No. 10 Bombers knock off No. 2 Carlisle in big RRC battle

Joe Randleman

PELLA – The Pella Christian Invitational saw the Ballard softball team break out the bats in a big way as the Bombers combined for 36 hits, crushing Newton and Grinnell Saturday in Pella.

Ballard destroyed Newton by a 19-3 score in three innings. The Bombers built an 8-0 lead, then exploded for 11 runs in the third inning to end the game early on account of the 12-run rule after three innings.

Ballard totaled 16 hits in the win. Annie Stolte and Ellen Huxford were each 3-for-3 and Gabbie Scherle, Brooke Mallon and Alex Petersen each picked up two hits.

Stolte scored four times and drove in a run and Huxford scored twice and picked up one walk and RBI apiece. Scherle went 2-for-2 with two walks, three steals and four runs; Mallon ended up 2-for-3 with two RBI and Petersen ended up 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles, one run and two RBI.

Kenzie Ihle doubled and drove in three runs for Ballard. Olivia Hall singled, walked and scored; Sheridan Gealow went 1-for-3 with a run and two RBI; Ellie Godwin hit a solo home run and scored twice; Kennedy Newell crossed the plate three times and Jenna Moody scored one run.

Ihle struck out three and allowed one hit in two scoreless innings to earn the victory. Mikayla Jones threw the other inning and allowed three runs – two earned – on three hits with one strikeout and no walks.

Ashton Hoffman threw all three innings and allowed 14 earned runs with seven walks and one strikeout for Newton. Sydney Jenkins went 2-for-2 with a double, run and two RBI and Hoffman drove in one run for the Cardinals offensively.

Ballard smashed Grinnell by a 14-4 score in six innings. The Bombers jumped all over the Tigers early with seven runs in the first inning and they gradually pulled away for the victory.

Scherle, Stolte, Ihle and Huxford all went 3-for-4 and Hall, Petersen and Abby Carlin each ended up 2-for-4 as part of Ballard’s explosive 20-hit attack against Grinnell.

Scherle walked, drove in a run and scored twice, Stolte and Ihle both finished with one run and two RBI and Huxford recorded a double, two runs and five RBI. Hall picked up a walk, RBI and two runs, Petersen scored one run and Carlin drove home one score.

Mallon singled and scored and Godwin was 1-for-2 with a double and two runs against Grinnell. Moody and Newell each scored once versus the Tigers.

Carlin was the winning pitcher. She threw all six innings and allowed one earned run on five hits with three strikeouts and no walks.

Emilee Hulsing surrendered five earned runs with three walks and no strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings for Grinnell. Regan Sharp was 2-for-3 with two runs, Abby Reding went 2-for-2 with one run and Taegan James knocked in two runs for the Tigers.

The two victories put Ballard – ranked No. 10 in Class 4A – at 21-5 on the season.

Ballard 19, Newton 3 (3)

B 44(11) – 19 16 NA

N 003 – 3 4 NA

B: Kenzie Ihle, Mikayla Jones (3) and Brooke Mallon

N: Ashton Hoffman

WP: Ihle

LP: Hoffman

2B: B – Alex Petersen 2, Ihle; N – Sydney Jenkins

HR: B – Ellie Godwin

Ballard 14, Grinnell 4 (6)

G 103 000 – 4 5 NA

B 702 113 – 14 20 NA

G: Emilee Hulsing and Regan Sharp

B: Abby Carlin and Mallon

WP: Carlin

LP: Hulsing

2B: B – Ellen Huxford, Godwin

CARLISLE – A huge start helped Ballard earn a monumental win when the Bombers knocked off Carlisle, 8-4, in a Raccoon River Conference confrontation between two top-10 Class 4A schools June 25 at Carlisle.

Carlisle – rated No. 2 in 4A – has been a thorn in No. 10 Ballard’s side for several years. The Bombers had beaten several other ranked RRC powers since their 3A state title season in 2012, but they couldn’t get over the hump against Carlisle until June 25.

A five-run second inning was the difference maker for Ballard. Both teams scored a run in the first and then Ballard took charge in the second.

The Bombers added two more runs in the fourth to build a big 8-1 lead. Carlisle tried to chip away, but it was far too little, too late as Ballard handed the Wildcats just their second loss of the season.

Ballard tallied nine hits off starting Wildcat pitcher Gabby Schnathorst. Kenzie Ihle had an absolute monster night with the stick for Ballard as she went 3-for-4 with two home runs and an impressive seven RBI.

Gabbie Scherle finished 2-for-3 with two runs and an RBI; Brooke Mallon, Olivia Hall and Ellie Godwin all singled and scored and Alex Petersen went 1-for-3 with a walk for Ballard. Annie Stolte added two walks and a run and Mikayla Jones walked once for the Bombers.

Ihle overcame six walks to get the victory. She threw all seven innings and allowed three earned runs on eight hits with two strikeouts to help Ballard improve to 7-3 in the RRC.

Schnathorst struck out four and walked three, allowing six earned runs over six innings to take the loss. Courtney Johannes threw one scoreless inning with one strikeout and walk apiece for the Wildcats, who fell to 7-2 in the conference.

Gabby DuBois homered and drove in two runs and Shyanne DuBois was 3-for-5 with two steals and a run to pace Carlisle on offense. Hattie Hupke went 2-for-4 with one run, steal and RBI apiece; Taylor Davis finished 1-for-2 with two walks and one steal, RBI and run apiece and Agatha Beier chipped in one single for the Wildcats.

Ballard 8, Carlisle 4

B 150 200 0 – 8 9 NA

C 100 001 2 – 4 8 NA

B: Kenzie Ihle and Brooke Mallon

C: Gabby Schnathorst, Courtney Johannes (7) and Mary Grace Wachal

WP: Ihle

LP: Schnathorst

HR: B – Ihle 2; C – Gabby DuBois

BOONE – A clutch pinch-hit double by Mikayla Jones and great pitching from Kenzie Ihle were enough to get Ballard a hard-fought 1-0 Raccoon River Conference victory over Boone June 24 in Boone.

Ihle and Boone pitcher Sam Mcllwain were engaged in a scoreless duel for six innings. But in the top of the seventh, Jones came up huge in her only at-bat of the game.

Ellen Huxford reached base on a single and then Ballard head coach Staci Sniezek brought Jones in to hit. Jones responded with a double to score Huxford with what turned out to be the game’s only run.

Ihle managed to complete a two-hit shutout by blanking Boone in the bottom of the seventh. The Bomber pitcher struck out nine and walked four.

Ballard finished with five hits on offense. Huxford was 2-for-3, and Gabbie Scherle and Brooke Mallon each singled once for the Bombers.

Mcllwain finished with two strikeouts and one walk in seven innings to take the loss for Boone. Breanna Hunter doubled to lead the Toreadors on offense.

Ballard 1, Boone 0

Ball 000 000 1 – 1 5 NA

Boo 000 000 0 – 0 2 NA

Ball: Kenzie Ihle and Brooke Mallon

Boo: Sam Mcllwain and Laura Anderson

2B: Ball – Mikayla Jones; Boo – Breanna Hunter