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North Mahaska coach Mark Schroeder has begun to despise close softball games. His Warhawks have played four one-run games in the last five and have come up short in each one. Monday, the Warhawks stayed in it until the end, but HLV pulled away in the seventh inning to score a 4-3 South Iowa Cedar League victory.

Monday’s game was in dark contrast to the previous meeting between the two teams on May 22, which was won by HLV 19-15. Monday’s contest saw North Mahaska leading 3-2 in the top of the seventh when HLV rallied.

Olivia Ridgeway tossed out the leadoff batter for HLV in the seventh. Aaliya Cooper walked then Ayla Hall singled. With two out, HLV’s Reagan Molyneux hit a fielder’s choice to load the bases. NM third baseman Malory Andersen, an eighth grader making her varsity debut, attempted to tag Cooper on the play and just missed. HLV’s Lily Randall doubled to bring in the tying and winning runs.

In the North Mahaska half of the seventh inning, Addie Falb grounded out then Ridgeway singled but was caught stealing and Maddie Doonan was retired to end the game.

RD Keep/NM Communications
Addison Falb singles in the third inning of North Mahaska’s contest with HLV Monday. HLV scored twice in the top of the seventh inning to win 4-3.

“Another one-run game, I think its our fifth,” said Schroeder. “We tried a different lineup tonight. We just cannot seal it in the end.”

Schroeder admitted his team was playing with some emotional adversity. His second baseman Kayla Readshaw lost her grandmother over the weekend and assistant coach Shauna Grewe’s house caught fire on Saturday.

“They were playing with some emotion,” said Schroeder. “I told them that our record is what it is. We know we are a better team than our record shows (5-11 overall, 5-7 in SICL). We win those one-run games, and we are in good shape.”

North Mahaska has three conference games left against Lynnville-Sully, BGM and Colfax-Mingo. They have beaten two of the teams previously and lost a one-run game to BGM. The Warhawks will close out the regular season with five nonconference games.

Hailey Jack earned the win for HLV. She allowed six hits and three runs, one earned, striking out eight and walking one. Jocelyn Pinkerton took the loss for North Mahaska allowing four runs on eight hits and walking three.

Junior catcher Regan Grewe led the team with one run batted in with a single and a double. Ridgeway, Kaylia Shipman, Andersen and Falb each singled for North Mahaska. Readshaw stole two bases.
Hall led HLV with two singles. Randall drove in three runs on a single and a double.

Next up for North Mahaska is a game with Lynnville-Sully on Wednesday. Game time is 5:30 p.m.