One rough inning saw North Mahaska trailing the Pella Lady Dutch, 3-0 Thursday night.
After the first frame, Nicole Brand kept the Lady Dutch under control with sensational defense by Carissa McBirnie and the bats of Hayley LaRue and Michaela Heys. The result, a 6-3 nonconference victory.
Third base is considered the hot corner and McBirnie showed why. She snagged three sharply hit line drives, all three for the third out in the inning.
“Carissa had some great outs,” said North Mahaska coach Chris Sampson. “She nearly had head taken off last night so she really hung in there. Julia (Groenenboom) was solid at short for us tonight.”
Groenenboom had several sharp balls hit her way that went for outs. She and second baseman Jaylin DeJong also snagged line drives that could have proved detrimental to the Warhawk cause.
Heys and LaRue combined to drive in five of North Mahaska’s six tallies. The big blow from Heys came in the fourth inning. With bases loaded and two outs, she drove a ball to right field and the setting sun caused problems for the fielder. The ball came out of her glove and Heys ended up at second.
LaRue walked a run in with bases loaded then delivered a run-scoring double for the first security run in the seventh.
“We executed what we needed to tonight,” said Sampson. “It was good to see us playing ball like this again. We made a mistake and they got some hits in that first inning, but we came back and held them.”
Seven batters came to the plat in the first inning for Pella. The most that came to bat from there was four. The Warhawks retired the Lady Dutch in order three times.
Brand scattered five hits in the game, three in the first inning. Allie DeMeulenaere opened with a single; Sara Tallman reached on an error and scored DeMeulenaere. Morgan Ernst drove in a Tallman and Sierra Williams hit a double to score another run. Pella managed only two more in the final six frames.
North Mahaska improved to 14-8. Pella fell to 11-12.
North Mahaska 6, Pella 3
NM 001 300 2 — 6 6 1
P 300 000 0 — 3 6 5
North Mahaska battery — Nicole Brand (W, 7 IP, 3 R, 6 H, 1 BB, 3 K) and Michaela Heys.