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Trojans' seniors shine in final home victory

July 4, 2012
By Jimmy Gillispie - Sports Editor ( , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

Jenn Maus' final home game was one she'll never forget.

Maus pitched a two-hit shutout from the circle in her final contest at South Tama High School. She also hit a home run, which proved to be the only run needed as the Trojans (9-20) beat Wapsie Valley 3-0 on their Senior Night Wednesday.

"Way to go out with a bang," STC head coach Chelsea Ahrens said of the senior Maus. "I had a feeling she was going to have a good night. She's been a five-year starter for us, and she loves playing softball."

Article Photos

The South Tama softball team joined seniors Jenn?Maus and Sarah Holtz on the pitcher’s mound for the Senior Night celebration before Wednesday’s final home game. South Tama beat Wapsie Valley 3-0 on Senior Night.

Maus was smiling big after the win.

"I'm really excited," Maus said. "I'm really excited to get that ninth win. It's the most wins we've had since I've been here."

She was one of two seniors honored before Wednesday's game. Sarah Holtz, who bats as the designate hitter, was also ecstatic following the victory.

"It was amazing," Holtz said. "It's been an amazing season. It feels so good to win some games after a dead streak for so many years."

Neither team could muster much offense throughout the game. Maus broke the scoreless tie in the fourth inning. She led off the bottom of the fourth with a solo home run over the right field fence. It was her second of the season and sixth in her STC career.

"It hit the sweet spot pretty good," Maus said. "I could feel it. I knew it was gone."

Fresh off that fourth-inning bomb to right field, Maus was hurt by back-to-back errors by her defense and a hit batter to load the bases in the fifth with no outs. Maus froze the next batter for a called third-strike to get the first out. The next batter flied out to rightfielder Tori Appelgate, who threw the ball on a rope to home.

Catcher Riley Craun corralled the ball and easily tagged Dani Gordon to record the double play and keep the Warriors off the scoreboard.

"Jenn pitched well and she got herself out of trouble," Ahrens said. "She did walk two batters and hit a girl to load the bases, but I wasn't worried. I knew our defense would get out of it. We're used to being in that situation.

"It was an absolutely great throw," she said of Appelgate's relay to Craun. "I knew Riley would stay in there and take it if the throw was there. She had her by two or three steps."

South Tama added two insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth inning. Craun started the inning with a single and a stolen base at second. Maus reached base on a fielder's choice, giving STC runners at first and third with two outs.

Jade Rohach came through with a line drive to right-center field, which scored Craun and Maus.

"It's nice to add another run or two before the seventh inning," Ahrens said. "Those runs help gave us a cushion."

Holtz hit a hard shot to center field that moved Rohach to third base. A strike out ended the inning with runners on base.

"That was really nice, especially since I've been on a two-game dead streak," Holtz said. "I've been hitting pretty well this season."

The insurance runs were nice, but Maus wouldn't need them on this night. South Tama faced only four batters in the seventh inning as it shut down the Warriors.

"It was a great win for our seniors and for the whole team, because it was our last home game for the season," Ahrens said. "It was exciting. Those two seniors definitely helped their own cause. Jenn had a great night tonight pitching and she hit a home run and Sarah came through with a big hit in the seventh inning. It's hard to ask for a better night for your last home game."

Although the team enjoyed the win, it wasn't all pretty on Wednesday. STC's defense committed three errors on the night, but got solid play from its outfield and a diving catch from shortstop Hailee Weiss.

"We still have our two or three errors," Ahrens said. "Our outfield played phenomenal tonight. They all made some great catches. We've been looking for stuff like that all season. They seven or eight put outs in the first three innings."

Those defensive errors doomed the Trojans on Thursday at West Marshall. South Tama squandered a 6-3 lead in the final inning as it lost 7-6.

"We knew coming in that it was going to be a grind," Ahrens said. "They suffered the tough loss at our place after being ahead. I knew it was going to be a battle and it's their senior night. It was a tough loss."

South Tama broke the scoreless tie in the fourth inning. Riley Craun hit a double to start the inning, before stealing third base. Madison Baack reached base on a third-strike pass ball, which allowed Craun to sprint home and slide under the tag.

Samantha Holtz and Jade Rohach loaded the bases with singles. Sarah Holtz hit a grounder that the second baseman threw home, tagging Baack out at the plate, but left bases loaded. Hailee Weiss came up next and hit a single to score Samantha Holtz and Rohach.

STC added two more runs in the fifth after West Marshall tied the score. Rohach hit another single and scored on an RBI from Trisha Walz. Walz scored on an RBI single from Appelgate. South Tama even added one more run in the seventh inning. Rohach hit a triple down the right field line. A passed ball during Sarah Holtz's at-bat allowed Rohach a window to come home.

"I thought we did some great things on offense," Ahrens said. "We drove runners in when necessary. I don't think we left that many runners stranded, besides the bases loaded once. We did a better job of it this game."

South Tama shut down West Marshall for five of the seven innings. However, in the fifth inning, the home Trojans added three runs to tie the game.

In the bottom of the seventh inning, West Marshall's offense came live. WM started the inning with three-straight singles. After STC picked off a runner at third base, West Marshall loaded the bases. The final batter of the night hit a line drive into right-center and it rolled to the fence as all three runners scored, ending the game.

"It's just our defense made too many errors. We gave them three runs in the last hit and we gave them three runs in the fifth inning off of two errors. It's unfortunate we weren't able to make the plays tonight as we booted the ball around. It happens some nights.

"Hopefully we can get things cleaned up," she said. "We can't do that against PCM, because that will be a tough way to end our season. We have to clean things up and being playing 100 percent."

South Tama played at Prairie City Monroe on Tuesday for its regional opener.



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