 5 9 3
Newton 300 100 2 — 6 8 0
Albia battery — Jena Lawrence (L, 3-3) (6IP, 8H, 6R, 2ER, 6K, 2BB, HBP), Alex Beard catching.
2B — Abbey Griffin, Kennedy Schroeder.
HR — Mackenna Jones.
Hits — Schroeder 2-3, Makenna Ross 2-4, Lawrence 1-2, Abigail Martin 1-2, Ellie Spurgin 1-2, Griffin 1-4, Jones 1-4.
RBI — Jones 2, Griffin, Ross, Schroeder.
Runs — Martin 2, Jones, Allison Major, Schroeder.
Newton battery — Peyton Maher (W, 1-2) (7IP, 9H, 5R, 4ER, 10K, 4BB), Malarie Zach catching.
2B — Mackenzie Brown, Maher.
Hits — Brown 3-3, Madison Thayer 2-3, Maher 2-4, Chassidy Henwood 1-3.
RBI — Maher 3, Brown, Thayer.
Runs — Brown 2, Anna Bebout, Lakin Jenkins, Maher, Jenna Smith.
Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont 3, Norwalk 0
Norwalk 000 000 0 — 0 5 1
EBF 002 001 x — 3 5 1
Norwalk battery — Haley Downe (L, 1-2) (6IP, 5H, 3R, 3ER, 5K, 3BB), Tessa Palmer catching.
Hits — Camryn Gilchrist 1-3, Katie Heaverlo 1-3, Abigail Johnson 1-3, Palmer 1-3, Briley Sodergren 1-3.
EBF battery — Reina Taylor (W, 7-1) (7IP, 5H, 2K), Rylee German catching.
2B — Peyton Deevers.
Hits — Deevers 1-2, Lillie Hynick 1-2, Darian Johnson 1-3, Taylor 1-3, Madysen Wade 1-3.
RBI — Deevers, Emma Lenox, Taylor.
Runs — Kristyn Corcoran, Brooke Shafer, Wade.