Jun. 19—Newton's softball team was in two very different kind of games during a home doubleheader against Grinnell on Wednesday.
In the opener, the Cardinals were limited to two hits and lost 4-1. The nightcap saw Newton crank out 13 hits and edge the Tigers 13-12.
Newton earned a Little Hawkeye Conference split despite committing nine errors between the two games.
"We showed up and played two different games tonight," Newton softball coach Kory Leiker said. "We played tight in the first one and allowed Grinnell to determine the style of game. We were able to set the tone in the second game and make Grinnell play catch up."
The Cardinals (9-11 overall, 3-9 in conference play) scored eight runs in the opening inning of the nightcap.
They led 11-5 after three following a one-run second and a two-run third. Grinnell (9-8, 4-7) scored two runs in the first and three in the second.
The Tigers outscored the home team 7-2 in the final four innings but a two-run seventh was not enough to extend the game.
"These girls are getting better and keep climbing the mountain top," Leiker said. "Sometimes you just stumble along the way, but if we continue fighting we will reach where we want to go."
Chassidy Henwood had four of the team's 13 hits in the nightcap. Jazlynn Cooper collected three hits and Kya Butler added a pair of hits.
Henwood, who scored from second on a passed ball in one of the games, also had three runs, one RBI, one hit by pitch and one steal.
Cooper scored one run and had two RBIs and Butler doubled, scored once, walked once and stole one base.
Katelyn Lambert, Maggie Garrett, Kadance Ahn and Taylor Lust all had one hit apiece.
Lambert also had two runs, two RBIs and one steal, Garrett scored twice and drove in two runs and Ahn doubled, score twice, had two RBIs, drew two walks, was hit by a pitch and stole one base. Lust had one RBI.
Chloe Swank walked once and was hit by a pitch, Nevara Gray drew a walk, Mackayla Johnson had one RBI and Madison Henwood and Paige Benson each scored one run.
"I am looking for some girls to step up and be leaders on this team," Leiker said. "There are multiple times where we show glimpses of what we want and others where we can't get out of our own way."
Gray (4-5) started in the circle and got the win after throwing the first three innings. She allowed eight runs — four earned — on three hits with four strikeouts, five walks and one hit batter.
Hailey Sumpter earned the save after tossing the final four innings. She gave up four earned runs on six hits with two strikeouts, two walks and one hit batter.
In the opener, Cooper and Garrett had the only hits and Lambert walked three times.
Cooper had one RBI, Lambert scored the team's lone run, Chassidy Henwood was hit by a pitch and Ahn walked once.
Kallie VanKley (4-6) threw well in the circle for Newton but took the loss after allowing four runs — one earned — on two hits with 12 strikeouts, four walks and one hit batter.
Grinnell led 4-1 after five innings and finished off the win. The Tigers also had just two hits and committed three errors.
"I am proud of these girls," Leiker said. "We have a ways to go, but if you look at where we started and where we are now, it's a complete 180."
Oskaloosa 6, Newton 1
OSKALOOSA — Butler and Ahn each had two hits and Gray was hit by two pitches but the offensive production was at a minimum during a 6-1 road loss to Oskaloosa on Friday night.
The Cardinals committed four errors and stranded 12 runners on base.
"A couple of errors and the runners we left on base were the deciding factors in this game," Leiker said. "We didn't come up with the timely hit when we needed it."
Newton scored first, but the Indians went in front with a two-run third and put it away with a three-run fifth.
Butler added one steal, Garrett and Vanessa Vasseau had one hit and one walk, Cooper walked once and scored one run and Sumpter drew one walk.
VanKley took the pitching loss after surrendering five runs — three earned — on four hits with one strikeout and two walks in 4 1/3 innings.
Sumpter tossed 1 2/3 innings and allowed one unearned run on one hit.