There were plenty of times this weekend when East Marshall had opportunity to question itself.
The Mustangs suffered twice as many losses Friday as they had previously all year.
Then, this day, they watched a five-run lead disappear in game one and couldn't find a groove in game two.
T-R PHOTO BY TRAVIS HINES
Abby Nuese of East Marshall makes contact Saturday at the Bobcat Softball Classic. The Mustangs went 2-0 on the day with wins over Lisbon and Colfax-Mingo.
East Marshall, though, found all the right answers Saturday.
The Class 3A No. 5 Mustangs defeated Class 1A No. 5 Lisbon, 10-7, in dramatic fashion before holding off Colfax-Mingo 4-2 in the nightcap.
It appeared the Mustangs (23-3) had shook off any residual effects from losses to Class 3A No. 3 Bondurant-Farrar and Class 5A Marshalltown the previous day when they took a 5-0 lead over the Lions in the second inning.
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
Colfax-Mingo 7, Gladbrook-Reinbeck 6, 9 inn.
South Tama 2, Oskaloosa 0
Dallas Center-Grimes 14, South Hardin 4
East Marshall 10, Lisbon 7
Dallas Center-Grimes 12, West Marshall 0
Marion 6, South Tama 5, 8 innings
Oskaloosa 7, Marshalltown 1
Roland-Story 10, Gladbrook-Reinbeck 0
Bondurant-Farrar 10, South Hardin 1
Lisbon 7, BCLUW 6
East Marshall 4, Colfax-Mingo 2
Bondurant-Farrar 11, Roland-Story 2
Marshalltown 6, West Marshall 0
BCLUW 3, Marion 1
Things took a turn, however, in the fourth when Lisbon scored five runs, the last two on a towering home run by Alexa Moothart, to suddenly knot things up and chase East Marshall starter Haley Long from the circle.
Undaunted, the Mustangs came back in the home half of the inning and doubled up their score with five runs, and Mariah Fritz was able to keep C-M at bay over the final three frame to claim the victory.
"I think our dobber was down a little bit from yesterday. We showed up, scored five in the beginning," said East Marshall head coach Jary Hoskey, "but when they tied us up, we just said, 'What are we made of? Should we be ranked and are we that good?' We came back and scored five, and that was basically the deciding point of that ballgame."
"Any time you give up five runs in an inning you get disgruntled," he added, "but they battled back, and they hit the ball."
East Marshall wasn't at a loss for offensive stars against the Lions with Alyssa Whitmore, Chelsea Whitmore and Karly Long all knocking out three hits.
Alyssa Whitmore had a pair of doubles while Chelsea Whitmore drove in three runs and Long two. Freshman Ashley Allen also had a trio of RBIs against Lisbon.
Offense was tougher to come by against Colfax-Mingo's Sydnie Fahrney after striking for two runs in the first inning,
Alyssa Whitmore, Paige Miller and Chelsea Whitmore hit three-straight singles to start the game and Long added a run-scoring groundout to put two runs on the board in the first four batters.
The Mustangs then went 13 trips to the plate without a hit as C-M got a run-scoring double from Hailey Summ in the third to pull within 2-1.
East Marshall's hitless streak came to an end in the fourth when Callie Roseland's single brought Abby Nuese around to score after the senior had reached on an error.
C-M came back with one run in the sixth to keep within a swing of the Mustangs, but East Marshall put an insurance run on the board in the bottom fo the inning on a run-scoring single by freshman Taylor Fricke.
Fritz, a freshman, worked around a single and an error in the seventh to preserve the victory after allowing two runs on 10 hits while striking out three.
"The older kids are coming through, but the younger kids, they're no longer freshmen," said Hoskey. "Hopefully we'll start to click on all cylinders."
Colfax-Mingo's Katelyn Buehrer went 4-for-4 against the Mustangs while Summy had three hits.
East Marshall continues its quest for perfection in NICL West play with a test Monday in Conrad against Class 2A No. 10 BCLUW. The Mustangs are a flawless 11-0 in conference play with an 11-0 victory over the Comets already on their resume. That loss is BCLUW's only blemish in league action.