CEDAR RAPIDS — The Creston softball team nearly came home from Cedar Rapids Saturday with a win over a quality Class 5A team.
But, the Panthers came up just short against Dubuque Hempstead after rolling to a 10-0 win over Springville in five innings here at the Cedar Rapids Jefferson Tournament.
Creston now sits at 15-7 for the season.
The Panthers and the Mustangs matched each other, posting six straight innings of zeros up on the scoreboard.
Creston had multiple scoring opportunities in the first five innings, but none as good as the scoring opportunity it had in the top of the sixth inning.
Haylee LaMasters led the inning off with a single and advanced to second base on a sacrifice bunt by Natalie Mostek. Then, Mackenzie Andreasen hit a ball into right-center field.
LaMasters rounded third and headed to home, but Dubuque Hempstead center fielder Hailey Koerperich made the throw home, beating LaMasters and throwing out the go-ahead run at the plate.
“We had a couple of opportunities,” head coach Mike McCabe said. “We had an opportunity in the first inning. Got back-to-back hits from Taylor (Briley) and Haylee, ended up with runners on first and third. We left runners on in the second and third innings. Really thought we had it in the top of the sixth inning.”
Dubuque Hempstead, which had just last week dropped out of the Class 5A rankings, finally broke the scoreless tie in the bottom of the seventh inning when starting pitcher Jordan Albrecht hit a two-out double to drive in Tracy Bauer to walk the Mustangs off.
It was a big two-out hit that Creston needed several times throughout the game, but just couldn’t get.
“We just couldn’t get that two-out hit,” McCabe said. “We had about three opportunities. I thought we played pretty decently all day.”
In Creston’s first game of the day, a 10-0 win over Springville in five innings, it took the Panther lineup one time through the order before it got rolling.
Creston got back-to-back triples from Briley and LaMasters with two outs in the third inning, followed by RBI singles from Mostek and Andreasen.
The Panthers added four more runs in the fourth inning, three of which came on a home run by LaMasters. Creston pushed three more across in the fifth inning to end the game by the 10-run mercy rule.
“It was one of those first games of a tournament,” McCabe said. “We were slow to start. Their kid on the mound didn’t have a lot of velocity, but really kind of moved it around. Took us one time through the order to time it up.”
The Panthers return home today to start another busy week of games.
Creston hosts Red Oak tonight, with JV action beginning at 5:30 p.m., followed by a home varsity doubleheader Tuesday against Atlantic. Creston travels to Clarinda on Thursday and then to Dallas Center-Grimes on Friday, where the Panthers will take on Earlham and Dallas Center-Grimes.
“It’s just nice getting away and you get to play some different teams,” McCabe said about the trip to Cedar Rapids. “You see some different styles. It was a good trip. Kind of a time we get to spend some time as a team and then get ready for the final push here in our regular season.”
Creston 10, Springville 0
R H E
Springville 000 00— 0 1 4
Creston 003 43 — 10 7 1
Maddie Wittenburg 1K 0BB, Chrissy Hoogland (4) 0K 7BB and Sarah Mafus. Haylee LaMasters 9K 2BB and Natalie Mostek. W — LaMasters. L— Wittenburg. HR — Cr: LaMasters 1. 3B — LaMasters 1. 2B — none. RBI — Cr: LaMasters 4, Taylor Briley 2, Mostek 2, Mackenzie Andreasen 1, Kiana Stuart 1. Multiple hitters — Briley 2, LaMasters 2.
Dubuque Hempstead 1, Creston 0
R H E
Creston 000 000 0 — 0 7 3
Hempstead 000 000 1 — 1 5 0
Haylee LaMasters 5K 1BB and Natalie Mostek. Jordan Albrecht 2K 0BB and Courtney Ryder. W — Albrecht. L— LaMasters. HR — none. 3B — none. 2B — DH: Albrecht. RBI — Albrecht. Multiple hitters — Cr: LaMasters 3. DH: Albrecht 2.