SULLY — Give them a walk, a single or whatever, and they’ll take the next base on you. Teams have to be aware when the softball is still in play when tangling with the 2013 Lynnville-Sully High Hawks.
Lone Tree High’s Lions were the latest team to learn this lesson. It came quick as the Hawks sent 11 batters to the plate and scored seven runs in the first inning of Friday’s Iowa Class 1A Region 5 semifinal game.
Sixth-ranked Lynnville-Sully rolled to a 10-0 win in five innings. The Hawks play for the Region 5 championship and a berth in the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union Class 1A State Tournament tonight.
The Hawks take on Lisbon, which knocked off Sigourney 9-3 Friday in semifinal play, at 7 p.m. tonight at Williamsburg. The winner advances to the IGHSAU Class 1A State Tournament, July 22-26, at Fort Dodge.
Following a double by starting pitcher Madison Rasmusson, Brenna Lanser laid down a bunt for a single and kept running to second base. The Lions’ players were a bit confused.
It happened again on the next batter as Shelby Davis bunted for a base hit to drive in the first run of the game and kept running to second on the play. Becca Vos doubled to center field for two RBIs and moved to third on a pass ball. A double by Jade Van Rees drove in another run.
Lasandra James was hit by a pitch then Kristal Beyer hit an RBI single and went to second. A groundout by Shaylin Lukehart produced a run.
With two gone, Rasmusson was back up to bat and put down a squeeze bunt for a single that brought in a run.
And so it would go.
“Teamwork,” was the answer battery-mates Rasmusson and Vos, who is the starting catcher, said together when asked about the success of the Hawk team this season. The Hawks are 35-5.
Hawk head coach Stacey Alberts concurred that answer.
“This group of girls is a fun group of kids. They get along well and complement each other very well,” said Alberts. “More than anything, they just love to be out there. They love to come to practice and games and rarely do I need to push them. They are a special group of girls.”
“Her two-seam fastball is her best pitch and her change-up gets a lot of people,” Vos said of Rasmusson, who ran her pitching record to 27-4 with Friday’s win. She has a 1.26 Earned Run Average. The sophomore pitcher, who throws five pitches, limited Lone Tree to two hits, walked one and struck out two.
“We can go a full seven-inning game. We’ve been fortunate to shorten games this season because we’ve worked well together in a game,” Rasmusson said. “Our hard work is a key to the success we’ve had and we have good coaches.”
Rasmusson, Vos and Davis are the team’s leading hitters. Rasmusson was 3-for-3 Friday night with a single, double and a triple, driving in two runs and scoring twice. Vos had a single and a double with two RBIs. Davis connected for two singles.
Rasmusson has a season batting average at .492 followed by Davis at .491 and Vos at .470. The team’s batting average is .382 plus it has a slugging percentage of .514 and an on-base average of .451.
“If people are on base, we’re looking to execute, move them around and to score. Do whatever she (Coach Alberts) is asking us to do even if we personally aren’t going to get on base,” Vos said.
Lanser, Van Rees, James and Beyer had a single.
Leading 7-0, the Hawks scored a run in the second inning. With one gone, Vos singled to left field and dashed for second base.
An errant throw by the Lions allowed Vos to go all the way in to score on the play.
Beyer drew a lead-off walk in the third inning for Lynnville-Sully, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Lukehart.
Rasmusson tripled to right field to drive in a run plus scored on an overthrow at third base.
“We take opportunities that the defense is giving us. Tonight, the defense was giving us that type of ball that is what we take advantage of,” Alberts said. “Our players from top to bottom are pretty well-rounded and multidimensional.”
Alberts said she really didn’t have any concerns about her team heading into the regional championship game.
“We’ve played a lot of ballgames