RIVERSIDE — An 8-2 Southeast Iowa Super Conference North Division game was seen through two separate sets of eyes by the teams’ coaches Monday.
Winning coach Carrie Wieland was disappointed it took so long for her team to play their brand of ball while losing coach Kathryn Ney was pleased with her team’s performance.
“Things got a little rocky, but we pulled through,” Wieland said.
“I thought our defense was really good,” Ney said. “This was a game where I felt like we could coach and it was really fun. It was an awesome game.”
The Huskies did win the first game of the year over IMS 17-0.
IMS broke open a scoreless game in the fifth inning when Yani Gutierrez and Norah Yoder scored.
Highland answered in the bottom of the fifth with five runs, then added three more in the sixth, highlighted by an Abbi Stransky homer.
Megan Hoenig had five strikeouts, all in the first three innings. She gave up six hits and a walk in the win.
Ruby Ney and Esther Hughes each had two hits for IMS.
“We just could not get on base early,” Wieland said. “Megan pitched good in the beginning and then we had a couple errors that let them get on the board. Everybody got kind of excited, but then we started playing our game. We finally started running the bases like we know how to end that made them nervous and we were able to capitalize on that. I think that was the turnaround. Stransky is an eighth grader and we knew she would do well. We expected it. She had some homers in junior high and had one in the JV game so we knew what she brings to the table. It’s a lot to expect of an eighth grader, but it is what we expect of her.”
Leah Bontrager took the loss, although she only allowed six hits, but eight walks.
“She was pitching really well,” Coach Ney said. “Yanni was doing a nice job behind the plate.”
It was a different team than played in the first game of the season at Kalona.
“That was our first time really together,” Coach Ney said. “We had only had one practice with everyone there before that game. Leah went to state in track and she was in soccer with Esther. We weren’t prepared to play that game and really the next two after that either. We are coming together now and we are starting to figure out our positions. We feel like we got our lineup down. Now it’s a matter of putting it together for the rest of the season. The girls have big hearts and good spirits. It was a very exciting game. I told the girls that we are growing and this is what we want.”
When the game was close in the fifth inning Ney told her team, “We want intense moments so that we can grow. As coaches, we always talk about situations, but with the kids, you never know how it’s gonna go until you are in a game situation. When you are getting beat up like we were earlier in the season, it’s really hard to talk about plays when the game is out of control. This was a good game for us.”
IMS is 0-7 and plays at Montezuma today.
Highland is 7-5 and plays at Lone tree today.