Creston softball coach Mike McCabe said scheduling a quality Class 5A team like Council Bluffs Abraham Lincoln late in the regular season was designed to prepare his team for the Class 4A regional looming ahead.
But, he came away from Tuesday’s 6-0 loss less than enthused about how his team is geared for what lies ahead when Carroll visits Panther Field Thursday in the regional opener.
“I told the girls you just put orange and black uniforms on that (AL) team and that’s what you’ll see Thursday,” McCabe said. “Very similar teams. Carroll starts five or six seniors. They play in the Raccoon River, so they’re going up against (state tournament teams) Carlisle, Winterset, Dallas Center-Grimes and Ballard two times each. They won’t come in here and be intimidated by any stretch of the imagination.”
Abraham Lincoln took command early, scoring three runs in the top of the first inning before adding single runs in the third, fifth and seventh innings. Lauren Nahnsen, meanwhile, pitched a six-hit shutout against the Panthers.
“Only two of the runs were earned,” McCabe said. “We had three errors, combined with four walks. Their pitcher was fine. She kept us off balance. We had six hits to their seven, but we would get stuff going with two outs. Not scoring is a little disappointing for us, because I thought we were swinging the bats pretty well up there (Harlan) last night.”
Haylee LaMasters had four walks and seven hits allowed while striking out six. She encountered trouble at the start, issuing a walk followed by an infield error. Then Lauren Meeker delivered an RBI hit and Deana Roth drove in the second run on a double. The third run came home on a groundout.
“They are a nice team, which is why we scheduled them at the end of the year,” McCabe said. “They came in at 26-10. I thought we were very flat. No excuses for it. I don’t care if it’s hot, or you played two yesterday. We will have to compete a lot harder than I thought we showed tonight. They (Carroll) are a good .500 ballclub. It’s nice to have the game here. Should be a good atmosphere.”
Creston, entering the postseason at 19-16, hosts a 15-16 Carroll squad that has lost five consecutive games. But, two of those were against second-ranked Dallas Center-Grimes and No. 4 Carlisle.
Thursday’s regional game starts at 7 p.m. The winner plays at Dallas Center-Grimes at 7 p.m. Saturday in Dallas Center.
Creston JV finished a 10-5 season by pounding 14 hits in a 10-4 victory over Abraham Lincoln.
Hannah Hood was 2-for-3 with a double and RBI, Nicole Haley was 2-3 with a triple, Audrey Fyock was 2-3 with a double and winning pitcher Taylor Briley helped her cause with two hits.
Briley struck out three with no walks and Josie Sickels had one strikeout, six walks and a hit batter.
Abraham Lincoln 6, Creston 0
R H E
A. Lincoln 301 010 1 — 6 7 0
Creston 000 000 0 — 0 6 3
AL: Lauren Nahnsen 5K 0BB and Madison Sapienza. Cr: Haylee LaMasters 6K 4BB and Natalie Mostek. W — Nahnsen. L— LaMasters. 3B — AL: Kayla Walden. 2B — AL: Lauren Meeker, Deana Roth. RBI — AL: Walden 2, Roth 1, Meeker 1. Multiple hitters — AL: Meeker 3, Walden 2; Cr: Mackenzie Andreasen 2.