Eight errors and seven unearned runs came back to haunt the Marshalltown softball team, which suffered a pair of defeats at the hands of Fort Dodge in Monday's Central Iowa Conference Northern Division opener at the MHS diamond.
The Bobcats made five errors behind senior pitcher Lauren Mazour in a 7-2 loss in the first game, and three more miscues led to a trio of unearned runs and a 4-3 Dodger victory in the nightcap.
For all the things that went wrong, Marshalltown (3-6, 0-2) still had a chance to take the second game. But Casandra Tjebben's two-run single in the top of the fifth inning put Fort Dodge ahead 4-0, and the Bobcats' three-run response in the bottom half suddenly was not enough.
T-R PHOTO BY ROSS THEDE
Marshalltown’s Quinn Goodman, right, slides into home plate as Fort Dodge catcher Taylor Messerly readies the tag during the fourth inning of game one Monday at the MHS diamond. Goodman was called out on the play and the Dodgers swept the CIC Northern Division doubleheader, 7-2 and 4-3.
Taylor Wagner and Madi Bellile pieced together back-to-back singles to start the fifth, and Wagner scored when the Dodgers made a play on Bellile. Cassidy Blackford was hit by a pitch and advanced to third when the Dodgers got Quinn Goodman out trying to advance on her misplayed grounder. Kaley Mead's single drove in the final run to get MHS within one.
But relief pitcher Meagan Hartman stepped in for Tjebben and sealed the win, tossing 2 1/3 innings of scoreless relief.
Fort Dodge piled up 13 singles against MHS freshman Jasmine Judge, yet it were the three Bobcat errors that led to three unearned runs. Judge walked one and struck out one, scattering 13 hits as well as anyone could hope to.
"Fort Dodge is a team that does the little things very well," said Bobcat head coach Jeff Lamb. "I think our defense needs to get better, but this was a good team to play because we're going to see this type of game on a regular basis.
"We've still got some growing pains, but this was definitely a beatable team for us. We just needed to play better."
Wagner and Bellile both went 2-for-4, while Blackford, Mead and Emily DeVenney each had singles for the Bobcats.
Brielle Ulrich led the Dodgers (7-2, 2-0), going 3-for-4 at the plate.
In the opener, Mallory Kilian pitched and hit Fort Dodge to a 7-2 win. She hit a solo home run in the top of the first, added a two-run bunt single past the pitcher's circle in the Dodgers' six-run third, and struck out six in a five-hitter to move her record to 4-1.
Maddie Egli, Madi Bennett and Tjebben each added two hits for the Dodgers.
Marshalltown got its first run in the third, when Morgan Bellile broke up Kilian's early perfect game with a bloop single and scored two batters later on Wagner's two-out double over the center fielder's head.
The Bobcats loaded the bases in the fourth but came away with just one run, as Blackford scored on Maggie Carnahan's groundout. Goodman was cut down trying to cross home on Mead's grounder to first.
Mazour struck out three, walked two and allowed 10 hits in the loss. Only three runs were earned to the pitcher, who was both hit by a pitch and hit by a line drive in the game.
Wagner was 2-for-3 to lead MHS, while Goodman doubled and both Bellile and DeVenney had singles.
Marshalltown hits the road Wednesday to face Urbandale in cross-CIC action, and the Bobcats are in BCLUW's David Lee Classic Friday and Saturday in Conrad.