Marshalltown got a break from its typical drama-injected formula for winning for a full seven innings, then went back to what it knows better than most.
Coming up big late.
MHS swept its two games Friday at the Bobcat Softball Classic, first a 9-1 drubbing of South Tama followed by tight 4-1 victory over Class 3A No. 5 East Marshall.
T-R PHOTO BY TRAVIS HINES
Marshalltown pitcher Taylor Vaske, left, throws to first baseman Lauren Mazour (10) to record an out during the Bobcats’ 4-1 win over East Marshall in Friday’s last game of the Bobcat Softball Classic.
The Bobcats (11-15) fell behind 1-0 in the fifth inning to the Mustangs (21-3), the home team on the scorebaord, before answering with the equalizer in the sixth.
The two teams separated by just 10 miles entered the final frame knotted at one, with Taylor Wagner reaching on an error and Madi Bellile getting hit by a pitch to put runners on first and second with one out.
Cassidy Blackford, who notched a walk-off double in an extra-innings win over Ames the night before, stepped up to the plate and slapped a go-ahead single.
Bobcat Softball Classic
At Marshalltown Community College
BCLUW 12, Colfax-Mingo 0, 5 innings
Marion 8, West Marshall 2
Roland-Story 10, South Hardin 2
Marshalltown 9, South Tama 1
Bondurant-Farrar 5, East Marshall 2
Marion 6, South Hardin 1
West Marshall 4, Colfax-Mingo 3
BCLUW 1, Roland-Story 0
Bondurant-Farrar 18, South Tama 1
Marshalltown 4, East Marshall 1
9 a.m. - Colfax-Mingo vs. Gladbrook-Reinbeck (D1); Oskaloosa vs. South Tama (D2); South Hardin vs. Dallas Center-Grimes (D3)
10:45 a.m. - East Marshall vs. Lisbon (D1); West Marshall vs. Dallas Center-Grimes (D2); Marion vs. South Tama (D3)
12:30 p.m. - Marshalltown vs. Oskaloosa (D1); Roland-Story vs. Gladbrook-Reinbeck (D2); South Hardin vs. Bondurant-Farrar (D3)
2:15 p.m. - Lisbon vs. BCLUW (D1); Colfax-Mingo vs. East Marshall (D2); Bondurant-Farrar vs. Roland-Story (D3)
4 p.m. - West Marshall vs. Marshalltown (D1); BCLUW vs. Marion (D2)
She was followed by Quinn Goodman, who also recorded a run-scoring single, and then Hailee Beals delivered a sacrifice fly to give MHS a 4-1 edge and its sixth win of the year secured in its last at-bat.
Bobcat pitcher Taylor Vaske worked around a single by East Marshall's Abby Nuese to record the final three outs of the day and give MHS a perfect afternoon at MCC diamonds.
"I really like the way that they play (in close games), and if you put us in a situation where we can stay close in a game, I'm pretty confident in what we can do," said MHS head coach Jeff Lamb. "Both teams (STC and East Marshall) scored first on us today, and you don't really want to see that, but it's OK when you've got a team like we've got."
Goodman finished the day with five hits, two doubles and two RBIs combined, while Blackford had four hits and three RBIs. Wagner went 3-for-4 with a triple, home run and three RBIs in the opener.
"Taylor's swinging it hot, Cassidy is swinging it hot, Quinn is swinging it hot," said Lamb. "It's halfway through the season and we're starting to get it. We don't have to rely on our short game as much.
"We've got three or four hitters now instead of just one that are hitting the ball hard in play every time, and I like that a lot."
Vaske struck out two and allowed four hits in the win while Lauren Mazour struck out four and allowed four hits in her win over the Trojans. The defense committed just two errors behind them on the day.
"The big thing today was our pitching was there and our defense was really there," noted Lamb. "You give up two runs in a day and your pitchers are throwing like they were throwing, I was happy with that."
STC struck first in the opener after a throwing error in the second inning, but three runs by MHS in the home half of the frame made the Trojan lead short-lived. The Bobcats added two in each of the third, fourth and sixth innings to run away and hide from STC.
Beals had two hits and a walk in the opener while Mazour had one hit and an RBI.
East Marshall's Mariah Fritz befuddled the Bobcat bats for most of the night, holding them to just two hits until the sixth inning, when Goodman's leadoff double led to the equalizer.
The Mustangs managed just run one in the fifth inning despite loading the bases with one out. A close call at home in the inning kept them from adding a second tally.
"(Marshalltown) put the ball in play when we didn't, and there was some questionable calls that obviously kind of hurt us a little bit," said East Marshall head coach Jary Hoskey. "The Vaske girl kept us off-balanced, and they put the ball in play when they had to and we didn't."
East Marshall saw its six-game winning streak since a loss to Cedar Rapids Kennedy ended a 15-game run with a 5-2 loss to Class 3A No. 3 Bondurant-Farrar earlier in the day.
The Mustangs have won 14 games this year by at least 10 runs.
"It was good for us to have this kind of competition, good for us to have games that can go either way, and I'm proud of the girls, the way they played," said Hoskey. "This is good for us. You can't always beat people 10-0. We'll be a better team because of it."
Nuese had two hits and a walk against MHS to lead the Mustangs, who will look to jumpstart a new winning streak against Lisbon and Colfax-Mingo today.
"I don't care if they're 1A, 3A, 5A, they're comeptitive no matter what they do," said Lamb of the Mustangs. "They would fare pretty well in a lot of 5A conferences. It's good to get games like this where our girls are really pumped up to play somebody from close to here."
The Bobcats return to play today with matchups against Oskaloosa and their other county neighbor, West Marshall.