ANAMOSA - Senior Night is an emotional time each and every season, but Friday, July 3, in Anamosa, it was extra special as Raider softball fans said good bye to a sensational class in Ellie Tallman, Kalli Minger, Autumn Kirby, Maggie McQuillen and Jordyn Erickson.

      A packed house got to watch the Raiders crush visiting North Cedar before honoring the Anamosa seniors who have left a mark on the program that won’t soon be forgotten.

      “Great class of kids, no doubt about it,” said Raider softball coach Brad Holub, as his team used an eight-run fourth inning to blow their game wide open against the Knights and roll to a resounding 10-0 triumph.

      “We got off to a bit of a slow start, but were able to recover and put away a struggling North Cedar team with a big fourth inning.”

      Class 3A ninth-ranked Anamosa (8-1) scored single runs in the first two innings before Emily Watters delivered a bases clearing three-run double to ignite the game-changing fourth frame and hand the hosts a 7-0 lead at the time.

      They weren’t done yet.

      Four batters later Joslin Banowetz blasted her first career varsity home run with a laser shot over the left-center field fence that plated three more runs, and put the Raiders ahead 10-0.

      “The hitting we implemented last year is sure paying off again this year,” Holub said. “In nine games we now have eight home runs. That’s a pretty impressive number for a 40-game season, and we’re not done yet with this year.”

      Kalli Minger was brilliant in the pitchers’ circle completely baffling North Cedar batters by tossing a one-hitter while fanning 11 in her five-innings of work.

      Anamosa bats tallied 10 hits led by two each from Watters, Lexi Bright and Kirby.

      “This is how we wanted to send our seniors out,” Holub said. “It may have taken us a little while to get going, but we finished things like I hoped we would.”

      The weeks started for the Raiders with an impressive 8-1 victory hosting West Branch Monday, June 29.

      “It was a tight game for three innings, but then after getting a second look at their pitcher, we were able to bust things open with a very disciplined approach at the plate.”

      Anamosa plated a single run in the first before a four-run fourth, keyed by a three-run home run off the bat of Grace Lubben, gave the hosts a 5-0 lead.

      Three more runs in the fifth pushed the Raider lead to 8-0 before the Bears tallied their lone run in the top of the seventh.

      “I wanted to see us finish this thing off and get that shutout,” Holub said. “We came up short of that, but we are playing some pretty good softball right now. There are just some little things we need to clean up before we head into the post-season.”

      Tallman and Banowetz were each a perfect 3-for-3 from the plate with two runs scored while Lubben tallied four RBIs.

      Minger tossed a six-hitter and struck out eight West Branch batters.

      The Raiders renewed their rivalry with Monticello Tuesday, June 30, and after another slow start, were still able to pull away for a resounding 10-0 triumph over the host Panthers.

      “After facing such a fast pitcher the night before against West Branch, we had to have a different approach at the plate against Monticello,” Holub sad. “And that took the girls a few innings to adjust to. Monticello’s pitcher was considerably slower and we seemed a little too anxious at the plate the first few innings.”

      But in the fourth frame, the Raiders got things going plating three runs, highlighted by a Bright two-run blast over the fence.

      “We scored in each of the last four innings,” Holub said. “The girls made the adjustments they had to and blew the game open.”

      Anamosa bats ripped 11 hits in the game led by two each from Lubben, Watters, Bright, Kirby and Banowetz.

      Minger was in control in the circle fanning nine Panther batters allowing just five hits in her seven impressive innings of work.

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