LE GRAND - Down 2-0 in the fifth inning, the Class 3A No. 4 East Marshall softball team used the long ball to take control.
Taylor Fricke and Ashley Allen hit back-to-back blasts, and the Mustangs scored seven runs in the fifth inning to beat Gladbrook-Reinbeck, 8-2, on Tuesday night during a North Iowa Cedar League West Division contest.
It was the 20th win of the season for the Mustangs, who improved to 20-3 overall and 9-2 in NICL West play.
East Marshall remains one game back of Class 2A No. 7 AGWSR in the loss column after the Cougars come-from-behind 4-3 win over 2A No. 9 BCLUW on Tuesday night.
Fricke's third home run of the season was a 2-run shot and then Allen hit her third of the year during the next at-bat to give East Marshall a lead it would not relenquish.
Paige Miller, who is now hitting .521 on the year, added three hits and Katie Roseland chipped in two hits as the Mustangs finished with 10 in the game.
That was enough support for Haley Long, who earned the win after striking out five and walking five in her six innings. She also allowed three hits and just one earned run. Mariah Fritz struck out the side in ths seventh.
The Mustangs have three conference games left - all on the road. Before that though, they will host Collins-Maxwell/Baxter on Thursday.
Emily Snider led the Rebels with two hits and Amber Berendes added a hit and two RBIs.
Taylor Street was the losing pitching. She gave up seven hits and seven earned runs in 4 1/3 innings and struck out four.
Gladbrook-Reinbeck (1-20) dropped to 0-12 in NICL West play after the loss. The Rebels next play host to South Hardin on Thursday.
West Marshall 6, Grundy Center 2
STATE CENTER - Sadie Simatovich had two hits and two stolen bases and Kallie Malloy threw five solid innings in the circle as the Trojans improved to 7-19 on the season.
The Trojans answered Grundy Center's two-run first inning with four runs of their own and then added two more runs in the fifth to win easily.
Malloy allowed just five hits in her five innings and struck out two, walked two and allowed two earned runs while getting the win. Rachel Freland earned the two-inning save with five strikeouts, two walks and one hit.
Simatovich also scored a run in the win, while Karis Gibbs had two doubles and three RBis, and McKenna Hotopp doubled, had an RBI and scored twice. Blair Bailey also had one hit, two runs and an RBI in the victory.
The Trojans, who are now 4-6 in NICL West play, will play at Class 2A No. 9 BCLUW on Thursday.
South Tama County 6, South Hardin 1
ELDORA - The Trojans jumped out to an early lead and then put the game away with a four-run fourth inning against the Tigers on Tuesday.
Jade Rohach had three hits and two RBIs to lead South Tama (7-17) at the plate. Samantha Holtz also had two hits and three RBis and was the winning pitcher in the circle.
Holtz allowed just three hits, one run, one walk and one hit by pitch while fanning six in the victory.
Alaina Lake took the loss for South Hardin (5-11). Lake surrendered the six runs on seven hits and Hope Van Zante had two of the the Tigers' three hits at the plate. Kassidy Rewoldt had the other hit as South Hardin fell to 4-7 in NICL West Division play.
South Tama travels to Grinnell today and then hosts Class 2A No. 7 AGWSR on Thursday. The Tigers head to Gladbrook-Reinbeck on Thursday.