GRINNELL — Having lost six of its past seven games, Newton’s softball team got a much needed sweep on Wednesday night.
The Cardinals faced rival Grinnell on the road and downed the Tigers 6-2 and 9-7 during a Little Hawkeye Conference doubleheader.
“Two big wins for us tonight,” Newton softball coach Kory Leiker said. “The girls showed up ready to play. They executed every facet of the game.”
The Cardinals started fast in the opener, jumping out to a 5-0 lead after three innings.
In the nightcap, Newton broke open a 1-all game with a four-run fourth and a four-run sixth. Grinnell came storming back with six runs in the final three innings.
“We got big hits when we needed them, laid down bunts when we needed them and the base running was on point,” Leiker said. “The defense was solid, too.”
Newton (7-10 overall, 4-7 in the LHC) won the opener and scored six runs despite only collecting three hits at the plate. The Cardinals walked twice and were hit by four pitches.
Mackynna Sims led the Cardinal offense with one hit, one run, one RBI, one walk, one hit by pitch and three steals. She now has a team-best 10 walks this season.
Kya Butler tallied one hit, scored two runs, was hit by one pitch and stole one base. Hailey Sumpter doubled and had one RBI, Kadance Ahn was hit by two pitches, scored two runs and stole one base and Grace Benson walked once, had one RBI and stole one base.
Ahn has now been hit by a team-most seven pitches and Benson has a team-high 10 steals.
Taylor Lust scored one run and had one RBI and Chloe Swank registered one RBI.
Sumpter (3-4) earned the win in the circle. She allowed two runs — one earned — on five hits in seven innings. The Cardinal sophomore struck out a career-best 10 and hit two batters.
Newton scored one run in the first inning in the nightcap, but Grinnell (5-11, 1-10) tied it with a run in the third. The four-run innings gave the Cardinals the lead for good, but the Tigers closed the gap to 9-7 after a three-run seventh.
Sumpter registered three of the team’s 10 hits and she added one run and one RBI. She’s now batting a team-best .407.
She was needed in relief in the circle in the seventh and earned the save after surrendering two hits and striking out one.
“Hailey Sumpter had herself a night,” Leiker said. “A complete-game in the circle in game one and the save in game two. She also had a great night at the plate. Kallie (Van Kley) pitched well in the second game also.”
Butler finished with two hits, one run, two RBIs and one steal, Kallie Van Kley tallied two hits and three RBIs and Ahn had one hit, two runs and two walks.
Vanessa Vasseau collected one hit, one run and one RBI, Sloan Brodersen tallied one hit and one run and Olivia Rausch and Benson each recorded one run and one steal.
Sims walked once, Peyton Durr and Lust each had one RBI and Madison Henwood scored one run. It was the season debut for Durr, who is back from an injury.
Newton out-hit Grinnell 10-9 and all 10 hits were singles. The Cardinals overcame four errors.
Van Kley (4-6) earned the win in the circle in the nightcap. She allowed seven runs — four earned — on seven hits in six innings. She struck out three, walked two and hit one batter.
“The team led most of the night and kept the pressure on from the first pitch to the last,” Leiker said. “We have room to be better, but this is a great step in the right direction.”