MARION - Playing extremely well but not having any victories to show for it during a very busy and at times frustrating week, the Anamosa softball team got back to playing their game Thursday, June 14, at Marion.
That game, is winning.
“This was a win that we really, really needed,” said Raider softball coach Ed Roalf, as his team broke a 3-3 tie with the Indians in the top of the 11th inning.
“We had come so close all week long to beating some very good teams, only to come out on the short end each and every time. It feels fantastic to get this one, and especially the way we did, getting a big hit late.”
Anamosa junior Jessie Frasher delivered a bases loaded double that scored all three of her teammates leading the Raiders to a thrilling 6-4 triumph over the Indians, and ending an eight-game losing skid.
“Early on we struggled with the bats,” Roalf said. “We were getting hits, but not the big hits to drive girls in. In the 11th we started hitting line drives and were able to take, and then finally, keep, the lead.”
Marion did rally in the bottom of the 11th plating one run, but Raider pitcher Kalli Minger was able to work out of trouble and close out the huge victory.
“Kalli pitched another great game,” Roalf said. “If it wasn’t for all the errors we made, we would have won this game well before the 11th inning. Kalli should have been out of numerous innings but our mistakes kept them going. For a pitcher that can be pretty frustrating, but she was able to work through it and stay focused and in the end we got the win.”
Frasher’s three hits led an impressive 14-hit Anamosa (8-11, 2-9) offense. Ellie Tallman, Grace Lubben and Alexa Jess all came through with two hits each for the Raiders.
Minger worked all 11 frames in the pitchers’ circle and allowed eight Indian hits and also struck out eight.
Anamosa started a winning streak Friday, June 15, rolling to a 10-1 rout over visiting Alburnett in the first game of a twinbill with the Pirates.
“We’ve had so many close game and so many extra inning games, it’s nice to have one go pretty quickly,” Roalf said. “We hit the ball the way we should have in both of these games, and look at the results. Big wins. Which is the direction I think we’re headed now. Playing some of our best softball.”
Leading 1-0 in the opener, the Raiders blew the game wide open plating seven second-inning runs and never looked back.
Lubben’s three hits led the Anamosa offense while Maggie McQuillen got the pitching start and tossed a four-hitter allowing just one fourth-inning run.
The routs continued in the second game as well as the Raiders cruised to a 15-5, five-inning blowout win.
Once again the Anamosa offense quickly went to work scoring nine times in the first two frames, including five in the second inning.
Leading 12-5 in the bottom of the fifth, the hosts scored three times to end it early.
Tallman was a perfect 4-for-4 with four runs scored and two RBIs. Frasher and Lexi Bright added three hits each powering a 17-hit Raider offense.
Minger was the beneficiary of all the support pitching all five frames while fanning seven Pirate batters.
Anamosa’s busy nine-game week opened at class 4A 14th-ranked Western Dubuque Monday, June 11, where the Raiders dropped a pair of tight contests.
Anamosa bats struggled in the 3-0 game-one setback managing just three hits, though Minger also held the hosts to a mere three hits.
Four Raider errors proved to be the difference in the game.
Anamosa jumped to a 5-0 lead in the nightcap but after the Bobcats rallied, and scored a run in the bottom of the seventh, the game went extra frames where the hosts won it 9-8 in eight.
Tallman was 2-for-3 and stole four bases in the second game while Jess and Lubben added two hits as well.
The Raiders hosted Center Point-Urbana Tuesday, June 12, and once again were handed a pair of painful losses.
The Pointers claimed the first game 3-0 as Anamosa bats were held to six hits while Minger held the visitors to a mere three hits without allowing an earned run.
The second game went extra innings as the visitors escaped with a 5-4 triumph in a thrilling back-and-forth contest.
Kylie Chapman delivered three hits and drove home two runs for the Raiders.
Anamosa hosted class 4A second-ranked Independence Wednesday, June 13, and proved once again they do still belong among the elite teams even after dropping narrow 2-1 and 7-5 contests.
The second game went eight innings.
“We struggled with our defense much of this week, but not in these games,” Roalf said. “We seem to raise our game to the level of our competition.”
Jess drove home Frasher with the Raiders’ lone game-one run in the bottom of the seventh while the hosts exploded in game-two plating three first inning runs.
Anamosa led 4-3 before the Mustangs plated a run in the top of the seventh to force an eighth inning that saw the visitors score three times to claim the win.