NEWTON — Newton’s softball team is on a two-game win streak. The Cardinals got off the snide at home Friday night, winning the second game, 13-8, of a Little Hawkeye Conference doubleheader with Pella Christian Eagles.
On Saturday, Newton notched a 10-6 victory over Albia at the Oskaloosa Invitational. Rain washed out the remainder of the tournament.
After falling 13-12 to the Eagles in the opener of Friday’s twin bill at Berg Middle School, the Cardinals outlasted the Eagles in the second contest. The split moved the Cardinals’ Little Hawkeye Conference record to 1-2. Pella Christian is 1-2 in conference play and 5-2 overall.
Newton has struggled at the plate in its first four games of the season. The Cardinals broke out with three straight games with double-digit hits.
In the loss to Pella Christian, Newton cranked out 13 hits. The Cardinals stayed hot at the plate with 16 hits, including four extra-base hits, to claim their first win of the season in the night cap Friday.
The Cardinals headed into Saturday’s Oskaloosa Invitational with confidence at the plate. They produced 15 hits, led by senior first baseman Madison Bagnall’s 4-for-4 performance with three singles and a three-run home run.
“The girls hit the ball well (against Pella Christian),” Newton head coach Ashley Ryan said. “Our pitch selection was great and we drove a lot of runs in. You take one bad inning out and we walk away with two wins tonight.”
The bad inning was the first inning of the opener against Pella Christian. The Eagles scored seven runs on seven base hits in that frame.
Newton played catch-up from there. The Cardinals got two runs on a two-out triple by Bagnall in their half of the first. Pella Christian added three runs in the top of the third to take a 10-2 lead.
Senior shortstop Lizzie Stock led the comeback for the Cardinals in the third inning with a leadoff single. Kari Adams followed by a base hit, then Sydney Jenkins drove in two runs on a triple and scored on a single by senior pitcher Ashton Hoffman.
Bagnall was hit by a pitch and Fran Lucas delivered a sacrifice bunt. Maddy Berstler drove in two runs on a base hit.
Newton manufactured another run in the fourth to trail 10-8. The Cardinals gained the lead in the fifth inning, scoring three runs, to go up 11-10.
Bagnall was hit by a pitch and Lucas put down another sacrifice bunt. Berstler singled. Andrea Van Wyk hit an RBI single then Stock drilled a two-out single to right field chasing in two runs.
A walk issued to Jenkins, a single by Hoffman plus a couple of stolen bases allowed the Cardinals to score a run in the sixth on a sacrifice fly by Bagnall. Newton was up 12-10 as the Eagles came to bat in the top of the seventh.
Sophie Howerzyl led off with a base hit followed by a double by Taylor Hartson for Pella Christian. A one-out single by Chloe Dembski plated a run, then Tessa Howerzyl drove in the tying and go-ahead runs on a double.
Nicole Kelderman, who came on in relief of Eagle starter Natalie Vos in the fifth, retired the Cardinals in order in the bottom of the seventh. The Eagles won 13-12 with Kelderman getting the pitching victory, allowing one run on three hits and one walk in 2 2/3 innings of work. Vos pitched 4 1/3 innings and was charged with 12 runs on nine hits, one walk and three hit batters. She struck out four.
Hoffman took the pitching loss for Newton in a complete game performance. She gave up 14 hits, walked four, hit two batters and struck out five.
Berstler was 3-for-4 at the plate for the Cardinals with three singles. Stock, Adams and Hoffman each had two base hits. Jenkins doubled while Bagnall and VanWyk each had a single.
Dembski hit two singles and a double for Pella Christian and S. Howerzyl had three singles. T. Howerzyl and Hartson each had a single and a double. Abby Pleima singled twice. Lauren Jungling and Kirsten VanderHart had a single apiece.
Newton opened the second game with a three-run first inning, featuring back-to-back home runs by Jenkins and Bagnall. Stock led off with a single and Jenkins hit a two-run home run with one gone. Bagnall was next with a solo shot.
Pella Christian tied the game up with three runs in the second. Newton used a six-run fourth inning to regain the lead. Alex Hutchinson had a two-run single while Bailey Davis drove in a run on a sacrifice fly to centerfield. Stock and Adams had back-to-back RBI doubles and Jenkins knocked in a run with a base hit.
The Eagles came right back with five runs in the fourth, highlighted by a two-run home run by Natalie Huisman, who was 3-for-4 in the game, driving in four runs. Newton scored a run in its half of the fourth to stay in front, 10-8.
The Cardinals produced three runs in the sixth on singles by Hutchinson, Davis and Stock and a double by Adams. The Eagles threatened in the top of the seventh but the Cardinals worked out of trouble, winning 13-8.
Stock was the winning pitcher for the Cardinals, allowing nine hits, walking two, hitting one batter and striking out four.
Stock also had a strong outing at the plate, 3-for-4, with two singles and a double. Jenkins and Bagnall each had two singles and a home run and Adams doubled twice. Hutchinson and Davis had two singles apiece. Katie Chisholm singled.
Kelderman took the loss for Pella Christian. Huisman added two singles to her home run for the Eagles. Pleima hit two singles. Dembski and T. Howerzyl each hit a double while Hartson and Jungling had a single apiece.
SATURDAY, Newton broke a 2-2 tie with Albia with a run in the second inning. Albia scored four runs in the fifth but Newton pushed five runs across. The Cardinal added two more runs in the sixth.
Bagnall had four hits in the game. Adams, Jenkins, Hoffman and Davis each provided two singles. Stock and Lucas each hit a double. Hutchinson singled.
Hoffman was the winning pitcher. She gave up seven hits, walked three and struck out four.
Newton (2-5) are at Knoxville tonight in Little Hawkeye Conference play. The Cardinals host Class 1A third-ranked Lynnville-Sully Tuesday in a non-conference doubleheader at Berg Middle School. First pitch is at 6 p.m.