Creston head softball coach Mike McCabe knew the importance of coming out firing Monday night against Clarinda after the success his team had over the weekend during the 2013 John Stephens Softball Classic.
“Our conference is OK,” he said. “You go out and you play an East or a Heelan, but in our conference there’s some solid teams and I respect everybody. I tell you what, you better be ready to go. This team (Clarinda) has put up some runs this year. I thought it was important. I was hoping we wouldn’t have a letdown after a good weekend, but I think the kids know it’s a conference game and it’s a home game — it’s important.”
The Panthers certainly didn’t have a letdown after the weekend, rolling to a 10-0 win in five innings over Clarinda.
For McCabe, the tone of the game was set right away with both leadoff hitters in the first inning.
Clarinda leadoff hitter Jaydra Moses smoked the first pitch of the game right back up the middle for a single.
“She’s their igniter,” McCabe said. “They’re going to run her, absolutely guaranteed for sure, and they do. And Natalie (Mostek) throws her out. OK, that’s over. And then our little girl (Josie Sickels) pops one out to the fence. I just thought that was a huge sway in the game right there. Take the wind out of their sails.”
Moses’s single in the first was the only baserunner Creston pitcher Haylee LaMasters would allow in the game. After Mostek threw Moses out, LaMasters faced the minimum number of batters for a five-inning game.
LaMasters finished with nine strikeouts and no walks in the game.
“They’ve hit the ball well,” McCabe said about Clarinda. “They’ve hit it around and scored some runs. To limit them to a leadoff single and that’s it, pretty good night. Fortunately for us, we kind of kept the bats going a little bit.”
Josie Sickels started things off with the leadoff double to left-center and scored on a Taylor Briley single. Briley later scored on a Brenna Baker sacrifice fly and Mostek scored on a passed ball, making it 3-0 Creston after one.
Sickels, who went 4-for-4 in the game, started things again in the third with a single and scored when Mostek reached base on a fielder’s choice.
Nicole Haley hit a two-out double in the fourth and scored on a Josie Sickels single.
In the fifth inning, Mostek and Baker each drew walks before Mackenzie Andreasen drove in Mostek with a double. Baker would score when Jami Sickels reached on an error and Audrey Fyock followed with a single.
Fyock would eventually score the walkoff run on an error by the third baseman.
Creston, now 8-4 for the season and 2-0 in Hawkeye 10 Conference play, hosts Carroll Kuemper Catholic tonight in a varsity doubleheader beginning at 5:30 and then hosts Class 4A 15th-ranked Glenwood on Thursday.
The Creston junior varsity team evened its season record to 4-4 with a 12-4 win over Clarinda here Monday.
Brenna Baker picked up the win in the circle, walking one batter and striking out two. Taylor Briley pitched in relief and struck out four batters with no walks.
Nicole Haley, Shelby Palser and Hannah Hood each went 2-for-3 with two RBI, while Kiana Stuart went 1-3 with a double and two RBI. Josie and Jami Sickels each went 1-3 with one RBI.
“Again, a great job of hitting up and down the lineup, with eight batters getting at least one hit and our ninth hitter had solid contact each at bat,” Creston JV coach Teri Keeler said. “Brenna and Taylor did a nice job on the mound again.”
Creston 10, Clarinda 0
R H E
Clarinda 000 00 — 0 1 3
Creston 301 15 — 10 9 0
Marissa Anderson 2K 2BB and Kayree Buch. Haylee LaMasters 9K 0BB and Natalie Mostek. W — LaMasters. L— Anderson. HR — none. 3B — none. 2B — Cr: Josie Sickels 1, Mackenzie Andreasen 1, Nicole Haley 1. RBI — Cr: Josie Sickels 2, Taylor Briley 1, Mostek 1, Brenna Baker 1, Haley 1. Multiple hitters — Cr: Josie Sickels 4.