The Creston softball team bounced back from a disappointing loss Monday night at Glenwood to pick up a Hawkeye 10 Conference win over Red Oak here Tuesday, 10-0 in five innings.
The Panthers improve to 18-11 for the season and 10-3 in the conference, keeping their hopes of a fifth-straight conference championship alive.
After starting pitcher Haylee LaMasters faced only seven batters in the first two innings, striking out six of them, the Panthers pushed four runs across the plate in the bottom of the second inning.
Natalie Mostek and Mackenzie Andreasen each walked to lead off the inning and Shelby Palser bunted them over. Mostek then scored on a passed ball and Jami Sickels drew a walk and stole second base.
That’s when Brenna Baker drove an 0-2 pitch right back up the middle for a two-run single putting Creston up 3-0. Baker later scored on a sacrifice fly by Josie Sickels.
“Big hit for Brenna there,” head coach Mike McCabe said. “Games like that, you worry kids aren’t going to be ready. You’re worried something might happen. So I was glad to get those four runs right there.”
LaMasters pitched another three up, three down inning in the third and the Creston offense pushed five more runs across in the bottom half of the inning.
Shelby Palser hit a two-run double after LaMasters walked, Mostek singled and Andreasen walked.
An error on Red Oak pitcher Madison Holmgren allowed to more runs to score and then Josie Sickels hit an infield single that scored Baker.
Creston put the game away in the fifth inning, as Jami Sickels and Baker each singled, Audrey Fyock reached on an error and Josie Sickels brought Baker home with a bases-loaded walk.
Josie Sickels drove in three runs in the win, while Baker and Palser each finished with two RBI.
LaMasters allowed only three Red Oak baserunners in the game, two on walks and only one hit. She struck out nine in the win.
Creston travels to Lewis Central today for a varsity doubleheader, with action starting at 5:30 p.m.
“Tomorrow night will be a different story,” McCabe said. “Obviously, a big doubleheader if we want to stay in the hunt and give ourselves a chance, and continue to control our own destiny. Look forward to the challenge, and I think the kids look forward to the challenge. I would anticipate we go over and play pretty well. If it’s good enough, well, we’ll find out, I guess.”
The Creston JV softball team got yet another solid pitching performance as Brenna Baker and Josie Sickels combined to throw a three-hit shutout, leading the Panthers to a 12-0 win over Red Oak on Tuesday.
Baker struck out three with no walks, while Sickels struck out one and walked two.
Hannah Hood went 2-for-3 at the plate with a triple and three RBI, while Baker helped her own cause by going 2-2 with a double, triple and one RBI. Josie Sickels was 1-1 with a double.
Creston improved to 8-5 for the season.
Creston 10, Red Oak 0
R H E
Red Oak 000 00 — 0 1 2
Creston 045 01 — 10 8 0
Madison Holmgren 2K 6BB and Angela Mahoney. Haylee LaMasters 9K 2BB and Natalie Mostek. W — LaMasters. L— Holmgren. HR — none. 3B — none. 2B — Cr: Shelby Palser 1. RBI — Cr: Josie Sickels 3, Palser 2, Brenna Baker 2. Multiple hitters — Cr: Baker 2.