Hawks softball bounces back with momentum over ACGC

Sean Cordy - Correspondent
Katelyn Bandstra at bst during a game earlier this season. PHOTO BY SEAN CORDY/THE PERRY CHIEF

It was a good day to be a Hawk.

For the second year in a row, Woodward-Granger saw both softball and baseball teams leave their opening postseason rounds with a win. As the baseball team surged by ACGC, the softball team (6-13) put up more than a fight against the Chargers (4-9) as well with a 9-7 regional quarterfinal win.

Surging at the right time

After Woodward’s visitors put up four runs in the first inning, the game was trending in the same direction the last time these two teams met. But instead of rolling over for back-to-back losses to the Chargers, the Hawks popped back with another four runs of their own as the first four batters — Chloe Houge, Katelyn Bandstra, Bella McDivitt and Emma Anderson — all circled the bases to knot the score up.

From there on, it was Woodward’s game.

Over the next three innings, the top half of the order continued to make waves with an 8-4 lead at the hands of Houge, Bandstra and Anderson all scoring their second runs of the night while Audrey Simmons collected a pair of RBIs.

Performances for the books

Anderson and Simmons weren’t finished after four innings. For good measure, they continued to pad their stats and ultimately, Woodward’s lead to prevent a possible ACGC comeback.

In the sixth inning, Anderson got on base for the third time of the night. This time, with a triple that immediately set her in scoring position for Simmons. After one strike, she’d drive in Anderson’s third run of the night while collecting her third RBI of the night.

Anderson left the game with a line for three hits, three runs, five total bases, one steal, and three RBI. Simmons also had three hits, four total bases, and three RBI.

Also of note, as the leadoff hitter, Houge managed to steal three bases to set up her two scores.

An uncertain fate

With the win, the Hawks earned a hundred mile road trip to Mount Ayr. The rest of the equation remains a mystery until Thursday night. The game between Nodaway Valley and Mount Ayr was postponed Wednesday, leaving the Hawks with little advanced notice of who they will play in the semifinals.

As hosts, the Raiders (7-4) are the odds-on favorite to beat Nodaway (8-13). Mount Ayr had defeated the Wolverines 11-1 two weeks ago.

While the Raiders have lost four games this season, they have been a particularly effective and risk-averse team that allows just one runner on base per inning. That ranks among the top 20 rates across the entire state.

Most interesting of the possible matchup, Woodward-Granger ranks sixth in its class with 3.5 steals per game. Meanwhile, due to the rarity of opponents on base, Mount Ayr has allowed just five steals all season.