GILBERTVILLE — Waterloo Columbus is off to a red-hot start to the 2018 softball season.
One reason is that Class 3A’s second-ranked Sailors can win with offense, defense or pitching.
Tuesday night, it was the offense that shined in an 11-5 victory over rival Don Bosco that boosted Columbus’ record to 14-1.
Eight of nine Sailor starters recorded at least one hit while all nine made the basepaths.
“I wouldn’t really say we are loaded as much as we are just so well-balanced,” Columbus coach Chris Olmstead said. “Up and down this lineup each girl plays within herself and knows what she gives to this team.
“Perfect example is the bottom of our lineup. They are not heavy hitters but they produce at the plate. For instance in the fourth inning tonight, we kind of hit a lull and I was looking for a bunt from Reagan Lindsay. She got a nice single that scored two runs and I really believe that was the play of the game. These girls just find a way.”
Lindsay’s shot gave the Sailors a 9-2 lead.
“I just go up and do what I can for my teammates,” Lindsay said. “From JV to varsity this team is so talented and you really cannot afford to let up. They keep pushing everyone to play their best. A lot of our younger players can step right in and you won’t see any dropoff.”
The lower part of the Sailors’ lineup went 8-for-13 on the night, knocking in six runs and scoring three times.
“You cannot let up because there is someone right there that can take your spot,” added Lindsay. “It is a good feeling in a way and it really brings a whole lot of confidence to everyone on this team.”
Lindsay cracked an RBI single in the first as the Sailors built a 4-0 lead, then connected for her two-run single in the fourth.
Don Bosco battled back, but couldn’t quite match Columbus’ offensive firepower.
Kaylee Peters drove in a run in the second and Sydney Purdy brought in another in the third on a sacrifice fly. Tatum Bedard had a big night for the Dons with four singles and two runs knocked in.
“I thought we played well tonight and the girls never gave up,” said Don Bosco coach Jane Becker. “We hit the ball hard and we hit it solid, but (Taylor) Hogan at short made a lot of big plays against us tonight.”
Hogan had 10 putouts from her shortstop position.
Ashley Grapp began the bottom of the seventh inning with a long range homer, and Bedard drove in Kindra Welter to pull Don Bosco within 11-5.
“We held them in check after the first two innings,” Becker said. “The girls battled hard and Grapp showed you how much of a pure swing she has with that home run. It is nice to watch. We will continue to battle with a lot of games to play yet.”
Columbus 11, Don Bosco 5
Columbus 403 200 2 — 11 15 0
Don Bosco 011 010 2 — 5 11 0
Kayla Sproul and Sydney Schultz. Kylie McMahon and Jenna Brown. WP—Sproul. LP—McMahon. HR—Ashley Grapp (DB). 2B—Kate Shannon 2 (WC), Maliyah Little (WC), Kindra Welter (DB).