KNOXVILLE — Hitting is not the problem right now for Newton’s softball team. The Cardinals had 10 hits Monday night against Knoxville’s Panthers.
One inning on defense per game has hampered the Cardinals in the young season.
Knoxville was up 3-1 going into its half of the second inning Monday. The host team produced six runs on four hits, a hit batter, a fielder’s choice that no out was recorded on and a Cardinal error. The Panthers had scored their first three runs in the first inning on a home run by Shaye Nichols.
Newton battled at the plate but couldn’t overcome that one inning, losing 12-7.
“The girls are hitting the ball well,” Newton head coach Ashley Ryan said. “We just keep having that one inning where we give up five or more runs. We put the defense and bats together and don’t give up a big inning and it’s a ballgame.”
Looking up at a 9-1 deficit, the Cardinals scored four runs in the second. Kari Adams and Ashton Hoffman cranked out two-run home runs for Newton. Bailey Davis was aboard when Adams connected and Sydney Jenkins was on base with two gone when Hoffman unloaded.
Newton staged a two-out rally in the fourth, down 10-5. Lizzie Stocked doubled and scored on a single by Adams. Jenkins’ base hit brought in Adams.
The Cardinals weren’t able to score any more runs. Knoxville added two runs in the fifth for the final margin.
Hoffman was the losing pitcher, giving up 10 hits, walking three and hitting two batters. She had a 3-for-4 night at the plate with a single and a double to go with the home run.
Adams had a single and a home run and Jenkins hit a single and a double. Davis hit two singles. Stock doubled.
Newton dropped to 2-6 overall and 1-3 in Little Hawkeye Conference play. The Cardinals host Class 1A third-ranked Lynnville-Sully (10-1) tonight in a doubleheader at Berg Middle School. First pitch is 6 p.m.
The Cardinals step back into conference play Wednesday at Class 4A top-ranked Dallas Center-Grimes. It is a doubleheader starting at 6 p.m.