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NT softball claims first win of the season against Iowa Valley 12-10

June 7, 2019
CJ Eilers - Editor ( , Traer Star-Clipper

The North Tama softball team hosted a tournament with Lisbon and Iowa Valley on Saturday, June 1, coming away with their first victory of the season against the latter in their second game of the day.

"This win feels good for the team," coach Patty Calderwood said. "These girls have been working really hard and it gets to be a grind. We needed it."

The Lady Redhawks came out with fire in the first inning, scoring four runs primarily off fielding errors for the visiting Lady Tigers. This encouraged a team that had lost to a talented Lisbon team 25-0 earlier in the day.

Article Photos

Rylee McLean slips under an attempted tag at third against Iowa Valley on Saturday, June 1, helping the Lady Redhawks to their first win of the season.

"Lisbon is a good team and we want to play good teams," Calderwood said. "We're not afraid to play those teams, but it takes a lot of hearts. These girls are committed to working and getting better every game. We talked about coming out and having fun, improving and making plays, all of which we did against Iowa Valley."

Though the Lady Tigers would fight back with two runs of their own, the Lady Redhawks found their defense more manageable with Meg Popelka on the mound after a shoulder injury sidelined the sophomore for the first five games of the season. With Popelka pitching, McLean went back to centerfield to address a young outfield in need of experience. The Lady Redhawks were able to prevent any Iowa Valley runs in the second inning will adding three of their own to push their lead to 7-2.

"We had some errors out there, but we had some good plays, catches they needed to make," Calderwood said. "Getting Meg back on the mound is a good thing for this team. We knew that injury was hurting us, yet having her out shows just how much of a difference it can make."

With their confidence boosted, the Lady Redhawks continued into their hot hitting in the top of the third as batters put up five more runs to go up 12-2, threatening an early end to the game. McLean alone scored three runs, followed by Molly Kvidera stealing and sliding her way to two runs and Mary Lycett taking advantage of her batters to find home twice.

"We are running really well, being aggressive, sliding and not even the young girls are afraid," Calderwood said. "I'm really encouraged with the meat of our lineup and seeing us hit doubles today. The bottom of the lineup is stepping up and putting the ball into play. They are eighth graders, freshman with little experience, yet are gaining confidence."

Iowa Valley responded with two runs in the bottom of the inning to keep the game going into the fourth, when their defense stopped the North Tama offense for the first time all game. As time was winding down for tournament play, the Lady Tigers blasted off six-run to diminish a lead the Lady Redhawks had built up through three innings. Errors were cause of North Tama's troubles, but cool heads kept the Lady Redhawks steady as they got the three outs to end the game in four innings.

"I think this win tells the girls they can do this," Calderwood said. "When I'm pushing them and ask things of them, they will understand all this hard work can pay off and they can play with teams."

The Lady Redhawks next fell on the road on Monday at Riceville 9-0 before taking on Collins-Maxwell on Wednesday, June 5, GMG at home on Thursday, June 6, Dunkerton on Friday, June 7 and at Colo-Nesco on Monday, June 10. North Tama is 1-7 on the season as of Tuesday, June 4.



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