July 12, 2024

Cardinal softball sweeps West Marshall in Rose Festival doubleheader

STATE CENTER — Newton’s softball team learned one big lesson during its doubleheader sweep of West Marshall on Saturday.

“When you play a game like the first one and then come back and play the same team in a doubleheader you have the mindset that you can repeat what happened in the first game,” Newton softball coach Kory Leiker said. “When the scoreboard resets you need to refocus and forget what just happened because it’s 0-0 all over again and anything can happen. We found that out real quick.”

Newton defeated West Marshall 10-0 in six innings to open the non-conference doubleheader but needed a walk-off hit in the bottom of the seventh inning to sweep the Trojans.

In the second game, Maggie Garrett’s RBI single sent the Cardinals to a 4-3 win.

“It was a good day today,” Leiker said. “The first game was a great team victory from start to finish. All three aspects of the game were executed and when we do that we get a good result.”

The Cardinals (11-11) scored two runs in the first inning of the opener to grab an advantage and they never trailed. The contest ended early after Newton plated single runs in the fourth and sixth and put up a six-run fifth inning.

The Trojans were limited to two hits by Kallie VanKley, who improved to 5-6 after allowing no runs and striking out five while walking two. Her earned run average dropped to 2.19.

The Cardinals finished with nine hits and Chassidy Henwood, Jazlynn Cooper and Katelyn Lambert led the way with two apiece.

Henwood, who moved up a base at every opportunity, also added two runs and one RBI. Lambert finished with one run, three RBIs and one stolen base and Cooper walked once and scored one run.

Kya Butler, Peyton Durr and Chloe Swank all had one hit apiece, Kadance Ahn and Vanessa Vasseau each drew two walks and Madison Henwood scored two runs and stole one base.

Butler also tallied one run and one steal, Swank collected three RBIs and walked once and Vasseau stole two bases and scored one run.

Ahn and Garrett each scored once and Hailey Sumpter drew one walk.

Newton had to rally in the second game after West Marshall (5-14) scored twice in the first and once in the second. The Cardinals cut their deficit to 3-2 after a two-run second and tied it with a run in the third.

Neither team scored again until Newton won it with Garrett’s RBI single in the seventh.

“We fell behind early and had to scratch and claw our way back into the game,” Leiker said. “They came out and hit us quick and stunned us a little bit and it took us a few innings to get our feet back under us.

“Once we regained our composure, we were able to do just enough to pull out the win.”

Chassidy Henwood, Ahn, Garrett, Vasseau and Swank all had one hit in the game two win and Lambert and Cooper each drew two walks and stole one base.

Chassidy Henwood added one RBI and she was hit by a pitch, Ahn and Vasseau each scored one run and Vasseau stole two bases.

Butler and Mackayla Johnson were hit by pitches and scored one run and Sumpter tallied one RBI.

Nevara Gray started in the circle and allowed three runs — two earned — on four hits with one strikeout and two walks in 1 1/3 innings.

Sumpter (2-0) pitched the final 5 2/3 innings and got the win after surrendering just three hits. She struck out one and lowered her ERA to 2.43.

Newton finished with five hits and committed five errors. West Marshall lost despite out-hitting the Cardinals 7-5 and the Trojans had three errors.

“We can’t underestimate any team no matter the record. That’s why you play the game,” Leiker said.