September 20, 2021

Spartans split with Iowa Central

Former Murray standouts on opposing sides

Southwestern secured a weekend split with 30-20 Iowa Central softball team that has been nationally ranked this season.

On Saturday, the Spartans scored on a groundball error in the sixth inning and held on in the seventh for a 4-3 victory in the series opener. Iowa Central starting pitcher Kayla Wookey of Murray picked up the win in a 10-6 triumph by the Tritons in Saturday’s nightcap.

On Sunday, Wookey again started the second game and picked up the loss as Southwestern won 9-1 in five innings. Iowa Central claimed Sunday’s opener, 7-2.

Iowa Central is 24-12 in ICCAC play. Southwestern begins the new week with a 23-28-1 overall mark, and 16-20 in conference play.

“It was a great split for us,” SWCC coach Nick Weinmeister said. “They have been ranked this year and are currently receiving votes, so it was a good weekend for us.”

Thayda Houser gained the pitching victory in SWCC’s 4-3 victory Saturday, allowing just two hits with 10 strikeouts and three walks. Madeleine Shwaluk and Kaitlyn Schad each went 2-for-3 with an RBI for the Spartans, including a home run by Shwaluk. Ali Enright had a double and RBI.

Wookey had good early bat support in Saturday’s nightcap, staked to a 4-0 lead after two innings and a 9-0 lead an inning later. But, Enright, from Seymour, and Schad, from Martensdale-St. Marys, each stroked three-run homers and Wookey was replaced by Mikhaela Muir.

Wookey’s former Murray teammate, Hailey Chew, went 1-for-2 against Wookey as the Spartans’ right fielder. Wookey said facing the fellow former Lady Mustang teammate was a unique experience.

“It’s a little different seeing her after two years,” Wookey said, “but it’s also someone you’ve pitched against since you were little, so we know each other pretty well.”

Wookey was chased in the fourth inning on Sunday, trailing 5-0 with the bases loaded. Southwestern ended the inning with four more runs and secured the 9-1 win in five innings on the eight-run mercy rule. Schad had three RBIs for the Spartans. Enright and Kayla Jensen each had two hits, with Jensen and Jenna Parfeniuk stroking doubles in the game.

Houser got the win with 12 strikeouts and two walks.

Madison Huisman struck out 10 Spartan batters in Iowa Central’s 7-2 victory to open play on Sunday. Chew and Enright each had RBIs for the Spartans, combining for five hits. Madeleine Shwaluk hit two doubles.

The Spartans play at Southeastern Community College Wednesday.

Larry Peterson

LARRY PETERSON

Former senior feature writer at Creston News Advertiser and columnist. Previous positions include sports editor for many years and assistant editor. Also a middle school basketball coach in Creston.