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Local Sports

Class 3A No. 8 North Polk sweeps PCM softball

PCM eighth-grader Lark Drake reaches for a throw at first base during a home game earlier this season. The Mustangs lost two games against Class 3A No. 8 North Polk on Friday.
PCM eighth-grader Lark Drake reaches for a throw at first base during a home game earlier this season. The Mustangs lost two games against Class 3A No. 8 North Polk on Friday.

ALLEMAN — Class 3A No. 8 North Polk didn't give Prairie City-Monroe's softball team much help during a Heart of Iowa Conference doubleheader on Friday night.

The Mustangs managed just 11 hits in the two games and the Comets had only two errors and allowed three free bases in the doubleheader.

On the flip side, North Polk cranked out 20 hits and took advantage of six PCM errors and 12 free passes during the sweep. North Polk won the opener 7-3 and took the second game 9-0.

"We knew North Polk would be a challenge," PCM coach Shaun Hudnut said. "They have a really solid lineup of hitters and don’t make mistakes in the field. We rotated pitchers every inning to make them adjust their timing.

"Overall, we had some success with it, but made too many mistakes in the first game. North Polk capitalized on those mistakes."

In the opener, PCM (3-10 overall, 3-7 in the conference) had six hits and six errors. All three runs were scored in the top of the seventh. But North Polk (11-2, 8-2) improved a one-run lead with two runs in the fourth, three in the fifth and one in the sixth.   

Paige Steenhoek and Riley DeVore each had two hits on offense. Hailey Schutte had one hit and two RBIs, Lark Drake scored a run, walked once and had an RBI and Riley Johannes collected one hit and was hit by a pitch.

DeVore, Lark Drake and RaeAnn Duinink all scored a run. Duinink and Drake both walked and Drake had an RBI.

The Mustangs rotated pitchers every inning between Steenhoek and DeVore. Both pitchers tossed three innings in the first game.

DeVore (0-6) allowed four runs — two earned — on four hits with one strikeout and three hit batters and took the loss. Steenhoek allowed three runs — two earned — on six hits with one strikeout and two walks.

In the nightcap, PCM was held to five hits. North Polk scored three in the third, two in the fourth and four in the fifth during a 9-0 victory.

"We played a much cleaner game defensively," Hudnut said. "North Polk adjusted well in the second game to how we were pitching to them."

The five hits came from Schutte, Johannes, DeVore, Drake and Joslin Briles. Schutte's hit was a double.

Steenhoek pitched four innings in the second game and allowed two runs on three hits with three strikeouts and one walk.

DeVore tossed three innings, allowing seven earned runs on seven hits with one strikeout, three walks and three hit batters. She took the loss.

North Polk has won three straight games and 10 of its last 11.

The Mustangs play a doubleheader against Gilbert starting at 5 p.m. on Monday in Gilbert.

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