After slow start, Central rallies to 3-3 record

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Fern Dierson connects with the ball during Central’s doubleheader sweep of Postville on June 17. (Photos by Bev Hamann)

Madison Sylvester takes the unassisted out at first base against Postville.

Central pitcher Chelsia Larson allowed a combined three hits in the team’s doubleheader victories over Postville.

By Willis Patenaude, Times-Register

The Central Warriors softball season started quite inauspiciously last week, before the team rallied to finish with a record of 3-3. 

It all began with a doubleheader on June 15 that included a thwarted late inning rally and a late game loss against the Kee Hawks. 

In game one, the final stats were close, but the Hawks were aided by some key walks and errors by the Warriors. Heading into the fifth inning, the Warriors trailed by three runs, but managed to cut that deficit to one run. However, the mini-rally was short-lived as the Hawks crushed the ball in the bottom of the fifth inning, scoring five runs. Central never gave up, scoring three runs in the top of the seventh, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the Hawks, who won the game 9-5. 

Warrior standouts included Abby Cummer, who had two hits and scored two runs, and Chelsia Larson, who finished with one hit, one run and two RBIs. 

In game two, a promising start saw the Warriors build a seven-run lead heading into the fourth inning. The Hawks slowly clawed their way back, though, eventually snatching victory from the jaws of defeat with 11 runs in the final four innings; they won the game 12-11, despite committing nine errors. The Warriors walked 11 Kee hitters in the loss, and were also victimized by the long ball, allowing two game-changing home runs. 

The Warriors were led by Delaney Scherf, who had four hits, scored four runs and stole three bases, and Maddy Wille, who had two hits and three RBIs and scored one run. 

The Warriors next played in a doubleheader on June 17, against the winless Postville Pirates. Both games turned into lopsided affairs, as the Warriors dominated the Pirates from start to finish in every facet of the game. As good as the bats were, scoring 10 runs on 10 hits, with eight singles and two doubles, the dominant pitching of Larson was a picture of perfection. Over five innings, Larson struck out six Pirates, gave up no walks and didn’t surrender a run. 

Leading the way for the bats was Cummer, who had three hits, two RBIs and two stolen bases, and scored four runs. Teammate Kaitlyn Wiley added two hits and five RBIs, helping the Warriors to a 10-0 victory for the first win of the season.

Game two against the Pirates was an even more impressive victory. Over the first two innings, Central collected 11 hits, including two doubles and a triple, and scored 14 runs. The Pirates managed only a single run in the third. 

Larson put in two innings of work, striking out one and allowing no runs. The entire pitching staff in the game only gave up one hit, with zero walks.

The offense was led by Fern Diersen, who had three hits and two RBIs, while Delaney Scherf added one hit, three RBIs, a stolen base and a run scored to the stat line. 

The Warriors next faced the Edgewood-Colesburg Vikings in a doubleheader on June 19. In game one, the Warriors started strong, scoring four runs in the second inning, and held on for a 6-4 victory. It was another great pitching performance for Larson, who went seven strong, only surrendering four runs, while striking out two and only walking one Viking. The offense was anchored by Wille, who had three hits and one RBI and scored two runs. 

In game two, the Vikings exacted revenge, amassing 19 hits and 11 runs and striking out eight Warrior batters. Larson—who, according to the game stats, has pitched an incredible 32 and one-third innings over the first six games—pitched another seven innings, but could not sustain the success from game one, striking out just one batter while giving up 10 runs and 14 hits. By the time the offense showed up, led by Diersen, who had one hit and two RBIs, the game was out of reach. Ed-Co won 11-5. 

Central now stands at 3-3 and looks to rebound this week on Tuesday, June 23, with a doubleheader against MFL MarMac. The Warriors will then travel to 0-5 Clayton Ridge on Wednesday, June 24, before finishing the week against the winless Dunkerton Raiders on Friday, June 26. 

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