Ballard tops 4A power Ankeny in title game

HUXLEY – The Ballard softball team turned in a tremendous championship-game performance to win the Ballard Festival tournament held Friday and Saturday in Huxley.

The Bombers, rated sixth in Class 4A and defending state champions, took down an Ankeny squad rated fifth in 5A by a 5-0 score in the title game. Ballard jumped out to a 3-0 lead after one inning and never looked back, concluding a 3-0 weekend with a bang.

Kenzie Ihle fired a two-hit shutout for Ballard against the Hawks. She didn’t have any strikeouts, but only walked one batter.

Ihle also provided a big spark on offense versus Ankeny as she went 2-for-3 with a walk and a solo home run as part of Ballard’s 10-hit attack. Annie Stolte finished 3-for-4 with a double and a run, Ellen Huxford was 2-for-3, Sydney Fisher singled and scored, Brooke Mallon went 1-for-2 with a walk, Alex Petersen finished 1-for-4 with one run and RBI apiece and Katie Ahrenholtz scored once.

Courtney Clayberg was the losing pitcher for Ankeny. She threw six innings and allowed three earned runs with two walks and one strikeout.

Emilee Dorpinghaus singled and walked once as the top offensive player for Ankeny.

Ballard advanced to the title game by outlasting another 5A school in the semifinals on Saturday. The Bombers edged Ames by a 5-4 score in six innings, after rallying from an early 2-0 deficit.

Ames scored twice in the second inning to take the early lead, but Ballard responded with two runs in the third to even things up. The score stayed 2-2 through the fourth inning, but in the top of the fifth, Ballard went ahead to stay with two more runs.

The Bombers added a big insurance run in the sixth and that proved vital as Ames scored twice in the bottom of the inning before coming up short to end the game.

Fisher was a perfect 3-for-3 with a run, Stolte went 2-for-4 with a double, Mallon finished 2-for-3, Huxford singled and scored and Ihle and Mean Spear each had one hit for Ballard against Ames. Ahrenholtz scored twice and courtesy runner Gabie Doud also crossed the plate once.

Ihle picked up the win as she allowed two earned runs on four hits with five strikeouts and four walks. Kelanie Crosswait was the losing pitcher for Ames as she went the distance and gave up three earned runs with three strikeouts and two walks.

Rachel Mortvedt went 2-for-2 with a walk, home run and two RBI and Hannah Bloch and Taylor Schumacher both singled and scored for the Little Cyclones.

Ballard opened the tournament by blasting Colo-Nesco by a 14-1 score in three innings Friday night. The Bombers broke the game open with a nine-run second inning and added four more runs in the third to end the game early on account of the 12-run rule put into play after three innings.

Ahrenholtz and Mallon led Ballard’s 14-hit attack on offense. Ahrenholtz went 3-for-3 with two RBI and Mallon was 2-for-2 with a walk, home run and three runs and RBI apiece.

Spear also went 2-for-2 and she delivered one run and two RBI. Ellie Godwin was 2-for-3 with a double, run and two RBI and Stolte finished 1-for-3 with a run and two RBI.

Petersen and Huxford both singled and scored twice and Huxford also drove in a run. Fisher singled, scored and stole a base; Ihle went 1-for-2; Sheridan Gealow drew a walk; Olivia Hall scored twice and Elvis Calvert stole a base and scored once.

Ihle earned the win after giving up one hit and one walk and strikeout five in two scoreless innings. Emi Bender threw the last inning and allowed one run one hit with two strikeouts.

Kylie Sarver doubled and scored and Shayla Dean singled, stole a base and drove Sarver in for the Royals. Erica Babinat gave up 10 runs – four earned - with a walk and a strikeout in two innings to take the loss. Sam Riese allowed three earned runs with one strikeout and walk apiece for Colo-Nesco.

Ballard 14, Colo-Nesco 1 (3)

C-N 001 – 1 4 NA

B 194 – 13 14 NA

C-N: Erica Babinat, Sam Riese (3) and Kylie Sarver

B: Kenzie Ihle, Emi Bender (3) and Brooke Mallon

WP: Ihle

LP: Babinat

2B: C-N – Sarver; B – Ellie Godwin

HR: B – Mallon

Ballard 5, Ames 4 (6)

B 002 021 – 5 11 NA

A 020 002 – 4 4 NA

B: Ihle and Mallon

A: Kelanie Crosswait and Hannah Bloch

WP: Ihle

LP: Crosswait

2B: B – Annie Stolte

HR: A – Rachel Mortvedt

Ballard 5, Ankeny 0

A 000 000 0 – 0 3 NA

B 300 011 X – 5 10 NA

A: Courtney Clayberg and Kendyl Lindaman

B: Ihle and Mallon

WP: Ihle

LP: Clayberg

2B: B – Stolte

HR: B – Ihle

CARLISLE – Ballard came up just short in a battle of ranked Raccoon River Conference teams when the Bombers traveled to Carlisle May 30.

Ballard, ranked sixth in Class 4A, was unable to overcome a three-run second inning by the seventh-rated Wildcats in a 4-3 setback.

The Bombers started off the game hot with two runs in the first inning. But Carlisle countered with its three run second and added another run in the fourth to build a two run lead.

Ballard sputtered offensively after the first inning, going scoreless over the next five innings. The Bombers ended their scoring slump with a run in the seventh, but they couldn’t make it all the way over the hump, falling to 1-2 in the RRC.

Three of Ballard’s four hits off Carlisle pitcher Gabby Schnathorst went for extra bases. Annie Stolte belted a solo home run, Alex Petersen doubled in a run and Kenzie Ihle also had a double.

Ellie Godwin picked up a single for Ballard’s other hit and Brooke Mallon drew a walk. Sheridan Gealow recorded one run and RBI apiece and courtesy runner Olivia Hall also crossed the plate once.

Ihle was the losing pitcher as she gave up two earned runs on six hits with four strikeouts and two walks, going the full seven innings. Payton Mercer went 2-for-3 with a double and three RBI and Shyanne Dubois was 2-for-4 with a run to lead Carlisle offensively.

Carlisle 4, Ballard 3

B 200 000 1 – 3 4 NA

C 030 100 0 – 4 6 NA

B: Kenzie Ihle and Brooke Mallon

C: Gabby Schnathorst and Elin Landgren

WP: Schnathorst

LP: Ihle

2B: B – Ihle, Alex Petersen; C – Payton Mercer

HR: B – Annie Stolte

HUXLEY – Ballard made short work of Carroll to earn its first Raccoon River Conference victory of the season May 28 as a seven-run fourth inning lifted the Bombers to a 12-0 victory in four innings.

Following a scoreless first inning, Ballard plated two runs in the second inning and three in the third. The Bombers then erupted for their big outburst in the seventh to end the game early on account of the 12-run mercy rule.

Ballard cruised, despite only picking up six hits. The Bombers took advantage of 10 walks and some Carroll defensive miscues to dominate the game.

Annie Stolte, Sydney Fisher and Ellen Huxford each hit a double and scored once. Stolte and Huxford also drove in two runs apiece and Fisher drew a walk.

Katie Ahrenholtz, Brooke Mallon and Megan Spear chipped in one single apiece and they each walked, scored and drove in a run for Ballard. Kenzie Ihle walked three times, Alex Petersen walked once and scored twice, Ellie Godwin walked and scored, Gabie Doud drew a walk, Olivia Hall scored twice and Elvis Calvert crossed the plate once.

Ihle earned the win after giving up two hits and striking out six batters with no walks in four innings. Lauren Janning took the loss for Carroll as she allowed six earned runs on four hits with eight walks and three strikeouts in 3 1/3 innings; Britt Bauman gave up the final two Bomber runs.

Haley Stevens and Sarah Klocke both singled once for Carroll’s only hits.

Ballard 12, Carroll 0 (4)

C 000 0 – 0 2 NA

B 023 7 – 12 6 NA

C: Lauren Janning, Britt Bauman (4) and Elyse Borchers

B: Kenzie Ihle and Brooke Mallon

WP: Ihle

LP: Janning

2B: B – Annie Stolte, Sydney Fisher, Ellen Huxford