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Softball got off to a fast start with the Raiderettes playing six games in as many days.
The season started off strong for the #6 Raiderettes with a big, 9-0, win over the Clarke Indians on Tuesday, May 25. The girls dropped their first contest the following day against the Lenox Tigers, 4-1.
The Raiderettes hosted Bedford on Friday and won 12-0 after three innings.
On Saturday, the Raiderettes traveled to Winterset for a tournament where they dropped three to state ranked Van Meter, Winterset and Earlham.
Mt. Ayr 9, Clarke 0
The #12 class 3A Clarke Indians came to Mount Ayr last Tuesday for opening day for the Raiderettes.
Addy Reynolds started on the mound for Mount Ayr. She recorded four strikeouts and allowed two hits after seven innings just a few days removed from a record-breaking State Track meet for her.
“Softball is my thing, I love softball. Just getting out here and doing what we love to do makes it easy to switch [from track to softball],” said Reynolds. “Sunday night we had practice. Had a long practice, but being around the girls that love the game just as much as I do makes it worth it and locks me in.”
Behind the circle, Reynolds was backed up by a defense that posted a fielding percentage of .939.
The Raiderettes recorded 21 putouts on 33 total chances with two errors.
Halsie Barnes was perfect on the night with 11 putouts on 11 total chances.
It was also the first start for eighth grader, Breya Nickle behind the plate as catcher.
Nickle was a wall behind home and after the first inning, steadied some nerves and looked like a seasoned pro. Nickle was four-for-four on putouts and total chances. Nickle was also two-for-four with one run on the night to help the Raiderette bats get going.
“I was nervous to start with,” said Nickle. “The other girls hitting boosted my confidence. Coach Ruggles told me just to go out and do what I do.”
Mount Ayr was nine-for-14 against Clarke’s Emma Bolton and Astazia Watson.
Zoey Larsen had a night at the plate, hitting three-of-four with one run and one RBI.
Coach Ruggles had just finished the golf season on Monday night in Anita and was coaching the girls on the diamond Tuesday night against Clarke.
“It’s a leadership thing,” said coach Ruggles. “That’s Makayla, Halsie, Addy and Payten. They know where to be, what to do. We had a clean game, and offensively we got out early.”
Lenox 4, Mt. Ayr 1
Wednesday night was a tough outing for the Raiderettes, falling to TJ Stoaks and company in Lenox.
Mount Ayr took the lead in the top of the third, 1-0 after Channler Henle doubled to kick off the inning.
Nickle and Streit laid down a couple of sacrifice bunts to move Henle across the plate.
Lenox saw two fly outs and a ground out to end the inning with Mount Ayr ahead.
It wasn’t until the bottom of the fourth when Lenox went up 4-1, which would be the end result of the night.
Reynolds was in the circle for the Raiderettes and allowed only one earned run off five hits and walked two with eight strikeouts.
Behind Reynolds, the defense had three errors and 18 putouts on 26 total chances.
At the plate, the Raiderettes recorded three hits on 21 at-bats.
Stoaks took the circle for the Tigers, allowing one run off three hits and seven strikeouts.
The Tigers went to the plate 26 times and recorded six hits.
Mt. Ayr 12, Bedford 0
The Raiderettes hosted Bedford, after having a Thursday off, on Friday, May 28.
Mount Ayr started off with two runs in the first before really getting the bats going with a seven run second inning. The Raiderettes finished the game in the bottom of the third, putting up three runs to end the contest.
Zoey Larsen tossed a no-hitter against the Bulldogs and recorded fivfive strikeouts in the shutout against Bedford.
The Bulldogs did reach on error once with freshman Bridgett Murphy.
The Raiderettes had nine putouts on 12 total chances and one error.
At the plate, the Raiderettes recorded 14 hits on 19 at-bats with one homerun off the bat of Alexa Anderson that resulted in two runs.
“It was a snowball, one little mistake became two, became three, became four, became five and before you knew they had four runs,” said Ruggles. “Coming in with a new defense, we are going to take some bumps for a little while and that’s okay.”
VM 3, Mt. Ayr 2
Saturday, May 29, the Raiderettes traveled to Winterset for a tournament with class 2A #10 ranked Van Meter.
The Bulldogs won in a close 3-2 contest that reached the time limit after six innings.
Van Meter went ahead in the top of the third before the Raiderettes added two in the fourth to go-ahead.
The Raiderettes stayed ahead until the top of the sixth, when Van Meter tacked on two more runs to score winning run.
Van Meter’s Molly Blomgren reached first and Shea Rodes knocked in Blomgren for the tying run. Sami McDonald drove in the winning run.
The Raiderettes went down in order in the bottom of the sixth, ending game one of the tournament for Mount Ayr.
Reynolds pitched for the Raiderettes, striking out seven batters and allowing three runs, all earned, off three hits and one walk.
Defensively, the Raiderettes had three errors and recorded 18 putouts on 26 total chances. The Bulldogs reached on error twice.
At the plate, Mount Ayr recorded three hits on 22 at-bats with one homerun off the bat of Alexa Anderson. Anderson’s two-run homer gave the Raiderettes their two-runs.
Van Meter’s pitcher, Macy Blomgren gave up two runs off two hits, one earned, and two walks. Blomgren also struck out 10 batters.
Behind Blomgren, the Bulldogs had 18 putouts on 23 total chances and two errors.
At the plate, the Bulldogs recorded four hits in 23 at-bats.
Winterset 13, Mt. Ayr 1
The Raiderettes second game of the day came against the number one team in class 4A and last year’s State Softball champion, Winterset.
The Huskies went ahead early, leading the Raiderettes 7-0 by the top of the second.
Mount Ayr scored its lone run in the bottom of the second after Halsie Barnes reached on a single and was knocked in by Breya Nickle.
Winterset finished the contest in the third, adding six more runs to go up 13-1.
Zoey Larsen started the game for the Raiderettes in the circle, allowing 13 runs off seven hits with one strikeout. After 2 1/3 innings, Reynolds came in to relieve, giving up three runs off two hits.
Behind Larsen and Reynolds, the Raiderettes had nine putouts on 20 attempts and six errors.
At the plate, the Raiderettes recorded one run off two hits and struck out four times.
Pitching for Winterset was Thea Banning. She allowed one run on two hits and struck out three, while walking one.
Behind Banning, the Husky defense recorded nine putouts on 15 attempts.
At the plate, Winterset recorded 11 runs on six hits in 13 at-bats.
Earlham 12, Mt. Ayr 5
The Raiderettes finished out the day, and week, with a tough contest against the Earlham Cardinals.
The Raiderettes took an early 2-0 lead before the Cardinals tied it up at two.
Mount Ayr had a 5-2 lead in the third before things broke down for the Raiderette defense. Earlham went on a 10-run inning to win 12-5.
Reynolds started the contest and allowed 12 runs on nine hits, seven of which were earned. Reynolds walked three and struck out two.
Larsen came in to relieve Reynolds in the third and allowed two hits and walked one.
Behind the circle, Mount Ayr committed five errors and recorded 10 putouts on 18 total chances.
At the plate, the Raiderettes recorded five runs on seven hits and four RBI.
Addy Reynolds and Zoey Larsen each had home-runs in the contest.
In the circle for Earlham to start, was Cora Boyle. Boyle allowed two runs on three hits.
Madeline Janssen came in to relieve and received the win after allowing three runs on four hits.
Behind the circle, Earlham recorded nine putouts on 11 total chances.
At the plate, Earlham recorded 13 runs off 12 hits and one home-run and seven RBI.
“We knew coming in that this was going to be a very busy day,” said Ruggles. “We faced four ranked teams and I think we are right there with these guys, though we didn’t show it at times. We made mistakes and errors and need to clean that up.”