MCCALLSBURG - A 12-1 loss to Grand View Christian June 20 marked the end of a challenging week for the Colo-NESCO softball team.
The Royals fell to the Thunder in five innings after giving up six runs in the third inning and four in the fifth. It was their third loss to a powerhouse program in as many games over the week, with their other losses to Clarksville (10-1) and Collins-Maxwell (11-1) — the teams ranked third and first in Class 1A respectively.
“Looking at the schedule, we knew this week, week-and-a-half, was going to be a tough one,” Colo-NESCO head coach Candace Sutton said. “This is something we need to do to make us better as we get toward the postseason. Our bats normally come alive after we play the tough teams like this.”
Royal eighth-grade pitcher Callie Kohlwes got out of a bases-loaded jam in the first inning, giving up just one run. She kept the Thunder off the board in the second inning, but in the third everything went south.
A two-run double by Sammie Ward got things going for Grand View Christian in the third. The other four runs came with two outs following a Royal error.
Emma Heffron drove in Grand View Christian’s run in the fourth inning. In the fifth, the Thunder took advantage of another Colo-NESCO defensive mistake and also got RBIs from Heffron, Karlee Knode and Maddy Childs.
“We struggle once we make one error,” Colo-NESCO’s Rylee Purvis said. “Then we make another one and another one, so we need to eliminate those. Honestly we’re getting better at that, but tonight we kind of lost that groove.”
Colo-NESCO scored its run in the bottom of the fourth. Lauryn Hill reached on an error, McKenzie Niemeyer singled and then Hill made her way home on another Thunder miscue.
Niemeyer has provided a big bright spot for Colo-NESCO over the last two weeks.
Along with her hit against Grand View Christian, she homered against Collins-Maxwell ace Mikayla Houge and doubled off another star hurler in Clarksville’s Kori Wedeking this past week. Last week during the Kiwanis Softball Tournament in Roland, Niemeyer homered against another quality opponent in South Hamilton.
“It’s really nerve-racking at first,” Niemeyer said of carrying a bigger offensive load. “Once I found my swing, it got a lot better. I’m just a lot more confident now.”
Sutton is hoping the rest of the offense heats up over the last two weeks of the regular season to give the team momentum going into 1A regionals. The Royals face a favorable schedule in their final eight games.
“We’ve played the toughest competition you can in 1A this last week,” Sutton said. “That’s preparing our girls for the postseason and that makes me excited.”
Kohlwes gave up seven earned runs on eight hits and three walks in three innings as the losing pitcher. Rylee Purvis surrendered five runs — just two earned — on seven hits with just one walk in two innings.
Gracie Kettwig picked up the other Royal hit. The loss put Colo-NESCO at 5-14.
Grand View Christian improved to 15-5. Heffron struck out four and didn’t give up a walk in four innings as the winning pitcher and she, Ward and Childs each finished with two RBIs.
Grand View Christian 12, Colo-NESCO 1 (5)
GVC 106 14 - 12 15 2
CN 000 10 - 1 2 2
GVC: Emma Heffron, Kelly DeMeulanaere (5) and Sydney Lane.
CN: Callie Kohlwes, Rylee Purvis (3) and Abigail Hostetler.
2B: Heffron, Lane, Kaitlyn Collins, Sammie Ward.
MCCALLSBURG - Colo-NESCO had trouble stopping Collins-Maxwell’s offense early in an 11-1 loss to the No. 1 team in Class 1A June 19.
Collins-Maxwell scored 10 of its runs over the first three innings. The Spartans put three runs on the board in the first inning, one in the second and six in their big third inning.
The Royals got their run in the bottom of the fourth. McKenzie Niemeyer kept up her hot play by hitting a solo home run — the only Colo-NESCO hit off Spartan all-state hurler Mikayla Houge.
Collins-Maxwell scored its final run in the sixth to end the game an inning early.
Callie Kohlwes gave up eight earned runs on 10 hits with three walks and a strikeout in 3 ⅓ innings as the losing Colo-NESCO pitcher. Rylee Purvis allowed one earned run on one walk in 2 ⅔ hitless innings for the Royals.
Purvis also drew a walk on offense. The loss put Colo-NESCO at 5-5 in the Iowa Star Conference and 5-13 overall.
Houge piled up 14 strikeouts as the winning pitcher. Ella Kahler was 3-for-4 with a double and three RBIs and Emma Kahler doubled and drove in three runs for the Spartans at the plate.
Collins-Maxwell 11, Colo-NESCO 1 (6)
CM 316 001 - 11 10 NA
CN 000 100 - 1 1 NA
CM: Mikayla Houge and Hannah Caple.
CN: Callie Kohlwes, Rylee Purvis (4) and Abigail Hostetler.
2B: CM - Emma Kahler, Ella Kahler, Olivia Pasquariello.
HR: CN - McKenzie Niemeyer.
MCCALLSBURG - Colo-NESCO wasn’t able to keep pace with a Clarksville team rated third in Class 1A June 17, suffering a 10-1 home loss.
Clarksville was clicking offensively, finishing with 12 hits. Colo-NESCO only totaled four, coming up short to the undefeated Indians.
Callie Kohlwes singled and scored the only run for Colo-NESCO. McKenzie Niemeyer hit a double, Gracie Kettwig and Jenna Banks both singled and Faith Vincent and Megan Carlson each drew a walk.
Izabell Voelker and Jenna Hill each added a steal for Colo-NESCO offensively. Rylee Purvis was the losing pitcher, going all seven innings and giving up seven earned runs with five strikeouts and two walks.
Kori Wedeking struck out eight and walked two as the winning Clarksville pitcher. Cheyenne Behrends was 4-for-5 with a double, two runs and three RBIs and Wedeking doubled and drove in four runs for the Indians.
Clarksville 10, Colo-NESCO 1
C 210 013 3 - 10 12 NA
CN 001 000 0 - 1 4 NA
C: Kori Wedeking and Ainsley Lovrien.
CN: Rylee Purvis and Abigail Hostelter.
2B: C - Wedeking, Cheyenne Behrends, Emma Poppe. CN - McKenzie Niemeyer.