LE GRAND - The team with the top winning percentage in Class 3A softball went with the combo.
The hitting, pitching and defense combination shined as East Marshall claimed a 10-0 victory in five innings over Gladbrook-Reinbeck on Tuesday.
The fifth-ranked Mustangs improve to 20-1 for the season and 10-0 in NICL West play.
T-R PHOTO BY MARK PAWLAK
East Marshall junior Paige Miller hits a base hit to center field during the first inning of Tuesday’s NICL West softball game against Gladbrook-Reinbeck. Miller had two hits in the Mustangs’ 10-0 win in Le Grand.
Each of the top four in the East Marshall batting order finished with two hits. Haley Long threw a shutout, while the Mustangs played error-free ball behind her.
"It we hit the ball, play defense and get the pitching, like we can, we're tough to handle," said East Marshall head coach Jary Hoskey.
"If we don't have all of that combination, we're going to struggle some. You have to have all of those going for you."
East Marshall saw its first six batters of the first inning reach base. A two-run single by Ashley Allen pushed the advantage to 6-0.
Long threw a three-hitter, walking two and striking out four.
Emily Snider went 2-for-3 with a double for the Rebels (8-12, 4-6), while Kayla Holbach added a single. Snider twice was stranded at third base, while Long also got out of a second and third one-out jam in the fourth.
"We had a bad inning there to start and left some runners in scoring position," said G-R head coach Brian Thompson. "We had second and third with one out there and left them there after two strikeouts."
"It just seems we can't catch a break right now," he added.
Long now sports a 13-0 record.
"Our defense played well and we got good pitching out of sophomore Haley Long. She's worked hard in the offseason, and tonight the last three innings she really picked it up," Hoskey said. "There were runners at second and third with one out and she gets out of it by striking out the next two batters."
Alyssa Whitmore had two hits and scored three runs from the leadoff spot of the Mustang lineup. Chelsea Whitmore finished with two hits and four RBIs. Paige Miller and Karly Long both had two hits.
The East Marshall defense had a pair of big plays in the early going with third baseman Chelsea Whitmore grabbing a line drive and right fielder Callie Roseland making a running catch in the right-center gap.
G-R pitcher Taylor Street took the loss, allowing 10 runs on nine hits. The Rebels missed a couple chances to make plays defensively to get out of the first with less damage. Errors also helped fuel Mustang rallies later on.
Street had four strikeouts in a row at one point, finishing with six overall.
"We didn't help her out in the first inning and she hung a couple pitches, you can't do that against a team like them (East Marshall)," Thompson said. "She settled in for us, but you can't win with zero on the board. We've got to be able to push in a few runs."
NICL West play continues Thursday as East Marshall hosts South Hardin on Grandparents Night, while G-R goes to South Tama.