NEWTON — The Collins-Maxwell softball team kept up its tremendous start to the 2018 season by going 2-0 at the Cardinal Invitational in Newton Saturday.


The Spartans, ranked No. 2 in Class 1A, blanked Benton and Saydel, winning by 2-0 and 10-0 margins respectively to remain perfect on the season at 14-0.


Mikayla Houge fired a two-hitter in the win over Benton. She struck out an incredible 16 batters and only walked two.


Ella Kahler and Olivia Pasquariello both singled and drove in a run for Collins-Maxwell. Pinch runner Trinity Stover scored both Spartan runs, Alexis Houge singled and stole a base, Brailyn Tankersly singled, Mikayla Houge and Hannah Caple both walked once and Avery Fricke stole a base.


Shelby Hulsebus and Jessie Havlik both singled for Benton. Grace Martensen struck out four and walked two in seven innings as the losing pitcher.


Collins-Maxwell roughed up Saydel by pounding out 15 hits. The Spartans scored five times in the first inning to take charge, then added a run in the second and two apiece in the fifth and seventh frames.


Reagan Franzen was 3-for-3 with a double, walk and two runs and RBIs apiece and Mikayla Houge went 3-for-4 with a double and an RBI for Collins-Maxwell against Saydel. Kahler and her twin sister Emma were both 2-for-4 with a run and a steal; Alexis Houge and Katie Camp both singled and scored, with Houge also stealing a base; and Tankersly singled, walked and drove in two runs.


Caple and Pasquariello were both 1-for-3 with an RBI and Fricke and Stover both stole a base and scored twice.


Mikayla Houge was again the winning pitcher versus Saydel. She threw a four-hitter with 12 strikeouts and one walk.


Collins-Maxwell 2, Benton 0


CM 010 000 1 - 2 4 NA


B 000 000 0 - 0 2 NA


CM: Mikayla Houge and Hannah Caple.


B: Grace Martensen and Brielle Hogan.


WP: Houge.


LP: Martensen.


LATIMER - A monster first inning sparked a 16-0 victory by Collins-Maxwell over CAL Friday at Latimer.


Collins-Maxwell put up nine runs in the top of the first. The Spartans added four more scores in the second and three in the third to end the game and go to 9-0 in the Iowa Star Conference.


Reagan Franzen threw a no-hitter with three strikeouts and one walk, going all three innings to pick up her first victory of the season for Collins-Maxwell. The Spartan offense had nine hits and an incredible 16 steals in support of Franzen and they took advantage of 14 walks.


Alexis Houge was 3-for-3 with six steals, three runs and two RBIs to lead the Collins-Maxwell attack at the plate. Katie Camp walked twice, stole five bases, scored three runs and picked up an RBI; Mikayla Houge singled, walked three times, stole two bases and picked up one run and RBI apiece and Emma Kahler walked three times, scored three runs, stole two bases and tallied an RBI.


Collins-Maxwell 16, CAL 0 (3)


CM 943 - 16 9 NA


CAL 000 - 0 0 NA


CM: Reagan Franzen and Emma Kahler.


WP: Franzen.


COLLINS - The long ball and dominant pitching helped Collins-Maxwell down rival Baxter, 5-1, June 7 in Collins.


The Spartans connected for three home runs and pitcher Mikayla Houge tossed a five-hitter with 14 strikeouts. Collins-Maxwell fell behind 1-0 after the first half inning, but responded with two runs in the bottom of the first and two more in the second to take charge.


Houge, Ella Kahler and Brailyn Tankersly each homered for Collins-Maxwell. Houge drove in two runs, Kahler finished 2-for-3 and Tankersly also drew a walk.


Alexis Houge was a perfect 4-for-4 with three steals and a run for Collins-Maxwell. Emma Kahler went 1-for-2 with a run and an walk, Olivia Pasquariello singled and Katie Camp drove in a run for the Spartans.


Collins-Maxwell 5, Baxter 1


B 100 000 0 - 1 5 NA


CM 220 100 X - 5 10 NA


CM: Mikayla Houge and Hannah Caple.


WP: Houge.


HR: Houge, Ella Kahler, Brailyn Tankersly.


COLLINS - A little extra enthusiasm went a long way for Collins-Maxwell in a 6-0 non-conference victory over BCLUW June 5 at Collins.


The Spartans showed emotion on the field and in the dugout and it paid off big early. They scored three runs in the bottom of the first inning and were never threatened, picking up their 10th victory in as many games to start the season.


Hannah Caple set the tone for the Spartans enthusiastic attitude.


Caple doubled twice and drove in three runs. Each time she reached second base, she sent hand signals and yelled toward the Collins-Maxwell dugout to get her teammates fired up.


“The other day (head coach Troy) Houge was talking about how we should find celebrations to do after we get on base,” Caple said. “So I had to do my little — I don’t even know what it’s called. I like to do whatever it takes to help the team pull out a W.”


Houge said she definitely appreciated the positive support.


“Our dugout was amazing tonight,” Houge said. “After every strike they were yelling and cheering. It’s just really encouraging for me because I know my team has my back. It just makes me want to do even better for them.”


The Spartan ace was also appreciative of an outstanding Collins-Maxwell defense behind her. The Spartans went error-free and came up with some big plays in the field to help preserve the shutout.


Caple threw out BCLUW’s Easton Swanson trying to steal second base in the top of the second inning. In the top of the fifth, BCLUW’s Madison Ubben singled to left with runners on first and second and two outs, but Spartan left fielder Emma Kahler threw out Comet pinch runner Kenna Paxson trying to score at home to keep the shutout intact.


“My defense played outstanding tonight,” Mikayla Houge said. “They just really stepped it up.”


Houge, Caple and Reagan Franzen each ended up with two hits for Collins-Maxwell on offense. Katie Camp singled, stole a base, drove in a run and scored twice; Alexis Houge went 1-for-3 with a walk, run and two steals and Ella Kahler singled and drove in a run for the Spartans.


Bailey Ashton took the loss for BCLUW. She allowed six runs on nine hits with five strikeouts. Kiersten Kruse tripled and Ubben doubled for the Comets on offense.


Collins-Maxwell 6, BCLUW 0


BCLUW 000 000 0 - 0 4 0


CM 300 300 X - 6 9 0


BCLUW: Bailey Ashton, Kiersten Kruse (7) and Lili Wilson.


CM: Mikayla Houge and Hannah Caple.


WP: Houge.


LP: Ashton.


2B: BCLUW - Madison Ubben. CM - Caple 2, Reagan Franzen.


3B: BCLUW - Kruse.