Prep softball: Redettes roll after rain-shortened Senior Night

·4 min read

Jun. 23—CENTERVILLE — It's not quite the Senior Night that Teaghan Maxwell had planned on.

Instead of running out the dugout to celebrate a win with her teammates on Tuesday night, the lone senior on the Centerville softball team instead had to sprint to dry land as rain descended on Appanoose County shortly after both the Redettes and Clarke were pulled off the field for a lightning delay with the score tied at 5-5 in the bottom of the fifth inning.

"I still enjoyed it," Maxwell said of her shortened Senior Night. "I was hitting. I was making some good plays. We were doing pretty good. I was very proud of us."

Maxwell kept right on hitting on Wednesday as Centerville made ever shorter work of Melcher-Dallas in a three-inning 16-0 non-conference win over the Saints. Maxwell connected on three run-scoring singles while scoring one of Centerville's 13 runs in the second inning, clinching the second win in three games for the young and competitive Redettes.

"The younger girls have been doing really good. You can tell everyone is really relaxed. We all just want to have fun," Maxwell said. "Our defense has been really good. Our hitting hasn't been there quite as much, but it's getting there."

In fact, counting the five innings played against Clarke on Tuesday, Centerville has scored 33 runs in the last 20 innings. Before Saturday's 11-0 shutout win at Moulton-Udell, the Redettes had scored just 24 runs in the first 14 games of the season.

Kiera Klum, who had three hits including a triple while driving in two runs and scoring twice Saturday at Moulton-Udell, connected on a three-run home run Wednesday during the 13-run second inning that put away Centerville's third win of the season. Statistically, it was Klum's first home run of the season.

Technically, however, Klum sent her first softball of the season over the fence on Tuesday against Clarke. Trailing 4-2 with two outs in the bottom of the fourth, Klum followed consecutive hits by Kenly Shilling and Breckyn Carney with a long drive over the fence in left that gave the Redettes a sudden one-run lead over the Indians.

"I was jumping up and down when Kiera hit that ball," Maxwell said. "You should see me in the dugout. I go crazy."

Centerville might have clinched the South Central Conference win over Clarke before weather moved into the area had the Redettes (3-14, 1-8 SCC) protected their 5-4 lead in the fifth. The Indians, however, pushed the tying run across with two outs in the inning as Madisyn McCoy drove in Ali Henry with an RBI single.

Clarke (4-12, 1-7 SCC) loaded the bases with two outs trying to regain the lead. Shayla Hembry's bid for a tiebreaking hit, however, was snared by freshman pitcher Molly Moore ending the threat and ultimately ensuring the game would have to resume at a later date as the Clarke pitcher Stacy Watson retired the first two Centerville batters in the bottom of the fifth before the game was brought to a stop.

"We try to play it one pitch at a time and try to keep having fun," Clarke head coach and former Indian Hills standout Vanessa Bakley said. "We can't change the game that's already happened, but we can focus on the next pitch, still have fun and jump around.

"I think that's why our girls do such a good job of answering back. We're always working on winning each pitch."

The next pitch between Clarke and Centerville will have to wait until July 5. The two teams will resume the regularly-scheduled game at 5 p.m. The teams have also agreed to play one more non-conference contest that night following completion of the 5-5 game before each team moves on to postseason play with the Indians hoping to re-create their magical run to the Class 3A portion of the Iowa Girls High School State Softball Tournament last summer.

"I tell the girls all the time that if they don't believe in their gut like I believe in my gut that we're getting to Fort Dodge, then we're not going to get there," Bakley said. "The girls have all the tools that they need to get there. We do get down on ourselves sometimes and we've seen the negative results that brings. It's all about staying positive and picking each other up."

Centerville, meanwhile, will also be looking to continue building some late-season momentum on Friday with a varsity doubleheader at home against Van Buren County.

— Scott Jackson can be reached at sjackson@ottumwacourier.com. Follow him on Twitter@CourierScott.