FORT DODGE — Too many unearned runs.
That’s what cost Southwestern in a softball doubleheader loss to second-place Iowa Central. The games were played a day early because of the forecast for weekend rain.
Iowa Central improved to 11-3 in the ICCAC, trailing only Kirkwood’s 15-1, and 32-9 overall by extending its winning streak to six games. The slumping road trip left the Spartans at 11-16 overall and 5-11 for sixth place in the conference. Southwestern went 0-6 on the road trip against Southeastern, Kirkwood and Iowa Central to fall to 1-11 on the road.
Southwestern had seven errors for the day, which overshadowed hitting advantages of 11-10 in each contest over the Tritons in losses of 10-4 and 7-6.
In the second contest Southwestern built a 4-3 lead before the Tritons scored four runs in the fifth and sixth to hold on for the win.
“We gave up a lot of unearned runs, and we left enough runners on base to win both games,” SWCC coach Lindsay Stumpff said. “We left 17 runners on base in the first game. It’s frustrating when your pitcher is having a good game and you can’t execute behind them.”
There was plenty of offense in both games for the Spartans. Hannah Murphy was 4-of-5 in the first game and Danielle McIntosh was 3-3 in taking the pitching loss. Emma Ferrin hit a double and two singles.
In game two, Ferrin was 2-4 with a home run. After stroking two hits in the opener, Brooke Wolf belted a double in the second game. Molly Schimp was 3-3 and McIntosh and Ashley Gibbs each finished with two hits.
Sam Strand took the loss in game two.
The Spartans were set to get back on track with two non-conference doubleheaders today and Tuesday, but today’s games at Graceland were cancelled because of wet grounds.
The Spartans’ first home games in two weeks are scheduled against Simpson JV at 3 p.m. Tuesday, if conditions allow.
“I know we got a lot of rain, but our field was really dry and we’re hopeful we can get that in,” Stumpff said. “We would like to get home and get back on track.”