It was a tough night at the office on Wednesday June 4 for the STC softball team. The Trojans travelled to the AGWSR's home field for a double header against a Cougar squad that has proven to be a softball powerhouse.
The Trojans weren't able to get a practice in due to the girl's soccer team playing in the second round of regional action on Tuesday evening. The Trojans were also coming off of games with Grundy Center and a JV double header against Dike New-Hartford that both feature a slower pitching style.
Adjusting to the fast, precise pitching of junior pitcher Ashley Sicard proved to be a difficult adjustment for Trojans, particularly in the opening game. All of this combined with at least one STC player battling sickness made for a rough first game.
AGWSR gets trapped between third baseman Dani Stubbs and catcher Catie Collins as she tries for home. Stubbs got the out for the Trojans.
Chronicle Photo/Allison Graham
Sometimes you have to give credit where credit is due. As said above AGWSR is simply a powerhouse in softball. Currently 7-1 on the 2014 season the Cougars have lost just one game to East Marshall. AGWSR was the NICL west conference champs last season and took third place in the 2A state tournament. Since 2012 they hold an overall record of 62-18. As for Sicard, she has been anchoring the Cougar pitching staff since she was a freshman.
She holds a high school career pitching record of 59-16 with an ERA of 1.07. The first game of the night was Sicard's second no hitter of the season. Last season Sicard pitched shut outs in 15 of AGWSR's wins. The girl has game. Did I mention she is a junior?
At the end of four innings the game concluded with a final score of 0-12.
SOUTH TAMA SOFTBALL (1)
AT AGWSR COUGARS SOFTBALL (3)
SOUTH TAMA SOFTBALL AB R H BI
Tori Applegate 4 1 3 0
Madison Baack 2 0 0 0
Hailee Weiss 3 0 1 1
Sam Holtz 3 0 0 0
Dani Stubbs 3 0 0 0
Trisha Walz 3 0 1 0
Catie Collins 3 0 0 0
Kallie Hala 1 0 0 0
Belle Tyynismaa 3 0 0 0
TOTALS 25 1 5 1
The Trojans were down and it was written all over their faces. Ahrens had the challenging task of preparing the girls mentally for the second game.
"We just try to stay positive, it's not over till it's over, just give us
all you got," said STC head coach Chelsea Ahrens. "I thought the girls did a really nice job of responding in that second game, and forgetting about that first game. It's really good of them mentally to be able to do that."
Coming out for the second game of the night the Trojans recovered some of their swagger and responded with a close, competitive game. Pitcher Kallie Hala led the team defensively by giving up just three runs across seven close innings of play. The rest of the Trojan defense got back on track as they held the Cougars to only 2 hits.
The Trojans faced Sicard once again in the second game, (Sicard starts nearly every game for the Cougars) but this time to a more productive result. STC registered four hits against Sicard by Appelgate (2), Weiss (1), and Walz (1). Appelgate earned the lone run of the game from a RBI courtesy of Weiss in the sixth inning.
Though they battled hard in the second game the Trojans came up short in the seventh inning after Walz and Hala were stranded on base. The final score was 3-1 in favor of AGWSR "I think there was more effort, more confidence, and you could definitely tell in that second game," said Ahrens. The Trojans will likely get another crack at Sicard and the Cougars as they are scheduled to face off at the Trojan's home field on Thursday June 19.