WYOMING - Last season it took 30 games before the Midland softball team tasted victory for the first time with a 9-4 triumph over Bellevue.
Eagle coach Zach Hebl was determined his team was not going to wait as long to get that first softball win in 2020.
They wouldn’t have to.
Tuesday, June 16, in just the third game of the season, and against those very same Comets, Midland once again walked off the field with a win.
“It sure is a lot nicer getting our first win in the third game of the season and not the 30th,” said Hebl, as his team posted an impressive 7-3 triumph over Bellevue in the Eagles’ first home game of the 2020 summer.
“I felt pretty confident going into the game, then after we got off to a bit of a slow start I started to get a little nervous. But when the girls answered Bellevue’s run in the first inning with two of our own and then two more in the second, my confidence quickly came back.”
Gracie Franzen delivered an RBI single in the bottom of the first that erased a 1-0 Bellevue lead when Brennah Ricketts crossed the plate while Kaeti Taylor-Mere also scored in the frame to give the Eagles a lead they would not lose the rest of the night.
Ricketts and Sophia Coates (pinch-running for Rashelle Cole) both scored in the second and Midland (1-3) stretched their lead to 4-1.
Bellevue got back into the thick of things scoring twice in the fourth, trimming the Eagle lead to 4-3, but the hosts took control again in their half of the fourth when Bahnsen was hit by a pitch and then came around to score thanks to Comet errors.
Sophia Raubs and Bailie Uppena both crossed the plate in the fifth to give the hosts plenty of insurance runs.
“We played well defensively and made most of the plays behind Rashelle,” Hebl said. “We only had two throwing errors the entire game and after Rashelle worked out of that first inning trouble, she really settled down and pitched well.”
Cole tossed a compete game eight-hitter and struck out five Bellevue batters while Ricketts, Taylor-Mere and Franzen powered the Eagle offense coming through with two hits each. Uppena added two RBIs.
The Midland girls looked to start a winning streak Friday, June 19, but were handed a tough 13-0, four-inning setback against class 1A 12th-ranked Lisbon.
“For some reason we just seemed a bit off for this game,” Hebl said. “I guess team are going to have off nights, and hopefully this one was ours for the season. Our pitchers struggled finding the zone and we made way too many errors to be able to stay with a team like Lisbon.”
After plating a run in the top of the first, the Lions crossed the plate nine times in the second to blow the game wide open.
A three-run fourth ended things early.
“Lisbon is still a very good team,” Hebl said. “But we have some pieces that we still need to figure out where they’ll go. Once we do, I hope we’ll be able to give teams like Lisbon a better contest.”
Lion pitching held Midland bats hitless in the game.
The finale was called due to weather.