Playing on their home field for the first time this season Tuesday, June 1, the Springville softball team christened it with a pair of wins over visiting Edgewood-Colesburg.
“It feels good to be home,” said Oriole softball coach Joe Martin, as the start time was moved up to allow the Orioles to play on their home field as they still await lights damaged from the 2020 derecho taking an 8-1 decision in the opener of the doubleheader with the Vikings.
“In the first game we did a good job of adjusting to their pitcher who didn’t throw as hard as we anticipated. We had 10 hits and six walks, so we had runners on base pretty much all game long that really helped us stretch this one out.”
Every Oriole in the batting order recorded a hit as a Morgan Nachazel single in the top of the first plated Grace Matus to get the scoring started. Hannah March and Molly Stamp each crossed the plate in the second stanza before Kelcie Clothier and March did the same in the third as Springville (8-6, 4-4) took a 5-0 lead.
Libby Moore tossed the complete game from the pitcher’s circle for the Orioles scattering six hits and just one run while striking out three.
Springville completed the Tri-Rivers Conference sweep with an impressive 9-3 victory in the second game as Savannah Nealman and Stamp launched second inning home runs keying a six-run frame.
“We jumped on them early and never let up,” Martin said. “Savannah and Molly had the big blasts allowing us to relax a little taking a 6-1 lead, but the girls kept adding to it later in the game.”
Nealman added a sixth inning RBI triple that plated Nachazel completing the six-run victory.
Stamp got the start in the pitcher’s circle and worked the game’s first six frames allowing five hits and two earned runs while fanning three. Moore, who tossed seven innings in the opener, worked the final frame in the nightcap.
“It was starting to get a little dark, and I wanted to bring Libby back in to close this thing out,” Martin said. “She’s been doing a great job of that here lately. She’s always been a starting pitcher and still us, but is beginning to have a bit of that closer’s mentality coming in to finish games off.”
Matus, Nachazel and Nealman all delivered two hits for the nine-hit Oriole offense.
Springville hit the road making the long trip to Bellevue-Marquette Thursday, June 3, opening with a narrow 1-0 defeat at the hands of the Mohawks.
“This was a pitcher’s duel from the start and we knew it would come down to who could take advantage of the rare opportunities they had,” Martin said. “Unfortunately, that was not us.”
The game was scoreless entering the sixth when the hosts broke through plating one run and the Mohawks made it stand.
“We certainly had our chances to score, but we just couldn’t get the big hit when we needed it,” Martin said. “Bellevue-Marquette’s pitcher kept us off-balance most of the game, too.”
The Orioles earned the split in of the twin bill in the second game cruising to a 12-0, six-inning rout over the Mohawks.
“Marquette threw a different pitcher than the first game and we found our groove offensively,” Martin said. “Molly kept the Mohawk batters off-balance this time and we were able to get a nice shutout win. Our defense, pitching and offense all had a great game.”
Leading 5-0 in the fifth, Springville blew the game wide open plating three runs before adding four more in the sixth to end the game early.
Another long bus ride greeted the Orioles Friday, June 4, where the Springville girls were edged in a 1-0 final at Jesup.
“This was a fun game to be a part of,” Martin said. “Some high-quality softball was being played by both teams, and again it just came down to executing at the right time, and Jesup did. Libby pitched a great game and deserved a better fate. She’s been on the short end of a few games like this now.”
Jesup scored the game’s lone run in the bottom of the third as the Orioles out-hit the hosts 6-4 led by two hits from Matus at the top of the Springville order.
Moore fanned seven J-Hawk batters in her six innings of work in the circle.
The road show continued at Belle Plaine Saturday, June 5, where the Orioles opened a tournament against the host Plainsmen rallying for a thrilling 6-3 victory.
Trailing 1-0 in the second, Springville got the offense going as Nealman, March and Stamp all crossed the plate keyed by a two-run double off the bat of Matus.
Belle Plaine rallied scoring single runs in the third and sixth to tie the score at 3-3 before March, Stamp, Matus and Ashlynne Zaruba all produced clutch hits leading to a three-run top of the seventh.
“Belle Plaine had a throwing error in there that that helped allow us to extend that seventh inning and get the lead,” Martin said. “We did a good job of being aggressive at the plate and on the bases, and it’s paying dividends right now.”
Nealman tossed the first six frames from the pitcher’s circle scattering 10 Belle Plaine hits while allowing three runs before Moore once again closed it out working a 1-2-3 bottom of the seventh.
The Orioles completed their sweep at the Belle Plaine tournament with a 7-3 victory over Vinton-Shellsburg in the finale.
“What a great way to end a very busy week, and we’ve got another one coming up too,” Martin said. “We really hit the ball well and did a nice job on the defensive end and did all the things good teams do to win games.”
March and Stamp got the scoring started in the top of the second inning as each crossed the plate before the Plainsmen answered with two of their own in the bottom half to tie it up.
Two innings later the Orioles grabbed a lead they would not relinquish as Stamp, Nia Howard and Zaruba all scored in a three-run fourth frame. The team added two insurance runs in the seventh just for good measure.
Stamp was sensational in the pitcher’s circle tossing a four-hitter with four strikeouts while allowing a mere one earned run.
March provided much of the power at the plate going 3-for-4 while Stamp helped herself out with two hits for the 10-hit Oriole offense.