It took 30 days, but Creston finally polished off a 7-1 win over Clarinda here Wednesday morning.
Creston led the Cardinals 2-1 after three innings on June 3, when the game was suspended because of inclement weather.
The two teams met again at Panther Field on Wednesday morning, taking just 39 minutes to complete the final four innings of play.
Junior pitcher Haylee LaMasters worked quickly and effectively, giving up only one hit over Wednesday’s four innings and never reaching a three-ball count. For the complete game, LaMasters gave up only two hits and struck out five with no walks.
“She did a nice job,” Creston head coach Mike McCabe said. “She had a really good changeup the first couple of hitters, and then kind of lost the feel for it. She’s been fine and location has been pretty good lately. Hope to continue with that.”
Sophomore right fielder Alyssa Higgins led off the fourth inning for the Panthers and sparked the Panther offense with a single to left field.
Josie Sickels drew a walk on four straight pitches and then Taylor Briley sacrificed both runners into scoring position. That’s when LaMasters hit a three-run home run to right field, giving the Panthers a four-run cushion at 5-1.
“Nice to get the base hit from Alyssa to start it off,” McCabe said. “Haylee did a nice job of hitting that pitch the opposite way. Good day to hit it that way with the wind blowing that way. Nice to get three runs on the board right there.”
Higgins got a Panther rally started again in the bottom of the sixth inning with another sharp single into left field. Josie Sickels sacrificed her to second base and then Briley walked on four straight pitches.
After a LaMasters popup and a Natalie Mostek walk, pinch hitter Brenna Baker dropped a two-run single into short left field just over the outstretched arms of Clarinda shortstop Jaedra Moses.
The Panthers improve to 18-9 overall with the win and 14-3 in the Hawkeye 10 Conference. Creston returns to action tonight at Atlantic for a varsity doubleheader. The Panthers then conclude the regular season and conference schedule Monday with a 1 p.m. game against Council Bluffs St. Albert.
Creston 7, Clarinda 1
R H E
Clarinda 100 000 0 — 1 2 1
Creston 200 302 x — 7 9 1
Cl: Maddie Gray 7BB 2K and Karyee Buch. Cr: Haylee LaMasters 0BB 5K and Natalie Mostek. W — LaMasters. L— Gray. HR — Cr: LaMasters 1. 3B — none. 2B — none. RBI — Cr: LaMasters 3, Brenna Baker 2, Mostek 1. Multiple hitters — Cr: LaMasters 3, Alyssa Higgins 2.