NFV softball opens season


NFV shortstop Gina Gibson is about to apply the tag to this Sumner-Fredericksburg runner. The Cougar tried to catch the TigerHawks napping by going from first to third on a single to short right. However, NFV wasn’t surprised and nailed the runner during a rundown, with Gibson applying the coup de grace. (Jerry Wadian photo)


NFV softball opens season



By Jerry Wadian



With the opening games of the season against Turkey Valley on Wednesday in Jackson Junction rained out, NFV softball finally opened its 2018 season Friday in the first day of the annual TigerHawk Classic.  NFV faced a pair of teams that already had winning records over an eight-game stretch.

Friday’s first game was against Sumner-Fredericksburg, a team fresh off an 11-1 and 15-3 pasting of A-P.

The Cougars jumped on the TigerHawks early, scoring four runs in the first and using a number of slow rollers to plate three more in the third on its way to a 15-7 win.

NFV never game up, rallying for three runs in the third, only to see S-F rally four in the bottom of the frame.

Down, 11-3, the TigerHawks again came back with a four-run burst in the fifth highlighted by a two-run line drive by Taylor Ellis that cleared the left field fence. She also had a double and single.

Claire Hanson swatted three hits and drove in a pair while Gina Gibson and Kennedy Lape smacked a pair of hits apiece; Lape also drove in two runs.

Makenna Koch took the loss, surrendering nine hits and three walks while fanning five. Physical and mental errors allowed six unearned runs and a few earned ones.

Game two Friday was against 7-3 Ed-Co.

NFV outhit the Vikings, 10-5, but lost the game, 7-0. 

Hanson added two more hits, giving her five on the day. Marrah Burrack singled twice from her lead-off spot, and Ellis drilled the TigerHawks’ only extra-base hit, a double.

Lape was cruising on the mound, but six unearned runs in the third cost NFV the game. Koch finished the final 3 2/3 innings, allowing three hits but no runs.

Day two of the tourney saw the NFV offense come alive with 24 hits in the two games.

Saturday opened with a heartbreaking loss, 6-5, to Union.

Burrack had four of the TigerHawks’ 10 hits, scoring a pair of runs and stealing a base.

Tatum Kahler doubled, singled and drove in a run. Kennedy Lape doubled, and Gina Gibson, Ellis and Koch each stroked a single.

Lape threw a complete-game five-hitter, allowing three earned runs while walking four and fanning three.

The TigerHawks’ first win of the season came in the nightcap as Koch fired the first no-hitter of her career in shutting out Oelwein, 9-0. The junior threw five perfect innings, striking out three.

The TigerHawks supported their pitcher with impeccable defensive play and a 14-hit attack on offense.

The Huskies came in at 5-5 on the season and had beaten Ed-Co, 13-6, earlier in the tournament.

However, the TigerHawks jumped on Oelwein early with a two-run first, a three-run second and a four-run fifth.

Burrack made it 7-8 on the day with three more singles, scoring two runs.

Koch helped her own cause with a single, double and a pair of RBI.

Abby Reichter, Ellis and Kahler added two singles apiece; Reichter drove in a pair of runs.

Macy Halverson, Hanson, and Lape added singles.


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