By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
MCDONALD'S SWNEWS4U GAME OF THE WEEK (Softball): Lancaster 6, Iowa–Grant 5
Arrows prevail in season-opening thriller over Panthers
Maddy Hill
Lancaster sophomore Maddy Hill hit a lead-off single in the bottom of the seventh inning, and courtesy runner Amelia Johnsen scored the game-winning run in Monday's 6–5 non-conference victory over Iowa–Grant. - photo by A.J. Gates

PREP SOFTBALL: Lancaster 6, Iowa–Grant 5

By A.J. Gates, Herald Independent

Arrows prevail in season-opening thriller over Panthers

LANCASTER — Holding what seemed to be a comfortable 5-0 lead going into the seventh inning of Monday night’s season opening softball game, coach Josh Jensen and his Flying Arrows were forced to sweat out a 6-5 victory over their visitors from Iowa-Grant.

Jensen, in his second season as head coach, returns six starters from last year’s 4-15 squad that finished fifth in the Southwest Wisconsin Conference. Among the returners are first-team all-conference shortstop Abi Mergen and second-team all-conference pitcher Maddy Hill.

During Monday night’s season opener, the Arrows had built an early 4-0 advantage after two innings of play, scoring three runs in the bottom of the first on a two-run sacrifice fly by senior first baseman Lily Weber, and an RBI double by junior right fielder Aleah Jackering.

The Arrows added another run in the bottom of the second inning on an RBI single by junior left fielder Emma Jensen.

Another run crossed the plate for the Arrows in the bottom of the fifth, where Jensen started things off with a double, and later scored on a sacrifice fly hit by Hill.

Held scoreless in the first six innings, the Panthers found themselves down to their final three outs, but evened the score at 5-5 in the top of the seventh on three hits, two walks and three Lancaster errors.

The Arrows began the bottom of the seventh with a single by Hill, who was then replaced by freshman courtesy runner Amelia Johnsen, who stole second, and then third, to put herself in scoring position.

Two consecutive strikeouts followed before Aleah Jackering stepped to the plate and hit a pop fly that got to the ground, allowing Johnson to score the game-winning run on an error.

On the night, Lancaster managed six hits to Iowa-Grant’s seven, while the Panthers committed four errors to just three for the Arrows.

Jensen and Hill each finished the night with two hits and one RBI, while Weber and Jackering had the team’s only other RBIs.

Mergen and Jensen each scored two runs for the Arrows, Mergen drawing three walks at the lead-off position.

In the pitching circle, Hill held a no-hitter throughout the first four innings, but wound up allowing five runs, two earned, off seven hits. She struck out 11 batters and walked three to collect the victory.

Following this past Tuesday night’s home game against visiting Highland, the Arrows will next be in action Thursday night against visiting Potosi/Cassville.

Lancaster 6, Iowa-Grant 5
(from Monday, March 25, at Lancaster)
Iowa-Grant....000 000 5 - 5 7 4
Lancaster.......310 010 1 - 6 6 3
Leading hitters - IG: McCarthy 3x4; L: Emma Jensen 2x3, Maddy Hill 2x3. 2B - McCarthy (IG), Jensen (L), Aleah Jackering (L). W - Maddy Hill (7IN,7H,2ER,11K,3BB). L - Pettit (4.2IN,3H,0ER,12K,2BB). Other pitchers - IG: Holman (2IN,3H,4ER,3K,3BB).