Woodward-Granger baseball blasts ACGC, softball season ends

Sean Cordy, Correspondent
Special to the Chief

One false move and the season comes to a close. For one Woodward-Granger team, that hasn’t happened yet. (Note: Games covered June 29-July 5)

Baseball (9-14)

The last time the Hawks faced ACGC (10-19), the Chargers won 5-1, all but negating the 11-2 Hawks win in the first meeting between these two conference foes. Tuesday’s quarterfinal matchup was more in line with their season-opening meeting, with the Hawks winning 12-3 to advance to the semifinals. 

Early on in the game, things looked to be going the Chargers’ way, taking a 2-0 lead in the first inning. But with the Hawks scoring 11 runs in the final three innings, the game was well out of reach for the Chargers to even attempt a comeback, just like the 11-0 win the Hawks competed on Saturday against West Central Valley (7-22) in the first round with the Hawks scoring a single inning high of seven runs in the first inning. 

Sam Sejnoha reacts after scoring a run for the Hawks during a regional game against ACGC on Tuesday, July 5, 2022, in Van Meter.

In that game, all but two of Woodward’s hitters got on base, and four Hawks — Collin Nardini, Shaefer Hanson, Kaden Seeman and Don David — had two hits. Individual stats from the ACGC game were not available.

With those two wins behind them, the Hawks have now won seven of their last 10 games. Two of those losses were by just one run. But they’ll need that heat to rise a few more degrees — or hope for a miracle upset — to advance to the program’s first substate final game since 2017.

In all likelihood, Saturday’s semifinal will be against Van Meter (33-0). The Bulldogs’ game with Greene County (8-14) was postponed. But considering Van Meter has won 29 games by five or more runs this year, opponents have rarely come close to beating the top-ranked team in the state. Of those five games that were won by four or fewer runs, though, one was against the Hawks in an 8-4 game. So if the stars align again, Woodward has already shown they can be an exception.

Lauren Rodgers gets set to field the ball during a game against Madrid on Tuesday, June 7, 2022, in Woodward.

Softball (8-21)

Coming off three conference loses to close the regular season, the Hawks walked into Madrid (6-21) hoping to correct course and pay back the Tigers for two losses earlier in June. Unfortunately, the Tigers had their eyes on a clean sweep over the Hawks this year, winning 7-3 in Friday’s regional first round game.

Having struggled to get a hold of Madrid’s Brooklyn Murry’s pitches in the previous two meetings, the Hawks were only able to get five hits off the sophomore ace, the biggest of which was a triple from Jaidyn Achenbach who had two total hits and drove in one run. Lauren Rodgers hit a double and one RBI to give a little boost for the Hawks. But with five errors coming from the defense as a unit, the Tigers took advantage of some cracks on top of a barrage of 12 hits. All but one of their batters was able to get cleanly on base.

While its meaning was narrowed considering Friday’s loss, the Hawks did win a 7-5 game over Earlham (12-20) earlier in the week, marking one of the team’s biggest wins of the year with a all-around impressive performance.

Of the nine batters, seven logged a hit including three hat tricks. Chloe Houge, Bella McDivitt and Allie Moore all recorded three hits. Moore was perhaps the mots impactful, scoring twice herself on top of three RBI. The only time Woodward had a trio with three hits was the 14-4 win over Pocahontas Area in the last week of June.