Their number of defensive errors has gone down a little, but Nodaway Valley softball is still struggling to come up with a complete game that includes solid defense, pitching and hitting. When one aspect is present, another usually lags behind.
With a small number of games remaining, head coach Abbey Queck hopes the group will be rewarded more on the scoreboard for the hard work they’ve put in throughout the season.
The Wolverines were 5-10 on the season and 4-6 in the Pride of Iowa Conference coming into this week.
“Definitely our record isn’t where I would want to be. We’ve played some pretty good teams in the last week and we’re losing games by one or two runs,” Queck said. “It’s like our offense will work but our defense won’t work, or our defense will work and our offense won’t work.”
NV defeated Bedford 4-2 last Tuesday at home using just two hits to get the job done. The Bulldogs jumped early, leading 1-0 following the top of the first inning. The Wolverines claimed the lead on an RBI sac fly by senior Whitney Lamb, which scored senior Maddax DeVault, who reached on an error to lead off the inning. Izzy Eisbach came in on an error in the bottom of the fourth. Jorja Holliday and Eisbach each had RBI hits in the fifth that scored DeVault and Lamb, respectively.
Holliday finished that game with 11 strikeouts in the pitcher’s circle.
NV committed three errors to come up short in a 7-5 loss last Wednesday at home with West Central Valley. The hosts had 11 hits.
Holliday had a double, two RBI and a run scored against the Wildcats. Lamb had two singles and an RBI, DeVault had a single, an RBI and a run scored. Eighth-grader Grace Klobnak also had an RBI. Eighth-grader Izzy Eisbach had two singles and one run scored.
The Wolverines led 7-2 going to the bottom of the seventh against Southwest Valley but couldn’t shut the door, which resulted in an 8-7 loss. The visitors had six errors in the game but did make 10 hits.
DeVault had two hits, an RBI and a run scored. Lamb one hit, two RBI and one run scored. Davis had two singles and an RBI. Caroline Britten and Maddie Weston each had a hit and Olivia Laughery had two hits with two runs scored. Klobnak had one run scored.
Hits were at a premium against East Union starter Mallory Raney. The Wolverines were dealt a perfect game by the senior and it resulted in a 4-0 loss. The Eagles had seven hits.
Despite the growing pains, Queck feels the team has played a lot better overall in the field.
“Against East Union, our defense had to make a lot of plays, whereas a lot of nights Jorja strikes out a lot of people. Southwest Valley was a game we had quite a few errors, but it was good to see us bounce back Friday and have a good, solid, clean game,” Queck said. “I’d like to see the errors stay down and I know the girls would too. We’ve gotta make up for it on the offensive end if we do make errors.”
Nodaway Valley was slated to play Tuesday at Central Decatur, Wednesday at home against Orient-Macksburg, Thursday at Lenox and Friday at home for Senior Night against Mount Ayr.
On Saturday, the Wolverines play games at 9 a.m. and noon in their own tournament, held at the Purdy Sports Complex at the Adair County Health and Fitness Center.
“I think this will be a good opportunity for our fans to come out and see our seniors. They’ve been a great group, Maddax and Whitney,” Queck said. “They’ve done a lot to help our underclassmen, just in the short season we’ve had already. They’ve done great things to being leaders and have stepped up to the plate a lot. I’d like for us to get a couple more wins before the season’s over. The season is almost over. It’s crazy that it’s gone this fast.”