OSKALOOSA — The Creston softball team ran its winning streak to 11 games here Saturday, before losing a tough game against undefeated and Class 4A ninth-ranked Oskaloosa.
Creston now sits at 12-5 for the season.
The Panthers broke things open late against Central Lee in their opener Saturday, thanks to a two-RBI triple from Natalie Mostek in the bottom of the sixth inning to give the Panthers a 7-1 lead.
Brenna Baker gave the Panthers their final run of the game, driving in a run on a ground ball to make it 8-1.
The eight runs were more than enough for Panther pitcher Haylee LaMasters, who struck out six and scattered just six hits throughout the contest.
LaMasters and Mostek each finished with three runs batted in.
“They’re a 3A team,” head coach Mike McCabe said. “Nice ballclub. Good pitcher. She had good velocity. They swung the bat and got after some first pitches. It was a good ballgame for us to start the day. We kind of broke it open a little late there.”
Creston came right back after the win and took on the host Indians in the very next game.
Oskaloosa ended Creston’s winning streak with a 2-0 win over the Panthers.
The game zipped along quickly, as both pitchers were dominant in a game that was scoreless through five and a half innings.
“We had an opportunity in the fourth inning, where we got a one-out double from Haylee,” McCabe said. “That ball would have been out of a normal ballpark. We were unable to get her around with our four and five-hitters.
“We had another chance in the top of the sixth,” he continued. “Had a leadoff single from Josie Sickels. We moved Josie over with a good sac bunt by Taylor Briley. They did the smart thing and intentionally walked Haylee. We had an opportunity with Natalie up, and the center fielder made a nice play on a ball I thought had a chance of dropping in.”
The Indians finally broke the scoreless tie in the bottom of the sixth inning, plating both of their runs.
Peyton Zickefoose got a two-out base hit and then Kylie Hill hit a towering pop fly in the infield at the edge of the grass that Briley lost in the sun, allowing Hill to reach base safely.
Silliman the hit a line drive into right field that just went over the reach of Nicole Haley’s glove, allowing both runners to score.
“It was a Major League type infield fly,” McCabe said about the pop fly that extended the inning. “Taylor went back for it right at the edge of the grass. You could just tell it was going to be trouble. She just lost it, was blinded. Tough luck there, but I thought we played pretty well defensively, and we had a couple of opportunities. Just couldn’t get that big hit.”
LaMasters gave up just four hits, while striking out four and walking two. Both runs were unearned.
For Oskaloosa, Silliman allowed just three hits and struck out four with one walk.
“It was a nice run of games there,” McCabe said about the winning streak. “Thought we learned a lot about ourselves in that stretch. I think the girls learned they’re capable of playing some good softball. Now we have the meat of our schedule conference wise.”
Creston travels to Shenandoah for a Hawkeye 10 Conference matchup before traveling to Denison Tuesday to take on the best hitting team in the conference, statistically. The Panthers finish off the week at the Cedar Rapids Jefferson Tournament on Saturday.
Creston 8, Central Lee 1
R H E
Central Lee 000 100 0 — 1 6 4
Creston 301 004 x— 8 10 0
Jordan Greenfield 5K 2BB and Ellen Morris. Haylee LaMasters 6K 2BB and Natalie Mostek. W — LaMasters. L— Greenfield. HR — none. 3B — Cr: Mostek 1. 2B — CL: Greenfield 1. Cr: LaMasters 1. RBI — CL: Kim Brunnell 1. Cr: LaMasters 3, Mostek 3, Brenna Baker 1. Multiple hitters — CL: Greenfield 2. Cr: Josie Sickels 2, Taylor Briley 2, LaMasters 2, Mostek 2.
Oskaloosa 2, Creston 0
R H E
Creston 000 000 0 — 0 3 0
Oskaloosa 000 002 x — 2 4 0
Haylee LaMasters 4K 2BB and Natalie Mostek. Kylee Silliman 4K 1BB and Shawni Wells. W — Silliman. L— LaMasters. HR — none. 3B — O: Silliman 1. 2B — Cr: LaMasters 1. RBI — O: Silliman 2. Multiple hitters — O: Peyton Zickefoose.