No. 13 NP tops No. 7 Ballard, 5-3
ROLAND – North Polk edged Ballard in a battle of rated teams at the Kiwanis Invitational June 13 in Roland.
The Comets, rated 13th in Class 3A, took down the seventh-rated 4A team and defending state champions by a 5-3 score in six innings during the first game for both teams at the invitational.
Later that night, North Polk won a 4-3 thriller over Boone in eight innings and Ballard whipped Gilbert by a 12-2 score in five. Saturday’s competition was cancelled due to inclement weather.
The turning point in the Comet-Bomber battle came in the top of the third inning.
Ballard had taken a 1-0 lead in the first inning when Annie Stolte walked and scored on an error. In the top of the third, North Polk had one on with two outs after Bomber pitcher Kenzie Ihle hit the Comets’ Lilly Lomica and picked up a strikeout and a fly out.
But Ihle walked Macy Gill and hit Makayla Burt to load the bases. Comet pitcher Rebecca Sieve stepped into the batter’s box and after working the count full, she belted a double to center field, clearing the bases to give North Polk a 3-1 lead.
The Comets upped their advantage to 4-1 in the top of the fifth when Brandi Rose executed a bunt single scoring Gill, after Gill left off with a single and was moved to second on a bunt by Burt. But Ballard kept right in the game by countering with two runs in the bottom of the inning.
Katie Ahrenholtz hit an RBI double scoring Annie Stolte, and Sydney Fisher later scored on a ground out by Alex Petersen to pull Ballard within 4-3.
North Polk came back with a big insurance run in the top of the sixth. Audrey Ley reached on a two-out single and later scored on a single from Mallory McDonald.
Ballard had one last chance in the bottom of the sixth before the game was called due to time constraints. Ellie Godwin drew a two-out walk and Stolte followed with a single to put the tying run on base, but Fisher was called out on runner interference to end the game.
Sieve gave up three unearned runs on nine hits with two walks and one strikeout to earn the victory. Gill was 2-for-3 with two runs, a walk and a steal to lead North Polk’s eight hit attack on offense.
Sieve ended up 1-for-3 with three RBI at the plate and Burt, Reilly Franzen, Ley, McDonald and Rose each had one single. Ley scored once and McDonald and Rose each drove in one run.
Stolte and Ellen Huxford were both 2-for-3 in a losing effort for Ballard. Stolte also walked and scored twice and Huxford had a triple.
Fisher was 1-for-3 with a run, Ahrenholtz went 1-for-3 with a double, Brooke Mallon also doubled once and Ihle finished with a single. Ihle gave up two earned runs with four strikeouts and two walks in six innings to take the loss.
In its second Kiwanis game, North Polk overcame a late Boone comeback attempt to pick up the extra inning victory over the Toreadors and improve to 10-3 on the season.
The Comets scored once in both the second and fourth innings to take a 2-0 lead over Boone. In the top of the second Sieve reached on an error and courtesy runner Bekah Ward later scored on a wild pitch, and in the fourth Rose doubled in Gill after Gill was safe on an error to lead off the inning.
North Polk maintained its two-run cushion going into the bottom of the sixth. But Boone had an answer in its half of the sixth – thanks in large part to three North Polk errors – as the Toreadors tied the game, with a single from Breanna Hunter driving in the tying run.
Neither team scored in the seventh, forcing extra innings. The international tiebreaker rule was put into effect as each team started its half of the eighth with a runner on second base.
In the Comet half of the eighth Carly Madson started at second, moved to third on a bunt by Franzen and later scored on a single by Ley. Ley moved to second on a bunt from Lomica and she scored on a clutch single from McDonald.
In the bottom of the eighth Boone put two runners on, but only got one run across as Sieve forced a ground out by Laura Anderson to end the game.
Sieve allowed three runs unearned runs on six hits with four strikeouts and no walks to earn another victory. McDonald went 2-for-4 with an RBI, Rose doubled in a run, Ley was 1-for-3 with one run and RBI apiece, Sieve and Franzen both singled once and Gill, Madson and Ward scored one run apiece.
Sam Mcllwain took the loss after allowing four runs – three earned – with three strikeouts and no walks in eight innings. Dianna Slight was 2-for-4 with a double, Hunter went 2-for-4 with an RBI, Anderson drove in one run and Carrie Overland scored twice for the Toreadors.
Ballard made short work of Gilbert in its second Kiwanis game Friday. The Bombers jumped out to a 5-0 lead and scored three times in both the third and fourth innings en route to a 12-2 win in five innings to improve to 11-5 on the season.
Freshman Emi Bender was 3-for-3 with a double and two RBI, Stolte finished 3-for-4 with one run and three RBI and Gabie Doud hit a pinch-hit three-run homer to lead Ballard on offense. Olivia Hall doubled in two runs, Huxford went 2-for-2 with a run, Fisher and Petersen were both 1-for-3 with a run and Mallon was 1-for-3.
Ahrenholtz added a walk, steal and run; Godwin walked once; Elvis Calvert scored three times and Madison McInroy scored twice and stole a base for the Bombers.
Bender picked up the victory on the mound as she threw all five innings and allowed one earned run on four hits with one strikeout and walk apiece.
Johanna Holck doubled in a run for Gilbert and Robyn Riley was the losing pitcher for the Tigers.
North Polk 5, Ballard 3
NP 003 011 0 – 5 8 2
B 100 020 0 – 3 9 2
NP: Rebecca Sieve and Makayla Burt
B: Kenzie Ihle and Brooke Mallon
2B: NP – Sieve; B – Mallon, Katie Ahrenholtz
3B: B – Ellen Huxford
North Polk 4, Boone 3 (8)
NP 010 100 02 – 4 6 3
B 000 002 01 – 3 6 2
NP: Sieve and Burt
B: Sam Mcllwain and Laura Anderson
2B: NP – Rose; B – Dianna Slight
Ballard 12, Gilbert 2 (5)
G 001 10 – 2 4 NA
B 503 31 – 12 13 NA
G: Robyn Riley, Kate Shannon (2) and Serine Isenhart
B: Emi Bender and Mallon
2B: G – Johanna Holck; B – Bender, Olivia Hall
HR: B – Gabie Doud