Mustangs dominate STC in the rain

East Marshall stops Trojans in 4 innings

Junior third baseman Gwen Upah surveys the base paths during South Tama’s road contest against 2019 State Softball qualifier East Marsall on Friday, June 19. Upah captured two stolen bases in the game but the Trojans were dramatically outplayed by the Mustangs, falling 14-1 in four innings. Photo by Noah Rohlfing/Times Republican

LE GRAND — The weather at East Marshall High School’s softball field Friday evening was subpar, with rain picking up (or slowing down) from inning to inning. The Mustangs didn’t seem to mind, though, and rolled to a 13-1 victory over the South Tama County Trojans. The Trojans got off to a tough start in the bottom of the first inning, as East Marshall’s bats brought in six runs and put STC in a deep hole.

Trojans coach Chelsea Ahrens said it was partially the result of a long week at the office for her squad.

“You could just tell they were pretty exhausted,” Ahrens said. “Still not an excuse for not making plays, not giving effort. We had a few good plays, we’re learning a lot.”

The Mustangs have struggled a bit to get their bats going through the first week of the season, leaning on the pitching of senior Kodie Hoskey to get wins. Hoskey gave up one hit in four innings — a second-inning home run to opposing pitcher Ashlynn Ellenbecker. Head coach Jary Hoskey said it was good to see the offense get on track.

“I’m glad that we moved the ball on [Ellenbecker],” Jary said. “You do that, you get pitching and you get defense, I like our chances.”

Kennedy Wheater brought home the first runs of the game, smashing a two-run double to score Reagan McIlrath and Emma Pfantz. Hoskey then had an RBI double of her own to make it 3-0. Callyn Curphy and Jayleigh Pansegrau drove in three more runs to complete the Mustangs’ first-inning tally.

Neither team scored in the second inning as pitching took center stage. In the third, East Marshall added six more runs, led by McIlrath and Pansegrau’s bats once again.

The Mustangs are a younger team this season, playing six sophomores and a freshman Friday evening. Hoskey said the team has gelled quicker than he could have hoped.

“Most of those sophomore kids have played new positions,” Jary said. “They had to learn some different spots. So if you look at it that way, we’re gonna get better.

“I kind of like where we’re at.”

Taking a 12-1 lead into the fourth inning, all the Mustangs had to do was score one run to end the game early. As the drizzle continued, Pansegrau was at the center of the action for a third time. A single drove in Curphy to complete the convincing win for East Marshall and end the week unbeaten.

Pansegrau finished 3-for-3 with a double, a triple and four RBIs to lead the Mustang offense. Hoskey doubled twice and Curphy had two singles.

The weekend gives Kodie Hoskey and the Mustangs a chance to rest before what Jary said was a very difficult week of action coming up, with games against Class 4A Bondurant-Farrar, Grundy Center, AGWSR and Don Bosco on the schedule.