MONTICELLO - With Kalli Minger dominating in the pitchers’ circle Monday, June 17, Anamosa softball coach Brad Holub knew it wasn’t going to take much in the way of support from his offense for his team to tally a win in the opener at Monticello.
And for a while that’s about all he got too. Not much offensive support.
“I think the girls came into this one a little too pumped up,” said Holub, who got a taste of what the Anamosa-Monticello rivalry is all about as his team exploded late to pull away for a 5-0 triumph over the pesky Panthers.
“Coming in I didn’t understand what this rivalry was all about, but I think I do now. We got pretty much what you’d expect from a rivalry game. Throw out the records and just go at it.”
Anamosa (21-2, 12-1) scored early when Emily Watters singled and came home thanks to a sacrifice fly off the bat of Ellie Tallman in the very first inning.
“It looked like we might be able to score a lot of runs against them, but that ended up being our only run until the sixth inning,” Holub said. “You have to credit Monticello, they were up for these games, too, even if on paper it looked like we should have been able to win both of these pretty easily. That never happened.”
The Raiders held that narrow 1-0 advantage until the sixth when Tallman doubled and scored thanks to an RBI double from Jessie Frasher.
Then in the seventh, Anamosa blew the game open as Grace Lubben, pinch runner Delaney Frater and Autumn Kirby all scored.
The support was more than enough for Minger, who tossed a four-hit shutout and fanned nine Monticello batters.
Frasher’s three hits powered a 10-hit Raider offense while Tallman tallied two more.
Anamosa completed the sweep with a wild 11-8 decision in the nightcap.
“This was one that wound up being a lot closer than it should have been at the end,” said Holub, as his team led 10-1 in the fifth inning before hanging on for the three-run triumph.
“We had a chance to end this game early and didn’t do it, and Monticello almost made us pay.”
Leading 3-1 in the fifth, the Raiders plated seven runs to take control and appeared to be well on their way to another blowout victory before the Panthers began chipping away.
The hosts plated two runs in the fifth and sixth frames to pull within 10-5 before adding three more in the bottom of the seventh making Raider fans extremely nervous.
Lexi Bright had a big night going 2-for-3 with a second inning two-run home run while adding four RBIs.
Alexa Jess was 3-for-4 while Watters also drileld three hits powering a 14-hit Anamosa offense.
Watters got the start in the circle and worked the game’s first 3.2 innings allowing one run on just two hits before Minger came in to finish things out tossing the final 3.1 frames.
“Kalli was dominant in the opener, but Monticello had her timed and hit her much harder in the second game,” Holub said. “She was still able to work through it and get us the outs we needed to win.”
The Raiders were in Kalona Thursday, June 20, where a scoreless game into the fourth inning ended with an impressive 9-4 Anamosa victory over host Mid-Prairie.
“I was really impressed with our approaches at the plate,” Holub said. “After our first time through the order, we made some adjustments and really started hitting the ball.”
Frater broke the ice crossing the plate in the top of the fourth before Maggie Wagner, Frater and Jess all scored in a huge three-run fifth that handed the visitors a 4-0 advantage.
Leading 6-0 in the sixth, the Golden Hawks rallied scoring four times before the Raiders restored order with a three-run top of the seventh as Jess, Kylie Chapman and Watters all crossed the plate.
Minger tossed a complete game two-hitter and fanned 10 Mid-Prairie batters while Watters, Lubben, Tallman, Minger and Maggie McQuillen all had two hits each for the Anamosa offense.