Creston head coach Mike McCabe called it the longest softball game with which he's ever been involved.
Creston and Council Bluffs St. Albert started their Hawkeye 10 Conference game at 5:40 p.m. here Thursday.
After multiple delays for thunder, the game did not end until approximately 9:38 p.m., with Creston winning 8-1 in just five innings. In total, two delays lasted approximately 2 hours, 40 minutes.
The second game of the varsity doubleheader never happened, and will have to be made up at a later date.
"I'm glad we got that one to be a complete game," McCabe said. "The way the night was going, I didn't think it was going to have a good ending. It had a bad feel with everything going on."
The game made it just three outs before the first weather delay, which was for lightning. During that delay, officials added 30 minutes onto the delay for each crack of thunder.
After resuming play, the Panthers put up one run in the bottom of the first inning as back-to-back singles to lead off the inning led to Josie Sickels scoring as Jami Sickels drew a bases-loaded walk.
Creston left the bases loaded to end the inning, however.
St. Albert pitcher Bailey Clark led off the second inning with a solo home run to left field — the only blemish on Creston pitcher Haylee LaMaster's line for the night.
LaMasters gave up just the one hit and issued no walks while striking out six batters.
"I thought Haylee might have had as good of control as she's had in those five innings she pitched," McCabe said. "The girl just went down and hit a ball that went out, but I was really happy with her location. I thought she was spotting the ball up pretty good."
LaMasters got the next two batters out, but again, the game was delayed because of thunder.
"I was really worried about that," McCabe said. "When you have all those delays, what do you do with the kids? We go out the one time and did some hitting. You do this or do that to occupy some time. It was a strange thing to be a part of. I've never seen anything like that."
When play finally resumed, LaMasters recorded a strikeout to end the inning. Creston got one baserunner in the bottom of the second and then put the Saintes down in order in the top of the third.
That's when the Panthers exploded in the bottom of the third inning, scoring seven runs on four hits and one error.
LaMasters started things with a double to right field. Jami Sickels, Brenna Baker, Josie Sickels, LaMasters and Mostek all had run-scoring hits in the inning. Baker's hit brought two runners around to score.
"Kids came back after that delay and put up seven runs in that third inning there," McCabe said. "I thought if we could get two or three up on the board and take a two or three run lead, I thought we'd be OK. That was a big hit by Brenna."
Clark had been pitching well until the Panthers got to her in the third inning.
"She struggled a little bit after we hit her hard," McCabe said. "She had some trouble with finding the strike zone. Then she got really mad after Jami made that shoestring catch on her ball."
Jami Sickels ended the fourth inning with the defensive play of the night, making a shoestring catch of Clark's sharp liner to left field.
Creston improved to 16-7 overall and 12-3 in the Hawkeye 10 Conference with the win. The game second game of the doubleheader will have to be made up at some point, with the Panthers firmly entrenched in the conference title race.
Little League Appreciation Night was also wiped out with the second game being postponed. Little League players were admitted free to the game and were going to take part in the starting lineups for the second game.
The Panthers travel to Cedar Rapids this weekend for Cedar Rapids Jefferson's tournament. Creston will play Sioux City Bishop Heelan and Dubuque Hempstead.
Creston 8, Council Bluffs St. Albert 1
R H E
CBSA 010 00 — 1 1 1
Creston 107 0x — 8 6 0
SA: Bailey Clark 6BB 5K and Emily Bardon. Cr: Haylee LaMasters 0BB 6K and Natalie Mostek. W — LaMasters. L— Clark. HR — SA: Clark 1. 3B — none. 2B — Cr: LaMasters 1. RBI — Cr: Jami Sickels 2, Brenna Baker 2, Josie Sickels 1, LaMasters 1, Mostek 1. Multiple hitters — Cr: Josie Sickels 2, LaMasters 2.