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Panthers come up one out short of big upset

Published: Monday, June 10, 2013 12:11 a.m. CDT • Updated: Monday, June 10, 2013 12:14 a.m. CDT
Creston second baseman Shelby Palser fires to first base after fielding a ground ball against Des Moines East Saturday night in the John Stephens Softball Classic. The Panthers, already 3-0 in the event at the time, were leading 5-3 just one out shy of an official game in the fifth inning when the game was rained out.
Mount Ayr second baseman Hannah Glendenning reaches to catch a foul popup on the first base line during a 14-2 loss to Atlantic Saturday in the John Stephens Classic.

The grounds crew got the field prepped and both teams hustled through pre-game warmups, trying to get the game started as quickly as possible in order to get the final game of the 2013 John Stephens Softball Classic started and finished before the rain came here Saturday night.

The Panthers seemed to be sailing along, leading Des Moines East, the 2012 Class 5A state runner-up, 5-2 going into the bottom of the fifth inning, needing just to complete that half of an inning in order to make it an official game and to improve to 4-0 in the Classic.

Starting pitcher April Brown led the inning off by blooping a ball into shallow center field. Panther second baseman Shelby Palser and center fielder Josie Sickels both traveled a long way to try to make the play, but the ball glanced off Sickels’ glove and off Palser, dropping to the ground.

Cleanup hitter Courtney Fudge then grounded into a fielder’s choice to record the first out of the inning, but advanced to second base on a passed ball.

Creston pitcher Haylee LaMasters then struck out Scarlet catcher Haley Stoll, leaving Creston just one out away from making it an official game.

Kaitlyn Cox followed by blooping a 2-1 pitch into shallow center field, as both Palser and Sickels gave chase again. And again, the ball dropped between the two Panther fielders, allowing Fudge to score from second.

As Cameron Carpenter, who had struck out in each of her first two at bats, came to the plate, the monsoon-like rains started and officials called the players off the field.

After about a 10-minute delay, it was determined the game would be called, and there would not be an official result.

“We just couldn’t get that out,” Creston head coach Mike McCabe said. “We had two chances there, and had two kids that really came a long way on the ball, and I was just thankful there was not a collision. That’s all I was thinking about at that point. I was pleased, going against last year’s runner-up, a pretty good ballclub. I thought we played pretty well.”

LaMasters had recorded five strikeouts and given up just four hits in 4 2/3 of an inning before the game was called.

After falling behind 1-0 in the first inning, Creston battled back to put three on the board in the third inning and two in the fourth.

Nicole Haley started the rally in the third by getting hit with a pitch, followed by a Josie Sickels single. Both runners scored when Taylor Briley ripped a double into the gap in right-center. Briley scored when Natalie Mostek reached base on an error by the shortstop.

In the fourth inning, Jami Sickels drew a walk and advanced to third on a single by Nicole Haley. Haley stole second base and then both runners scored when Josie Sickels hit a ball that was dropped by the center fielder.

“I’m proud of the way we played here this weekend, I really am,” McCabe said. “I couldn’t be any happier, other than getting one more out.”

Solid weekend

Even though the game against Des Moines East did not count, the Panthers still had plenty to be excited about, having gone 3-0 at the home Classic.

The Panthers opened Friday with a 13-0 win in four innings over Griswold, in which LaMasters threw a two-hitter with eight strikeouts and also hit a solo home run for the Panthers.

Mackenzie Andreasen went 2-for-3 with three runs batted in in the win, as did Briley. Haley drove in two runs in the win, while Josie Sickels, LaMasters, Natalie Mostek and Jami Sickels each drove in one run.

In Friday’s nightcap, Creston held on for a 5-3 win over Sioux City Bishop Heelan.

LaMasters earned player of the game honors for Creston, striking out six batters, allowing three runs on seven hits and continually working out of jams, while also going 1-3 with a two-run home run in the first inning to put the Panthers up.

Andreasen led the fourth inning off with a double and pinch runner Kiana Stuart scored on a Haley single to left. Mostek led the fifth inning off with a triple and scored on a groundout by Brenna Baker. Mostek drove in another run in the sixth inning.

The Crusaders scored three runs with one out in the top of the seventh inning, but LaMasters again worked her way out of the jam with the tying run coming to the plate twice.

“I think (the girls) know that now, they can go in there and compete,” McCabe said. “I like the way we’re playing, but we still have to be progressing and being more consistent. But, taking some good steps this week.”

The Panthers also secured a 21-0 win over Ogden in three innings on Saturday.

Mostek took player of the game honors, going 2-3 at the plate with a grand slam in her second at bat of the second inning and six total RBI.

Josie Sickels and Andreasen each drove in three runs, while Briley and LaMasters each drove in two runs. Baker, Haley and Palser drove in one run apiece.

Briley hit a solo home run in the first inning. Briley and LaMasters combined to throw a no-hitter in the game.

The game seemed to be proof that the Panthers taking their lumps against tough pitchers early in the season would pay off for them at some point, as the team received contributions from everyone in the lineup.

“Isn’t that the truth?” McCabe said. “Everybody is kind of helping each other with what a pitcher is doing, lots of positive talk in the dugout. You can go from one to nine, we’ve got girls hitting the ball pretty hard. Our No. 9 hitter (Haley) probably hit the ball as hard as anybody today with some shots.”

Creston, now 7-4 for the season, has a key week coming up in the Hawkeye 10 race with four home games against conference opponents.

The Panthers host Clarinda tonight, followed by a varsity doubleheader with Kuemper Catholic on Tuesday and Glenwood on Thursday.

Creston 13, Griswold 0


Griswold 000 0 — 0 2 1

Creston 039 1— 13 13 0

Brooke Hansen 1K 3BB, Marlia Rossell (3) and Regan Whitehill. Haylee LaMasters 8K 3BB and Natalie Mostek. W — LaMasters. L— Hansen. HR — Cr: LaMasters 1. 3B — none. 2B — Cr: Taylor Briley 1, Mostek 1, Brenna Baker 1, Nicole Haley 1. RBI — Cr: Briley 3, Mackenzie Andreasen 3, Haley 2, Josie Sickels 1, LaMasters 1, Mostek 1, Jami Sickels 1. Multiple hitters — Cr: Briley 2, Mostek 2, Shelby Palser 2, Jami Sickels 2, Andreasen 2.

Creston 5, Bishop Heelan 3


Heelan 000 000 3 — 3 7 2

Creston 200 111 0 — 5 11 1

Emily Eaton 2K 2BB and Jaylee Lester. Haylee LaMasters 6K 2BB and Natalie Mostek. W — LaMasters. L— Eaton. HR — Cr: LaMasters 1. 3B — BH: Makayla Augustine 1. Cr: Mostek 1. 2B — BH: Jenna Bork 1, Bailey Heaton 1. Cr: Mackenzie Andreasen 1. RBI — BH: Augustine 2, Heaton 1. Cr: LaMasters 2, Mostek 1, Brenna Baker 1, Nicole Haley 1. Multiple hitters — BH: Augustine 3, Kelsey Watterson 2. Cr: Josie Sickels 3, Mostek 3.

Creston 21, Ogden 0


Creston 1155 — 21 15 0

Ogden 000 — 0 0 1

Haylee LaMasters 6K 1BB, Taylor Briley (3) 1K 1BB and Natalie Mostek. Kate Christensen 0K 3BB, Kyle Westberg (2) 1K 3BB, Jordan Poock (3) 0K 0BB and Bailey Carson. W — LaMasters. L— Christensen. HR — Cr: Briley 1, Mostek 1. 3B — none. 2B — none. RBI — Cr: Mostek 6, Josie Sickels 3, Mackenzie Andreasen 3, Briley 2, LaMasters 2, Brenna Baker 1, Shelby Palser 1. Multiple hitters — Cr: Andreasen 3, Josie Sickels 2, Briley 2, LaMasters 2, Mostek 2, Palser 2.

Creston 5, Des Moines East 3 (No official result because of inclement weather)


Creston 003 20 — 5 5 2

East 101 01 — 3 4 2

Haylee LaMasters 5K 5BB and Natalie Mostek. April Brown 4K 1BB and Haley Stoll. W — none. L— none. HR — none. 3B — E: Courtney Fudge 1. 2B — Cr: Taylor Briley 1. RBI — Cr: Briley 2. E: Fudge 1. Multiple hitters — none.

2013 John Stephens Softball Classic

Score list

Friday’s games

Creston 13, Griswold 0 — Players of the game: Mackenzie Andreasen, Creston; Hannah Misner, Griswold.

Ogden 13, Griswold 2 — Players of the game: Kami Wheelock, Ogden; Brooke Hansen, Griswold.

Bondurant-Farrar 8, Atlantic 2 — Players of the game: Emily Mitchell, Atlantic; Emily Wilson, Bondurant-Farrar.

Ankeny 10, Bishop Heelan 2 — Players of the game: Jenna Bork, Bishop Heelan; Kendyl Lindaman, Ankeny.

Ankeny 11, Bondurant-Farrar 2 — Players of the game: Ashley Burrows, Bondurant-Farrar; Cathlin Bingham, Ankeny.

Creston 5, Bishop Heelan 3 — Haylee LaMasters, Creston; Makayla Augustine, Bishop Heelan.

Saturday’s games

(at Panther Field)

Bishop Heelan 4, Atlantic 3 — Players of the game: Kate Larson, Bishop Heelan; Maren McNees, Atlantic.

Nodaway Valley 9, Ogden 7 — Players of the game: Ashlee Ellsworth, Ogden; Sydney Reeves, Nodaway Valley.

Dallas Center-Grimes 14, Atlantic 2 — Players of the game: Paige Lowary, DCG; Reann Cappel, Atlantic.

Creston 21, Ogden 0 — Players of the game: Natalie Mostek, Creston; Jenna Sheirbon, Ogden.

Dallas Center-Grimes 7, Bishop Heelan 0 — Players of the game: Rachel Lowary, DCG; Bailey Heaton, Bishop Heelan.

Dallas Center-Grimes 5, Des Moines East 0 — Players of the game: Tabi Taylor, DCG; Maggie Long, Des Moines East.

Creston 5, Des Moines East 3 (No official result because of inclement weather)

(at Southwestern Community College)

Bondurant-Farrar 11, Nodaway Valley 0

Clarinda 10, Griswold 5

Bishop Heelan 5, Clarinda 3

Bondurant-Farrar 4, Treynor 0

Treynor 11, Red Oak 0

Atlantic 14, Mount Ayr 2

Red Oak 4, Mount Ayr 2

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