Bulldogs find hitting stroke in doubleheader sweep

Lizzie Herzmann waits for a pitch during the first game of the Bulldogs’ doubleheader sweep of Postville Wednesday. 

MONONA — The MFL MarMac softball team slugged 24 hits on its way to a doubleheader sweep against Postville Wednesday in Monona.

The Bulldogs (6-6 overall, 4-2 in the Upper Iowa Conference) recorded their first two shutouts of the year and had nine extra-base hits (plus one that would have been extra bases if not for the game situation) while snapping a four-game losing streak. Postville (0-6, 0-6) is playing varsity softball for the first time since 2014. 

Jordan Schubert and Mackenzie Ruff threw well for MFL MarMac, combining to allow just three hits. Schubert, the game-one winner, did not allow a hit while striking out five and walking just one in four innings of work. Ruff fanned six and did not walk a batter in three innings of work. Two of the three hits she allowed were of the infield variety.

MFL MarMac hitters struggled to adjust to Postville’s slower pitching in the first two innings of the opener but found their rhythm in the third inning. Abby Schellhorn and Picha led off with infield singles and Schellhorn scored the only run the Bulldogs would need on a passed ball.

Brinan Berger drove home Kylie Picha with the first of her two triples and Hannah Schutte followed with an RBI single. The ‘Dogs ended up scoring six in the frame and added five more in the fourth inning to put the game away. 

Schutte led MFL MarMac’s 10-hit attack with a three-for-three effort while Picha and Berger had two hits each. 

The Bulldogs wasted little time getting going in the nightcap, scoring a pair of first-inning runs on Schutte and Jayde Schubert RBI doubles. Noelle Nading’s first varsity hit was an RBI triple down the right-field line in the second inning while Schutte also added an RBI triple in the frame as the home team jumped ahead 9-0 after two innings.

Postville had a chance to get on the scoreboard in the third inning when it loaded the bases on three hits, only to see its cleanup hitter pop to third for the final out of the inning. MFL MarMac put the game away in the bottom of the frame as both Picha and Berger tripled and Jayde Schutte drew a walk. Courtesy runner Kaycee Darnell stood on third base when Lizzie Herzmann hit a would-be inside-the-park home run with the score 11-0, scoring Darnell with the game-ending run and leaving Herzmann, by rule, with just a single.

Schutte again led the offense, going 3-for-3 with three triples while Jayde Schubert, Kyleigh Picha, Keri Picha and Nading had two hits each. Schutte also scored three times and had three runs batted in.

The Bulldogs hosted New Hampton Friday, were at Turkey Valley Monday and played at Tripoli Tuesday. Their next home game is Wednesday, June 20 against Central.

Read more in the Wednesday, June 13, 2018 edition of The Outlook.