Hawks get moving too late in Van Meter doubleheader
That makes three in a row for the Hawks, though one loss has an unofficial asterisk in the record books. In a Thursday doubleheader with Van Meter (3-2), Woodward-Granger left with losses of 7-1 and 5-3. The latter of which was cut short before five complete innings due to a lightning delay that turned into a suspended game.
All things considered in a loss to such a heated rivalry, W-G softball head coach Jessica Wyant said she still viewed the games as a building block moving forward.
“Van Meter’s a pretty good program,” Wyant said “And it’s always exciting to see our girls really start to battle and produce and work hard against them.”
Start a fire before the rain comes
Friday’s doubleheader with the Bulldogs was cut short due to lightning after the top of the fifth just as Woodward started collecting runs. A 5-3 score still gave Van Meter the edge, but a trend started nonetheless to question what could have been had a rally started from the start.
This isn’t the first time the Hawks have experienced a reminder of the importance of urgency.
The Hawks were made well-aware Monday of the need to get ahead of the scoreboard before it’s too late. W-G generated five runs in the final inning to walk-off with a win over ACGC. It took seven innings to get anything on the board opening night.
And just like opening night, once the team’s base running prowess kicked in, the runs followed.
In the second game, Audrey Simmons stole twice after getting on with a single, and got the first run on the board. That was followed by Allie Moore soon after, and Bella McDivitt was left stranded after robbing second base as well. The following inning, Emma Anderson made the round trip after a double.
“Something this team really needs is that grittiness. They’re so young and there’s a lot of inexperience,” Wyant told the Perry Chief. “We always have to be gritty to get that extra 60 feet (stealing). So to see them doing that on the bases and then have a pretty good defense, I’m happy about it. Very, very positive sign for the rest of the season.”
Stable foundation in the middle
The 7-1 Game 1 score loss tells one story, the box score tells a slightly different version. Sophomore pitcher Rian Jamison put away seven batters to stop the bleeding, avoiding another situation that could have put the game away with the 10-run rule before the fifth inning like in Panorama.
“Rian has been working her butt off. She’s pitched every single varsity game for us,” Wyant said. “Both of our other pitchers are hurt at the moment. So for her to have to pitch back-to-back like that, she’s done phenomenal.”
Overall, Jamison collected nine strikeouts after the second game was cut short. And of the 12 runs the Bulldogs scored, two were unearned on fielding errors. Wyant said the team will keep focusing on the same basics at practice moving forward:
“I’m sure they’re tired of it, but we do the same two drills to start practice every time. Because it focuses on just the basics of catching and throwing and communication. And so we’re going to continue doing that, to improve our defensive skills and obviously offensively, we’re going to continue seeing the ball and reading it off the hip.”
K for Kryptonite
Maybe it was something in the air. Jamison wasn’t the only pitcher putting up impressive stats.
Part of what made for a difficult first stretch of Game 2 was the remaining presence of Van Meter freshman pitcher Macy Blomgren. She allowed just two hits and struck out four in three innings. Three of her K’s came in the second inning alone, standing freshman right fielder Allie Moore on first.
Blomgren also had the team’s number in the first game, retiring 15 batters on strikes against just three hits. W-G was more likely to get on base on balls (four walks) when Blomgren was working. That only mounted on top of the seven strikeouts the team experienced on Tuesday against Panorama.
Next Up: Grand View Christian / Saydel (Saturday tournament)
The Hawks had one of their best games in a 14-3 win over GVC last season while Saydel has won the previous four games against the Hawks, and are coming off a split series with Nevada.