NEVADA - The new era in Nevada softball has already left a positive mark as the Cubs knocked off Gilbert by a 6-3 score Friday in Nevada for their first victory of the season.
Under the direction of new head coach, John Bass, the Cubs got in the win column in just the second game of the season to even their record at 1-1. The Cubs fell to No. 12 (Class 3A) North Polk the night before after their opener with No. 1 (2A) Collins-Maxwell-Baxter on May 22 was suspended.
The outings against two ranked foes had Nevada mentally prepared to take down Gilbert Friday. The Cubs took a 3-1 lead after one inning and never trailed.
Gilbert eventually tied the game in the top of the fourth, but Nevada went right back in front with a run in the bottom of the inning. Cub pitcher Mackenzie Garrett blanked Gilbert in the fifth and sixth frames and Nevada put two more runs on the board in the bottom of the sixth.
Gilbert was unable to answer in the seventh. Garrett got the win after allowing three runs on five hits and three walks with one strikeout, going all seven innings.
The Cub defense was solid behind Garrett. Nevada had seven hits on offense, including two doubles and one home run.
Grace Francis homered, walked twice and drove in two runs to pace the Cub offense. Libby Burlage doubled, walked, stole a base and scored and Riley Mailey doubled, walked and scored.
Samara Sharp singled and stole two bases, Ryanne Barker was 1-for-3 with two RBI, Addi Vorm went 1-for-3 with one run and RBI apiece and Katie Sullivan also singled for Nevada. Garrett drove in one run, Mady Farmer stole three bases and scored once and Caitlyn Sharp put up one run and steal apiece.
Jordyn Pike homered and drove in two runs and Katie Gescheidler doubled and scored for Gilbert. Taylor Larimore was the losing Tiger pitcher after giving up five earned runs with five walks and four strikeouts in six innings.
Nevada 6, Gilbert 3
G 101 100 0 - 3 5 NA
N 300 102 X - 6 7 NA
G: Taylor Larimore and Samantha Grove.
N: Mackenzie Garrett and Katie Sullivan.
2B: G - Katie Gescheidler. N - Riley Mailey, Libby Burlage.
HR: G - Jordyn Pike. N - Grace Francis.
NEVADA - Nevada tried to make a game of it versus a top-15 North Polk team in its season opener May 25 at Nevada.
But the Cubs couldn’t withstand an early Comet barrage in a 16-3 loss in six innings.
North Polk, the No. 12 team in Class 3A, jumped all over Nevada in the first inning. The Comets put six runs on the board in the opening frame and a two-run home run by Rebecca Rimathe pushed their lead to 8-0 after two innings.
“They ambushed us in the first inning,” Nevada head softball coach John Bass said. “We’ve got to get off to a better first inning. You take that away, it’s a fight for most of the game.”
By the bottom of the fourth inning, Nevada was trailing 11-0.
But the Cubs didn’t give up. They produced three runs in the bottom of the inning and pushed the game into the sixth inning before a four-run Comet surge ended the game on account of the 10-run rule.
“I’m proud of the girls the way they keep competing and handling themselves through the adversity we’re facing right now,” Bass said. “We’ve got to learn how to win — it’s something we haven’t done for awhile. We took a small step — we scored some runs tonight. That’s a start. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither is our softball program”
Riley Mailey singled with one out and courtesy runner Mady Farmer eventually scored on a double by Grace Francis for Nevada in the bottom of the fourth. Mackenzie Garrett then belted a two-run home run over the fence in left field.
“Our older girls stepped up in that inning,” Bass said. “Grace got a hit, Riley got a hit and Mackenzie got the big hit.”
Garrett went 2-for-2 and Francis and Mailey each ended up with one hit for Nevada. Garrett took the loss on the mound after allowing 11 earned runs on 12 hits with one strikeout and walk apiece in five innings.
Eighth-grader Maddison McGaffin threw the sixth inning for Nevada. She allowed four earned runs on three hits with one walk.
Sophie Swygman went the distance to get the win for North Polk. Swygman allowed three earned runs on four hits with five strikeouts and one walk.
Maddy Hill went 2-for-4 with a home run and four RBI to pace North Polk on offense. Rimathe was 2-for-3 with a homer, four runs and two RBI and Bailey Hougham drove in three runs for the Comets.
North Polk 16, Nevada 3 (6)
NP 620 314 - 16 15 1
N 000 300 - 3 4 2
NP: Sophie Swygman and Trisha Sporra.
NP: Mackenzie Garrett, Maddison McGaffin (6) and Riley Mailey.
2B: NP - Swygman, Cali Capaldo. N - Grace Francis.
HR: NP - Rebecca Rimathe, Maddy Hill. N - Garrett.