Hall of Fame manager Earl Weaver once said, "Nobody likes to hear it, because it's dull, but the reason you win or lose is darn near always the same - pitching." Such a statement could be used to frame the Trojan softball season thus far.
Though there were several superb performances at the plate on Monday, the outcome of both games would ultimately depend upon pitching and defense. The Gladbrook-Reinbeck Rebels have had a rough season so far as they have managed only one win in their 22 games. While the Rebels have been able to score runs, their pitching (or lack thereof) has been their undoing this season (at least during the games I've watched.) On Monday June 23 the Trojans took full advantage of the Gladbrook-Reinbeck's weakness and walked away with two definitive victories that would complete a season sweep against the Rebels. The previous win, a 17-7 rout, came on June 5 at the Trojan's home field.
The Trojans started their week on Monday in Gladbrook with a double header. Sam Holtz led the Trojans in the pitcher's circle for a 6-2 victory in the first game.
Short stop Hailee Weiss throws to first for an out in the Trojans Monday night double header against the Gladbrook-Reinbeck Rebels.
News Herald Photo/Allison Graham
After a break between games the Trojans came out to a slow start offensively. While first baseman Trisha Walz got the Trojans on the board with a run in the second inning, it took until the fourth inning for the Trojans to get their offense firing on all cylinders. Shortstop Hailee Weiss and third baseman Dani Stubbs were able to put up two more for the Trojans in the third but what they didn't expect was that the Rebels were going to rally and score three of their own to tie the game going into the fourth.
In the top of the third starting pitcher Kallie Halla walked Hayley Weber and Lauren Gauthier, which brought up Sasha Nagel. Weber, who was on second, was able to advance to third after a wild pitch with Gauthier advancing to second. Nagle reached first safely after a bunt. With the bases loaded Jordan LaBarge hit a sacrifice fly to Tori Appelgate in center field, which allowed Weber to score. Tessa Sienknecht was next up to bat and hit a line drive for a single that allowed Gauthier to score and Nagle to advance to third. Add an RBI to Katy Thompson's stats as she hit a grounder that scored Sasha Nagle. The Trojans were finally able to end the inning as Weiss gobbled up a ground ball and threw to Walz at first for the third out. After three innings of play the score was tied 3-3.
However, the Trojans did not stay quiet (both in the figurative and literal sense) as their offense responded in a way that got their dugout whooping, hollering, and chanting along. Some of the Trojan players may have a future in singing but for now they will stick to softball. In the fourth inning the Trojans unleashed somewhat of a fury on the Rebels. With Thompson struggling in the circle, the Trojans lit up the Rebels for nine runs in an inning where every batter either scored a run or hit an RBI.
The Trojans didn't just come alive offensively as Halla tightened up the defense and kept the Rebels hitless in the next two innings.
The sixth inning would see more of the same offensive powerhouse type play and the Trojans batted through the order again, scoring six more runs that brought their total to 18. This is the most runs the Trojans have scored this season.
With 18 runs in the Monday's second game there was plenty of offense to go around as second baseman Maddie Baack, Walz, and Halla all recorded four RBIs. Appelgate followed right behind with three RBIs and three hits. As a team the Trojans walked away with 22 hits including an impressive eight doubles.
The Trojan defense would hold the Rebels to those three runs they scored in the third and the game ended in the bottom of the sixth with the Trojans up 18-4. The Trojans remain in the middle of the NICL West pack at fourth and have a busy back end of the week with a conference matchup at West Marshall on Thursday June 26 and a two day, four game tournament in Marshalltown on Friday June 27 and Saturday June 28. Come out and enjoy a game. Go Trojans!