It's a tough weekend for Mustang girls

Wednesday, July 6, 2005

Team drops three on weekend

It was a tough weekend for the Newell-Fonda softball team.

The Mustangs, ranked third in Class 1A, lost a pitcher's duel 1-0 to Carroll-Kuemper Friday night in Carroll, then lost a pair of games Saturday in the Storm Lake Tournament.

In the loss to Kuemper, Newell-Fonda ace Hanna Reis gave up a single run in the bottom of the fifth, taking the loss. She gave up just five hits while not walking a batter and striking out one.

"This was an outstanding high school softball game," said N-F coach Dick Jungers. "Both teams had several chances to get a run across the plate, but failed to do so."

He added that Kuemper scored with the bases loaded in the fifth.

"(A Kuemper batter) hit a weak pop fly over the shortstop's head," he added. "The umpire called the infield fly rule and we could not make the play, with their runner scoring from third.

"I am very pleased at how we executed our offense. We just could not get that timely hit. We had several opportunities to score the go-ahead run, but couldn't find a hole in the defense. Kuemper had outstanding team speed and played great defense."

The Mustangs were held to three hits, but the Kuemper pitcher didn't walk a batter. Senior Destiny Sievers hit a double while adding singles were Ellen Gruntorad, Tiffany Parker and Sam Schaffer.

Saturday in the Tornado Classic Tournament in Storm Lake, the Mustangs opened with a 12-1 loss to Lakes Conference opponent Estherville-Lincoln Central.

The Midgets struck quickly, scoring three times in the first off N-F righthander Lauren Devereaux. The Mustangs scored their only run in the top of the second, with E-LC adding a run in the top of the fifth for a 4-1 lead after five innings.

E-LC rallied for two runs in the top of the sixth and added six in the top of the seventh.

Devereaux took the loss, giving up nine hits and walking eight with four strikeouts. Just three of EL-C's 12 runs were earned, as N-F made a season-high eight errors.

"We just did not come to play in this game," Jungers said. "We played some people in different positions to gain some experience and did not make the plays we needed to be successful. When you have eight errors and give up all those extra bases to extend innings, you won't be successful."

At the plate, Sievers had a double and single in three at-bats while Tiffany Parker added two hits. Sam Schaffer had an RBI, while hitting singles were catcher Andrea Larsen, Kelly Johnson and Amanda Hanson.

The Mustangs' struggles at the plate continued in game two of the tournament, a 3-1 loss to IKM. They also made four errors.

"We struggled with our discipline at the plate in this game," Jungers said. "We chased some bad pitches and it caught up with us. We also struggled with our fielding, making four costly errors.

"When you can't finish innings off, it allows the other team more chances to score. "

The Mustangs' only run came in the bottom of the first, when Larsen, an all-state pick last season, hit her tenth homer of

the season. N-F had three other hits, including singles from Reis, Sievers and Hanson.

Reis was the hard luck loser on the mound. She gave up just two earned runs on ten hits. She didn't walk a batter and struck out two.

With the three losses, Newell-Fonda dropped to 22-6 on the season.

"(Saturday's tournament) provided us with some good exposure to quality teams," Jungers said. "It will allow us to refocus on some of the little things that had gotten away from us."

The Mustangs are at Alta Wednesday and play at Graettinger-Terril Thursday.

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