June 28, 2022

Cleaning up the ‘D’ important for Wolverine softball

Nodaway Valley softball will look back to getting on the winning track this week after suffering a few losses to end last week’s slate.

The Wolverines beat Earlham 1-0 in a non-conference game at home Wednesday, June 8, but then lost the next night at Griswold 11-1, Friday night 4-2 at Mount Ayr, and twice on Saturday, 4-0 to Atlantic and 6-5 to Clarinda in a tournament at Creston.

The week started out with an 11-1 loss last Tuesday to Southeast Warren.

“Looking at the stats, they don’t look very good,” said head coach Abbey Queck, quickly following that up by praising sophomore Jorja Holliday’s outing in the pitcher’s circle.

Holliday gave up 13 hits and all 11 runs, however Queck said the Warhawks are just a “good hitting team.”

“One through nine, they can hit the ball hard,” Queck said. “That’s kind of what they did against us, and offensively, we just were not in it. Their pitchers were good at keeping us off balance.”

The Earlham win was a high point of the week as the Wolverines seemingly made a lot out of a little to win the close game.

Holliday had seven strikeouts in a five-hit pitching performance against Earlham. She walked none. Her defense stepped up and played well, committing error-free ball.

Senior Maddax DeVault led off the game with a triple, then Whitney Lamb flew out to left field, DeVault tagged up and scored on the hit.

DeVault was 2-for-3 with a double, a triple and a run scored. Sophomores Lindsey Davis and Holliday were each 2-for-3. Davis had one stolen base.

“We hit their pitcher very well that night,” Queck said.

Griswold had 14 hits, including five for extra bases, in its win over NV.

“Their pitcher kept us off balance a lot in that game. Our defense wasn’t there and our pitching wasn’t there, so we struggled a lot against Griswold,” Queck said.

Costly errors erased NV’s ability to win against Mount Ayr, despite the fact that the Wolverines out-muscled the Raiderettes at the plate.

DeVault was 1-for-3 with a double, a hit by pitch and a run scored. Davis went 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored. Holliday was 1-for-3 on an RBI double. Eighth-grader Izzy Eisbach was 2-for-3. Holliday gave up two hits in the circle, walked two and struck out two in the loss.

“We again pitched very, very well in that game, but we had an error that cost us basically three runs,” Queck said. “It’s kind of frustrating there because we had more hits but still lost. Saturday was kind of the same thing.”

Queck was pleased with how her team stepped up and performed against Atlantic, despite taking a shutout defeat.

“It’s a bigger school and sometimes the girls get intimidated, but the girls did a great job of stepping up to that challenge,” Queck said.

The Wolverines committed a slew of errors against Clarinda and weren’t able to climb out of an early 4-0 deficit in that game.

“We hit the ball pretty hard, just not at the right time, it seemed like,” Queck said.

At 4-7 on the season and 3-4 in Pride of Iowa Conference play coming into this week, the Wolverines were scheduled to host Bedford Tuesday, West Central Valley on Wednesday, travel to Southwest Valley Thursday and host East Union on Friday.

“We played a lot of great teams this week. I hope we can take our mistakes from this week and learn from them next week and be just a little bit better,” Queck said. “I’d say we just need to clean up our defense a lot.”

Caleb Nelson

Caleb Nelson

Caleb Nelson has served as News Editor of the Adair County Free Press and Fontanelle Observer since Oct. 2017. He and his wife Kilee live in Greenfield. In Greenfield and the greater Adair County area, he values the opportunity to tell peoples' stories, enjoys playing guitar, following all levels of sports, and being a part of his local church.