Bombers lose to No. 1 DCG in nine

STATE CENTER – Ballard scored at least two runs in four different innings, cruising to a 9-0 road victory over West Marshall Friday.

The Bombers, ranked fourth in Class 4A, scored twice in the second, two more in the third, three in the fourth and two more in the fifth in the convincing victory. Bomber pitchers Kenzie Ihle and Emi Bender combined to hold West Marshall to just two hits to produce the shutout and help the Bombers improve to 2-1 on the season.

Ellen Huxford was 2-for-3 with a double, run and RBI to lead Ballard’s 12-hit attack on offense. Annie Stolte was 1-for-2 with a double, two walks and two runs; Bender doubled and scored in two at-bats; Alex Petersen went 2-for-4 with one run and RBI apiece; and Sydney Fisher and Katie Ahrenholtz were both 2-for-4 with a run.

Megan Spear went 1-for-2 with a walk, run and RBI, Sydne Struve had a pinch-hit single and courtesy runner Olivia Hall scored once for the Bombers.

Ihle earned the win after failing to allow a hit and totaling three strikeouts and two walks in three innings. Bender gave up two hits and finished with one strikeout and no walks in four innings of work.

Ballard 9, West Marshall 0

B 022 320 0 – 9 12 NA

WM 000 000 0 – 0 2 NA

B: Kenzie Ihle, Emi Bender (4) and Brooke Mallon

WP: Ihle

2B: Bender, Annie Stolte, Ellen Huxford

HUXLEY – In a showdown between two top-four Class 4A teams, Ballard suffered a heartbreaking 5-3 loss to Dallas Center-Grimes in nine innings May 23.

Ballard, ranked fourth and the defending 3A state champions, rallied from a 3-1 deficit against a DCG squad ranked first, and last year’s 4A state runners-up.

The Bombers led 1-0 going into the fifth, then DCG scored twice and the Fillies added another run in the top of the seventh. But in the bottom of the seventh, Annie Stolte delivered a clutch two-run home run for the Bombers to force extra innings.

Neither team could score in the eighth inning, but in the ninth DCG put two runs on the board. Ballard was unable to counter, falling to 1-1.

Ballard finished with just four hits on offense against DCG pitcher Paige Lowary. Alex Petersen went 2-for-4 and Ellen Huxford singled, walked and scored to account for the Bombers’ only hits besides Stolte’s big home run.

Ellie Godwin walked and scored as the only other Bomber base runner. Lowary finished with a whopping 17 strikeouts and just two walks, going the full nine innings to earn the win.

Macey Wolfe led an 11-hit DCG attack on offense by going 4-for-5 with one run ,and Paige Shanno homered and drove in two runs for the Fillies.

Kenzie Ihle took the loss for Ballard. She threw all nine innings and gave up three earned runs with seven strikeouts and two walks.

DCG 5, Ballard 3 (9)

DCG 000 020 102 – 5 11 NA

B 010 000 200 – 3 4 NA

DCG: Paige Lowary and Paige Shanno

B: Kenzie Ihle and Brooke Mallon

WP: Lowary

LP: Ihle

HR: DCG – Shanno. B – Annie Stolte.

HUXLEY – The defending Class 3A state champion Ballard softball team had little trouble in its season opener against Gilbert May 21 as the Bombers trounced the Tigers, 10-0, in five innings at home.

Ballard, ranked fourth in 4A to begin the season, scored three runs in the first inning and upped its lead to 4-0 in the fourth. The Bombers then erupted for six runs in the bottom of the fifth to end the game on account of the 10-run mercy rule.

Katie Ahrenholtz was a perfect 3-for-3 with a double, two runs and an RBI, and Ellie Godwin doubled in two runs and scored in her only official at-bat to pace Ballard’s nine-hit attack on offense. Sydney Fisher and Megan Spear both went 2-for-3 with a run and RBI as Fisher hit two singles and Spear finished with a double and a single.

Annie Stolte also singled and scored, and courtesy runners Elvis Calvert, Gabie Doud and Olivia Hall each scored once. Pitcher Kenzie Ihle walked and drove in a run for the Bombers.

Ihle didn’t give up a hit or a walk in five innings of work and she struck out 12 batters to earn the victory.

Ballard 10, Gilbert 0 (5)

G 000 00 – 0 0 NA

B 300 16 – 10 9 NA

B: Kenzie Ihle and Brooke Mallon

WP: Ihle

2B: Katie Ahrenholtz, Ellie Godwin, Megan Spear