Tornado softball team turns back Harlan, Heelan
Seniors Ty Zimmerman and Trish Halder didn't waste any time illustrating two of the top reasons this season's Storm Lake High softball team should be one of Iowa's best.
Tuesday night in the Tornadoes' season opener against Harlan at Sioux City Heelan, Zimmerman cranked a three-run homer in the third inning off second-team all-state pitcher Katie Goetzinger, and that was all Halder needed. The hard-throwing senior blanked Harlan on two hits in a 3-0 Tornado win.
"Some fantastic defense by Amber Woodford was also a key," said SLHS coach Jason Stoltzfus.
Halder walked two and struck out three. Storm Lake had just two hits against Goetzinger, who allowed just one earned run. Harlan made two costly errors. Halder had the only other hit for the Tornadoes.
Later in the afternoon, Storm Lake improved to 2-0 with a 9-1 win over Sioux City Heelan.
Junior Morgan Darrow was impressive in her first outing of the season, yielding just six hits and one earned run.
"We executed and got the job done," Stoltzfus said. "Morgan pitched well and we had a solid defensive effort."
The Tornadoes led 2-1 after the first inning and neither team scored in the next two frames. In the fourth, Storm Lake erupted for seven runs.
Lindsay Guenther had a big day at the plate, going 3 for 4 with 6 RBI and a run-scored. Slone Masters went 2 for 3 with 3 RBI and two runs scored.
Halder, senior Heidi Hammen, Zimmerman, and Woodford had two hits each.
SLHS baseball team starts 2-1 in Lakes action
The Storm Lake High baseball team improved to 2-1 in conference play here Thursday with a 12-5 win over Hull-Western Christian.
The Tornadoes had six hits but took advantage of eight walks. Storm Lake, 3-1 overall, scored four runs in the first inning, two in the second, three in the fourth, two in the fifth and one in the sixth.
Junior righthander Zach Manteufel threw the first 3 1/3 innings, allowing just one hit but walking eight. Tyson Brandt finished up, allowing three hits over the last 3 2/3 innings and striking out five.
The Tornadoes utilized their speed on the basepaths, finishing with 12 stolen bases.
Offensively, infielder Logan Masters went 3 for 3 with a three-run triple. Brandt also had a good day at the plate, going 2 for 4 with an RBI.
"We have a young team that's still developing," SLHS baseball coach Bill McCabe said. "Right now, I feel we should be hitting better, but hopefully that will improve as the younger players get more at-bats."
On Wednesday at Tornado Field, Storm Lake evened its conference record at 1-1 with an 11-1 trouncing of Spirit Lake.
Tornado righthander Nick Crippen tossed a five-inning no-hitter with 11 strikeouts.
"Nick pitched well and had their hitters off-balance," McCabe added.
Offensively, Storm Lake scored one run in the first, one in the third and broke the game open in the fourth with seven runs. They added two more in the fifth.
Manteufel had a good night at the plate, going 3 for 4 with three RBI. Junior Mitch McCabe was 2 for 4 with an RBI while Alex Severson was also 2 for 4.
"We are doing good things in practice, especially hitting, but we haven't been able to duplicate that in games," McCabe said, adding that some of his younger players have made strong contributions thus far.
Storm Lake hosts its own tournament today. They'll meet Schaller-Crestland at 12:30 p.m. in the tourney opener at Tornado Field Saturday.