The young Creston softball team, after losing four of its first five games, pushed its winning streak to 10 straight games Thursday in an efficient 4-1 victory over previously ranked Glenwood.
With only one junior and one senior on the team, this Panther squad built for the future is making waves in the present.
With Harlan getting past Denison-Schleswig 4-3 in eight innings Thursday, the Cyclones and Creston are the only teams still unbeaten in Hawkeye 10 Conference play.
Creston improved to 5-0 in the league and 11-4 overall heading into the Oskaloosa Tournament Saturday. Glenwood, suffering its third loss of the week in four games, tumbled from the ratings Thursday after being No. 15 in Class 4A last week. The Rams fell to 3-3 in the conference and 9-5 overall.
Even with the slump, Glenwood is no slouch, Creston coach Mike McCabe said. He was pleased with his team’s performance Thursday in the swiftly-played game.
“A lot of three-batter and four-batter innings,” McCabe said. “Haylee (LaMasters) pitched well and the defense played well behind her. It was a pretty clean game.”
LaMasters scattered five this with seven strikeouts and two walks. Both teams had one error.
Glenwood did not score until the top of the seventh, when pitcher Lisa Nebel singled and scored on a two-out double by Myranda Starner.
Nebel allowed eight hits and managed four strikeouts with one walk.
“She’s had some pretty high strikeout numbers, so our kids battled hard at the plate,” McCabe said.
Taylor Briley had two hits and scored twice for the Panthers.
Creston took an early 1-0 lead on Briley’s first single and a two-out RBI hit by Natalie Mostek.
The Panthers extended their lead to 4-0 in the third inning. Josie Sickels, Briley and LaMasters hit successive singles, setting up a fielder’s choice on a ground ball by Mostek to score Sickels. Briley came in on a passed ball, and Brenna Baker chased home another run on a grounder. Mostek finished with two RBI.
At the Oskaloosa Tournament Saturday, the Panthers play Central Lee at 11 a.m, and No. 9 rated and undefeated (12-0) Oskaloosa at 12:45 p.m.
Glenwood broke away in a close game to defeat the Creston JV Thursday, 9-5. The game was tied 5-5 after three innings.
“Only five of their runs were earned,” said Creston coach Teri Keeler. “Too many mistakes when they had runners on, or in starting an inning off. They are too good of a hitting team to allow extra runners.”
Creston’s big hit was by Hannah Hood to drive in two runs and tie the game 5-5 in the third.
Nicole Haley was 2-for-3 with a triple and two RBI for Creston, now 4-5. Hood finished with two RBI and Josie Sickels knocked in a run and had two doubles. Jami Sickels also had two hits.
Brenna Baker and Taylor Briley shared pitching duties. Baker had no walks and one strikeout, while Briley fanned two while walking three.
Creston 4, Glenwood 1
R H E
Glenwood 000 000 1 — 1 5 1
Creston 103 000 x — 4 8 1
G: Lisa Nebel 4K 1BB and Myranda Starner. Cr: Haylee LaMasters 7K 2BB and Natalie Mostek. W — LaMasters. L— Nebel. 2B — G: Kali Mumm, M. Starner. RBI — G: M. Starner 1; Cr: Mostek 2, Brenna Baker 1. Multiple hitters — G: M. Starner 2; Cr: Briley 2.