NEVADA - Things are coming together for No. 7 (Class 2A) Collins-Maxwell-Baxter as the Raiders swept Nevada by a combined score of 22-0 in a Heart of Iowa Conference softball doubleheader Monday at Nevada.


The Raiders finished off the season opener between the two teams that was suspended due to lightning by an 10-0 score in five innings. They followed that up with another five-inning rout, winning 12-0 to go to 14-4 overall and 9-1 in the HOIC.


The Raiders have been on a mission since suffering their lone conference loss thus far, a 5-1 home loss to Prairie City-Monroe on May 30. Since then, they have won 12 of 14 games.


“We definitely have to focus on playing our own game and not think about the target on our back,” Kahler said. “Just focus like we were last year. Don’t think too much about it, because then we won’t be playing our game anymore.”


In the finished suspended game, Kahler was sensational. She fired a one-hitter with no walks and struck out 13 batters for the second year in a row at Nevada.


“I don’t know what it is,” Kahler said about playing at Nevada. “It’s pretty great.”


Gracie Barloon had Nevada’s only hit off Kahler. Madi McGaffin was the losing Cub pitcher in the opener.


In the nightcap, Mikayla Houge struck out nine batters and limited the Cubs to two hits. She also hit a two-run homer in the fifth inning to put the final nail in Nevada’s coffin.


Senior leadoff hitter Megan Ritter broke out of a small slump in the second game by going 3-for-4 with two steals, a pair of runs and RBI. In the first inning she reached on a bunt, stole two bases and scored and later added an RBI single as part of a seven-run outburst.


“I’ve definitely been struggling a little bit lately - getting a lot of strikeouts,” Ritter said. “So it feels good to hit the ball again and get the team going. It feels like I’m a leader on this team and getting us going, which feels good.”


Hannah Caple added an RBI double in the first inning. She also had a two-run single in the second for CMB.


Kahler was 3-for-3 with a double and an RBI in the second game.


The two losses put Nevada at 2-9 overall and 1-8 in the HOIC. The Cubs are having a tough time getting out of the blocks in games, as they’ve been outscored 33-0 in the first three innings of a five-game stretch, dating back to a 5-1 home loss to Hampton-Dumont last Tuesday.


“Really what it’s boiling down to is they’re trying so hard to be perfect or hit that ball that makes the difference when if they’d relax and ‘see ball, hit ball’ or ‘see ball, catch it,’ we’d be a lot better,” Nevada head softball coach John Bass said. “It’s a process we’ve got to keep working through. We’ve got to have a windshield mentality where we’re looking ahead and not so much from behind.”


Riley Mailey and Libby Burlage each singled in the second inning for Nevada’s only hits off Houge in the second game. Mackenzie Garrett was the losing pitcher.


CMB 10, Nevada 0 (5)


N 000 00 - 0 1 2


CMB 402 04 - 10 9 1


N: Madi McGaffin, Megan Wessels (3), McGaffin (4) and Gracie Barloon.


CMB: Abbey Kahler and Hannah Caple.


WP: Kahler.


LP: Garrett.


2B: CMB - Katie Camp.


CMB 12, Nevada 0 (5)


CMB 730 02 - 12 15 1


N 000 00 - 0 2 1


CMB: Mikayla Houge and Caple.


N: Garrett and Katie Sullivan.


WP: Houge.


LP: Garrett.


2B: CMB - Caple, Kahler.


HR: CMB - Houge.


NEWTON - Collins-Maxwell-Baxter notched a win over a top-five Class 4A team Saturday by downing Benton Community at the Cardinal Invitational in Newton.


The Raiders, ranked No. 7 in 2A, upset the No. 2 team in 4A by a 3-2 score in eight innings. CMB also whipped South Hardin by a 13-1 margin in three innings and fell to Newton.


In the victory over Benton, the Raiders took a 1-0 lead in the fifth. South Hardin came back with two runs in the top of the seventh, but CMB tied the game in the bottom of the inning to force an extra frame


In the eighth inning, CMB pitcher Mikayla Houge shut down Benton, then CMB put up the winning run in the bottom of the inning. Houge struck out 11 and she only gave up four hits and one walk, going all eight innings to get the win.


Holly Jessen came up huge offensively with a home run and two runs. Houge was 1-for-4 with an RBI; Megan Ritter walked twice, stole a base and scored; and Mikayla Eslinger and Veronica Condon each singled once for CMB.


Jordynn Wesselink added a steal and a walk for the Raiders.


Grace Martensen allowed two earned runs on four hits and four walks with five strikeouts in 7 ⅔ innings to take the loss for Benton. Martensen also singled, stole a base and scored on offense and Mallory Thys tripled, scored and drove in a run for the Bobcats.


CMB took advantage of an eight-run second inning to pound South Hardin. The Raiders tallied 13 hits and Houge limited the Tigers to three base knocks.


Houge struck out seven and didn’t allow a walk, going all three innings versus South Hardin. The Tigers’ only run came in the third inning.


Katie Camp was 3-for-3 with three runs, Abby Husak finished 2-for-3 with two runs and RBI apiece, Eslinger finished 2-for-2 with a double and four RBI and Jessen went 2-for-2 with an RBI against South Hardin. Abbey Kahler doubled, walked and drove in three runs; Houge was 1-for-2 with two RBI; Hannah Caple doubled and drove in a run and Ella Kahler finished 1-for-2 with a run.


Miquela Teske went 2-for-2 with a steal and a run for South Hardin. Shelby May surrendered seven earned runs with three walks in three innings to take the loss for the Tigers.


CMB hit the ball well against Newton, but the Raiders couldn’t slow a potent Cardinal hitting attack in an 11-5 setback in six innings.


CMB trailed 6-5 through four frames, then allowed five unanswered scores over the next two frames to come up short. Newton totaled 13 hits to CMB’s six.


Kahler took the loss after giving up eight earned runs and finishing with 10 strikeouts and just one walk in six innings. Kahler also hit a solo home run on offense and Jessen went deep once and drove in two runs.


Mikayla Eslinger tripled and scored, Heather Jessen singled and scored, and Camp and Jordynn Wesselink each came up with one hit for the Raiders.


CMB 3, Benton 2 (8)


B 000 000 20 - 2 4 NA


CMB 000 010 11 - 3 4 NA


B: Grace Martensen and Jaicee Lyons.


CMB: Mikayla Houge and Hannah Caple.


WP: Houge.


LP: Martensen.


3B: B - Thys.


HR: CMB - Holly Jessen.


CMB 13, South Hardin 1


SH 001 - 1 3 NA


CMB 382 - 13 13 NA


SH: Shelby May and Jakota Maakstead.


CMB: Houge and Jessen.


WP: Houge.


LP: Maakstead.


2B: CMB - Caple, Abbey Kahler, Mikayla Eslinger.


Newton 11, CMB 5 (6)


N 201 332 - 11 13 NA


CMB 011 300 - 5 6 NA


CMB: Kahler and Jessen.


LP: Kahler.


3B: CMB - Eslinger.


HR: CMB - Kahler, Jessen.


DES MOINES - Collins-Maxwell-Baxter used a strong first inning to get past Saydel by a 6-4 score June 8 at Saydel High School in Des Moines.


The Raiders put up four runs in the first inning. Sayel closed within 4-3 after three innings and both teams scored one run in the fourth. CMB tacked on another score in the fifth and pitcher Mikayla Houge blanked the Eagles over the final three innings to finish off the victory.


Houge gave up six hits and struck out nine with two walks in seven innings to get the win. Houge, Megan Ritter, Abbey Kahler and Mikayla Eslinger each collected two hits, including one double apiece, and Kahler also drove in three runs.


Katie Camp also picked up two hits along with a steal and a run against Saydel. Holly Jessen singled and scored and Veronica Condon was 1-for-2 with two RBI.


CMB 6, Saydel 4


CMB 400 110 0 - 6 12 NA


S 021 100 0 - 4 6 NA


CMB: Mikayla Houge and Hannah Caple.


WP: Houge.


2B: CMB - Houge, Megan Ritter, Abbey Kahler, Mikayla Eslinger.


3B: CMB - Ritter.


COLLINS - A four-run fourth inning helped Collins-Maxwell-Baxter get past South Hamilton by a 6-1 score June 7 at Collins.


The Raiders led 2-1 going into the fourth. Their four-run outburst put the game away as pitcher Abbey Kahler kept the Hawks off the scoreboard over the final five innings.


Kahler tossed a four-hitter with seven strikeouts and one walk to get the win. Mikayla Houge doubled and drove in two runs, Holly Jessen hit a solo home run and Kahler was 2-for-3 with an RBI to lead the Raiders’ nine-hit attack at the plate.


Katie Johnson struck out three and walked one in six innings for South Hamilton in a losing effort. Brittany Spindler doubled and drove in a run, Taylor Volkmann singled and scored and Marla Grubb doubled for the Hawks.


CMB 6, South Hamilton 1


SH 010 000 0 - 1 4 NA


CMB 020 400 X - 6 9 NA


CMB: Abbey Kahler and Hannah Caple.


SH: Katie Johnson and Breanne Diersen.


WP: Kahler.


LP: Johnson.


2B: SH - Marla Grubb, Brittany Spindler. CMB - Mikayla Houge.


HR: CMB - Holly Jessen.


CONRAD - One big hit wasn’t enough for Collins-Maxwell-Baxter in a 4-3 non-conference road loss to BCLUW June 6 at Conrad.


Mikayla Eslinger belted a three-run home run in the top of the fourth inning to produce all the scoring for CMB. BCLUW countered with two runs in the bottom of the inning, then added two more runs in the sixth to go in front to stay.


CMB totaled five hits. Jordynn Wesselink was 2-for-3, Mikayla Houge singled and scored and Abbey Kahler also singled.


Abby Husak scored one run for CMB.


Kahler gave up four runs — one earned — on six hits with nine strikeouts and no walks on the mound in a losing effort. Lauren Anderson got the win after striking out seven and walking only one batter in seven innings for BCLUW.


Leah Yantis hit a solo home run and Samantha Ubben and Jordyn Beeghly each drove in one run for the Comets.


BCLUW 4, CMB 3


CMB 000 300 0 - 3 5 NA


BCLUW 000 202 X - 4 6 NA


CMB: Abbey Kahler and Hannah Caple.


BCLUW: Lauren Anderson and Kate Goecke.


WP: Anderson.


LP: Kahler.


HR: CMB - Mikayla Eslinger. BCLUW - Leah Yantis.