This year’s Iowa-Grant varsity softball season has been chock full of ups and downs.
Last week the Panthers experienced another climb up the proverbial peak of what so far has been a roller coaster ride of a season.
In wins over Cuba City, Potosi and Darlington, last Thursday, Friday and this past Monday, Coach Deanna Fulton’s Panthers belted out 35 hits and scored 41 runs in three consecutive victories
Iowa-Grant’s recent run of success has pushed its record to 7-6 overall and 6-4 in the Southwestern Wisconsin Activities League.
“It’s been a really fun week for Panther softball,” said Fulton. “We have been hitting the ball well throughout the line-up. The girls are swinging with confidence and coming through in clutch situations. We are becoming more consistent offensively and that is a real plus. Our baserunning is also getting better and we’re not giving up so many outs on the bases.
“In each of the past three games (Darlington, CC, and Potosi), we were down early on. I am so proud of the girls for coming back and scoring the very next inning. Once we get the first few runs across, the flood gates have opened for our bats.
Last Thursday Cuba City jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning, but the Panthers scored the game’s next nine runs en route to a 10-6 victory.
Senior Sammie Simon went 2-for-4 and drove in three runs in the victory.
Winning pitcher Tori Leix helped her own cause with a key two-out, two-run single in the bottom of the first that tied the game.
Friday at Potosi, the Panthers overcame an early 3-0 deficit by scoring 14 unanswered runs in an easier than expected 14-3 non-conference victory over the Chieftains.
Potosi junior third-baseman Kate Mish gave the home team an early 3-0 lead with a three-run home run to right centerfield in the bottom of the second inning.
But Leix settled in and didn’t allowed a run the rest of the way. Iowa-Grant responded at the plate scoring five runs in the top of the third and the Panthers were off and running.
I-G senior catcher Alyssa Larsen went 3-for-4 with a double, a triple and five RBI in the route. Larsen, who has gone 10-for-16 with 11 RBI in the Panthers last four games, had a two-run triple in the third, a two-run single in the fourth and an RBI double in the fifth inning.
Senior third baseman Dani Engelke also went 3-for-4 with five RBI in Friday’s win at Potosi.
In Monday’s 17-4 win at Darlington, Larsen again went 3-for-4 with a pair of double and three RBI. Rachell Foreman went 2-for-3 with a pair of RBI doubles, and Simon drove in three runs.
* Last Thursday Potosi senior Kristi Bartels struck out 10 batters and walked two in leading the Chieftains (8-4, 3-0 Six Rivers West) to a 5-4 come-from-behind victory over visiting Shullsburg-Benton
Iowa-Grant 10, Cuba City 6
(from Thursday, May 3 @ Iowa-Grant)
Cuba City 200 002 2 - 6 10 5
Iowa-Grant 252 001 x - 10 9 5
Leading hitters - CC: Richard 2x4, Wagner 2x4, Pustina 3x4, Marti 2x4; IG: Sammie Simon 2x4, Tori Leix 2x3; Rachell Foreman 2x3. 2B - CC: Wagner 2, Marti; IG: Simon, Leix. W - Tori Leix (4-5, 5 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 4 SO, 2 BB). L - Tranel (6 IP, 9 H, 10 R, 6 ER, 3 SO, 1 BB).
Iowa-Grant 14, Potosi 3
(from Friday, May 4 @ Potosi)
Iowa-Grant 005 63 - 14 14 1
Potosi 003 00 - 3 10 4
Leading hitters - IG: Sammie Simon 2x4, Alyssa Larsen 3x4, Tori Leix 2x4, Dani Engelke 3x4; P: Audrie Runde 3x3, Kate Mish 2x2. 2B - IG: A. Larsen, Taylor Buchanaon, Josi Olson; P: Mish. 3B - IG: A. Larsen. HR - IG: Mish. W - Tori Leix (5-5, 5 IP, 10 H, 3 ER, 3 SO, 0 BB). L - Kristi Bartels (6-4, 5 IP, 14 H, 12 ER, 6 SO, 0 BB).
Iowa-Grant 17, Darlington 4
(from Monday, May 7 @ Darlington)
Iowa-Grant 050 121 8 - 17 12 2
Darlington 101 000 2 - 4 14 7
Leading hitters - IG: Alyssa Larsen 3x4, Rachell Foreman 2x3; D: Cox 2x3, Fitsimmons 3x4, Chiaveratti 3x4. 2B - D: Chiaveratti. 3B - IG: A. Larsen 2, Foreman 2. W - Tori Leix (6-5, 7 IP, 12 H, 4 R, 1 ER, 13 SO, 0 BB). L - Steiner (4 IP, 6 H, 6 R, 0 ER, 5 SO).
Potosi 5, Shullsburg/Benton 4
(from Thursday, May 1 @ Potosi)
Shulls./Benton 021 100 0 - 4 7 2
Potosi 000 140 x - 5 6 4
Leading hitters - S/B: Morrissey 2x3; P: Kate Mish 2x3. 2B - P: Mish, Rylie Bausch, Clara White, Jenna Kruser. 3B - S/B: Gile. W - Kristi Bartels (6-3, 7 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 10 SO, 2 BB). L - Brant (6 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 4 SO, 2 BB).