Pleasantville took advantage of some early miscues by Pella Christian, then withstood a few mistakes of their own to hold on for a 6-4 win Tuesday night in the opening round of the Class 2A Regional Softball Tournament.
Hannah Gordon put the first runs on the board for the Trojans; ripping a two-RBI double to left center field as part of a big night for the incoming freshman – who went 3-for-3 at the plate. Teammate Traci Kunze also had a big night offensively, going 2-for-3 with three RBI. Gordon and Kunze both had hits in the bottom of the second inning – which gave Pleasantville a quick 4-0 lead – and then added more hits in the fourth frame to put the Trojans up 6-0.
While the offense was hitting well and taking advantage of a few errors, the Pleasantville defense got a big boost from Liz Moore in the pitching circle.
“Liz threw really well. On a night like this when you’re sweating, the ball can become slippery, and I thought she kept them [Pella Christian] off balance all night,” said Pleasantville head coach Robert Friday. “They’re really good one through four, and I think other than the sixth inning, we really did a good job of battling those one through four hitters.”
Moore finished allowing no earned runs on seven hits and no walks, while striking out five Pella Christian batters. The Lady Eagles didn’t go down without a fight, though, as they turned the tables in sixth inning by capitalizing on three Pleasantville errors to pull within 6-4. Pella Christian head coach Nate Van Wyk said while he liked his team’s resilience, the damage had already been done.
“I’m very proud of the way the girls battled tonight. We dug ourselves a hole early on, made some mistakes early in the game, [and] gave them too many outs. When you give a team four or five outs in an inning, usually they’re going to capitalize on it,” said Pella Van Wyk.
“We dug ourselves that 6-0 hole, and I was very proud of the way they battled back, put up four runs in the sixth, [and] had the tying run on base in the seventh. We were one base hit away from tying that game up, so give the girls credit for never quitting.”
Pella Christian’s offense was led by Cara Turner, who went 2-for-3 with an RBI, while teammate Sami Veenstra was 2-for-4 in her final game as a Lady Eagle. Shannon Fynaard took the loss in the pitcher’s circle, allowing seven hits and two walks with three strikeouts in 3 ⅔ innings of work before Taylor Hartson came in.
Pella Christian’s season is ended at 7-22 overall, while Pleasantville improves to 11-21 and advances to Thursday’s Class 2A Regional Quarterfinal game at Wayne.