WATERLOO — Similar to a steady rain that watered the diamond throughout Tuesday night’s softball doubleheader, Waterloo West’s offense rarely let up during a sweep of Waterloo East.
The Wahawks tallied 26 hits in two games en route to victories of 8-7 and 15-7 at West High.
“I was really proud of the girls,” West coach Ashley Reimer said. “They didn’t let up tonight. They got the lead the little bit and kind of lost it, but they continued to hit the ball.
“East did a nice job of playing really hard and playing with us the whole time. It was a fun crosstown rival competitive game.”
Catcher Bri McPoland was a consistent source of offensive for West (4-11). She reached base seven times in the two games with a pair of triples in the opener.
McPoland’s second triple came at an opportune time after East (3-15) rallied to tie the opener on a two-out throwing error in the top of the seventh. The West catcher led off the home half of the last frame by pulling a pitch to the right field corner, and she scored on Josie Bauler’s game-winning single up the middle.
“That was huge,” Reimer said of McPoland’s triple. “That set the tone for that inning for us. Huge credit to her for that, and to the rest of the girls for responding.”
West came out swinging in game one. The Wahawks tallied three runs in both the first and second innings, and freshman Ruby Chris pulled a solo home run to lead off the home half of the third, with that first career varsity long ball giving the Wahawks a 7-4 advantage.
After a brief rain delay, West pitcher Bre’Ann Olsson began to lose her grip on the ball and East rallied in the sixth inning. Jaida Thurneau opened with a bunt single before three consecutive walks and an error plated two runs. The Trojans added a tying run on a miscue in top of the seventh.
An East team that made three fielding errors of its own in the opener was plagued by six errors in game two. While first year head coach Chad Adams liked his team’s approach at the plate, he pointed towards improved fielding as an area that will allow a youthful Trojans squad with different players at new positions to become more competitive.
Sydney Magnuson led East with three hits, including a home run and a double in the second game. Brooke Meighan also tallied three hits in game two with a double.
West, however, answered East’s three run fourth inning with five in the bottom half of the frame to take the game two lead for good. Consecutive singles by Haley Christoffer, Chris and Bauler capped the Wahawks’ fifth-inning rally. Christoffer drove in two more runs in the seventh, as she finished game two with three hits and three RBIs.
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West’s Olsson came back and pitched the final two innings of game two after picking up the game one victory. Wahawk eighth grader Nia Christoffer frequently kept the ball inside the strike zone for five innings for the game two win.
“We really wanted to take two tonight,” Reimer said. “I think everyone came out with some intensity and enthusiasm ready to win. It took a whole team effort. … We’re really starting to click and mesh together as a team.”
West 8-15, East 7-7
East 013 002 1 — 7 10 3
West 331 000 1 — 8 11 3
Sydney Magnuson and Addy Grimmett. Bre’Ann Olsson and Bri McPoland. WP — Olssson. LP — Magnuson. 2B — Maddie Whitson (East). 3B — Kenidi Adams (East), McPoland 2 (West). HR — Ruby Chris (West).
East 100 312 0 — 7 15 6
West 130 524 x — 15 15 3
Joselyn Foss, Bailee Nichols (6) and Grimmett. Nia Christoffer, Olsson (6) and McPoland. WP — Christoffer. LP—Foss. 2B — Foss, Magnuson, Brooke Meighan (East), McPoland (West). HR — Magnuson (East).