Pleasantville defended their home fields Monday night as Pella Christian came to town for a match-up of Marion County schools in softball and baseball play, with the Trojans earning a 4-1 softball victory and a 3-0 win on the baseball diamond in the season opener. On the softball diamond, the Trojans and Eagles battled to a 1-1 game into the bottom of the sixth inning, when Pleasantville’s bats came to life, as a pair of doubles, a single and a throwing error put the deciding three runs across the plate.
While the offensive outburst late in the game was nice, Trojans’ head coach Robert Friday said the team’s defense behind pitcher Liz Moore is what allowed his squad to win.
“Liz pitched really well. When [Pella Christian] had runners on base, we got out of jams,” said Friday. “We played good, solid defense, and I think that was the key tonight.”
Moore pitched all seven innings, allowing six hits, striking out six and walking none. In the other dugout, Pella Christian head coach Nate Van Wyk said he was happy with where his team was at late in the game, but some mistakes by his young squad at various times proved costly.
“We missed a couple opportunities there in the top of the sixth inning – which could have gotten us some runs on the board – and the defensively there were just a few miscues; a couple pitches not in the right spot, and they [Pleasantville] took advantage of them” said Van Wyk. “They hit the ball hard. Other than those things, I’m very happy with the way our girls battled tonight.”
The Pleasantville softball team is now 1-0 on the season and travels to Bondurant-Farrar tonight, while Pella Christian is 0-1 after the opener and will tangle with Washington in a doubleheader on Thursday. Just to the north on the baseball diamond, Pleasantville’s Colin Thomas put together a masterful performance on the pitcher’s mound; striking out 15 Pella Christian batters for a 2-hit shutout.
“Colin threw very well. He came back really strong in the fourth and fifth [innings] when I thought he was getting tighter, and finished really well,” said Trojans’ head coach Sheldon Card. “It’s always great to start out the season like that.”
Pella Christian head coach Brad Rolffs had nothing but words of praise to offer up about Pleasantville after the game, but said his team still provided signs of good things to come.
“Pleasantville’s a good team, and they’re a solid-hitting team that plays good defense. Colin Thomas really shut us down tonight, and we won’t see too many pitchers like that this year,” said Rolffs. “I liked what I saw. We got up there and battled a lot and didn’t give in too many times, so I saw some good, positive things out of our guys tonight too.”
Eagles’ pitcher Andrew Vander Hart had a solid outing himself, allowing no earned runs and striking out eight Trojan batters in six innings of work. Pella Christian goes for their first win of the season Wednesday against Albia, while the Pleasantville baseball team tries to go for another win tonight at Bondurant-Farrar.