LE GRAND - East Marshall junior hurler Mariah Fritz struck out 14 in a one-hit shutout, sending Grundy Center on its way with a 9-0 defeat in an NICL West Division softball contest on Wednesday night.
The Spartans, who closed out their second doubleheader in as many days later at Gladbrook-Reinbeck, got a fifth-inning single from Cearra Aguon and nothing more.
Fritz walked a batter and hit another, but still spun the 23rd consecutive victory for the Class 3A No. 2-ranked Mustangs (28-3, 19-1).
Bobbi Amendt was 2-for-4 with a double, an RBI and two stolen bases to lead the East Marshall offense. Haley Long and Kylee Hoskey both had RBI doubles, while Taylor Fricke was 1-for-2 with two RBIs. Madison Hinegardner, Maci Fritz and Mariah Fritz each added singles in the league win.
Landry Luhring issued seven walks as the losing pitcher for the Spartans (3-20, 3-15).
East Marshall can clinch the NICL West Division title outright with a win over 1A No. 4 AGWSR (22-5, 17-1) tonight in Le Grand. Grundy Center's grueling three-day stretch comes to a close with a home game against South Tama.
West Marshall 7, South Tama 3
STATE CENTER - Kallie Malloy scattered six hits over five innings and added a pair of RBIs at the plate, helping West Marshall to a 7-3 win over South Tama in NICL West play.
Malloy struck out three, walked one and left with a 7-2 lead. Katie Price closed out the final two frames for the host Trojans (12-17, 8-9).
Jennifer Davis was 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored, and Karis Gibbs went 2-for-4 at the plate for West Marshall. Malloy was 1-for-3 with two RBIs, Sadie Simatovich singled and scored, and Georgia Porter finished 1-for-2 with two walks.
Sam Holtz took the loss for South Tama (10-17, 9-9), allowing nine hits and four walks. She struck out five.
At the plate, Trisha Walz was 2-for-3 with a double. Dani Stubbs and Belle Tyynismaa both had a pair of singles for STC.
The Trojans go to Grundy Center tonight, while West Marshall visits BCLUW in league play.