VanKley pitches Newton softball to split against Pella

Jun. 23—PELLA — Another strong start in the circle by Kallie VanKley led Newton's softball team to a win over Pella on Monday.

The junior pitcher tossed all seven innings, allowed no earned runs and fanned six during the 4-1 road win.

The Cardinals and Lady Dutch split the Little Hawkeye Conference doubleheader following Pella's 7-5 win in the nightcap.

"We found out that you have to show up and play every game," Newton softball coach Kory Leiker said. "Records never matter. We saw that in the College World Series this year with some big upsets. No matter who you are or what your record is, you have to settle it on the field."

VanKley (6-6) limited the Lady Dutch to two hits in the opener. She also walked three and the only run allowed was unearned due in part because Newton committed two errors in the game.

VanKley, whose earned run average dropped to 1.93, also had two hits at the plate.

Hailey Sumpter added two hits, including a double, one run and one RBI and Katelyn Lambert tripled, scored one run, had one RBI, stole one base and walked once.

Chassidy Henwood added one hit, one RBI and one stolen base, Jazlynn Cooper tallied one hit and walked once, Kadance Ahn had one hit and scored once, Nevara Gray collected one hit, Kya Butler walked once and Vanessa Vasseau scored one run.

The first game was tied at 1-all after one inning. Newton (12-12 overall, 4-10 in conference play) plated three runs in the fourth to take the lead for good.

In the nightcap, the Cardinals led 3-2 after three but Pella (3-12, 1-13) scored five runs in the fourth and held off a rally by their visitors late.

Newton plated one run in the fifth and sixth, but it wasn't enough. The Cardinals committed three errors in the loss.

"I truly believe we are in the edge of turning a corner and the girls are getting better every day," Leiker said. "We just need to not have those mental breakdowns and give up the big innings."

Pella snapped a seven-game skid despite having seven errors in the two games.

Lambert led Newton's offensive attack in the second game with one hit, one run, one RBI and one walk.

Vasseau doubled, scored one run and had one RBI, Butler doubled and stole one base, Sumpter doubled and had one RBI and Cooper and Henwood each tallied one hit and one run.

Chloe Swank added one hit, VanKley walked once and Madison Henwood scored one run.

Sumpter (2-1) took the loss in the circle after allowing seven runs — two earned — on eight hits in 3 2/3 innings.

VanKley pitched the final 2 1/3 innings and surrendered no runs, two hits and one walk and struck out three.

"The team sees the possibilities are there," Leiker said. "It will happen. It just takes more hard work to get to where we want to go."