Number three Mid-Prairie left little to chance in their first round class 3A regional match up with Columbus Tuesday night. After Columbus won the coin toss the Golden Hawks grabbed momentum sending 16 batters to the plate in the top of the first inning, scoring 10 runs en route to a 17-1 blowout win in three innings. In the inning Mid-Prairie saw the first seven hitters reach safely, totaled five hits, took advantage of two Wildcat errors and seven walks issued by Columbus pitching. Following the game Golden Hawk Head Coach Justin Lutjen talked about the fantastic start.
“Well I think the biggest thing is discipline, we knew that she threw pretty hard, but we knew that she was a little erratic at times, so all I asked of the girls was to be confident at the plate, and swing at the pitches that you can hit and we did that, and we took a lot of walks, and when we didn’t walk we hit the ball hard it payed off, putting up 10 in that first innings,” Lutjen said.
The Golden Hawks chased Columbus starter Megan Pretz after just 1/3 of an inning. She allowed seven runs, five hits and walked three. Kelsey Pretz came on in relief and Mid-Prairie touched her up for a half dozen more runs in the second, as the Hawks sent 10 to the plate. Mid-Prairie would score their 17th and final run in the third. After the game Mid-Prairie center fielder Mariah Swartzentruber talked about the feeling in the dugout as the hits kept coming.
“We just know that once we get that first at bat and it goes well then we can just keep going and take that confidence that the first person had,” Swartzentruber said.
On the night Mid-Prairie scored 17 runs on 11 hits and three Columbus errors. The Golden Hawks were led at the plate by Maddie Kaalberg’s two hits, two runs scored and five RBI, three of those coming on a towering three run blast in the second inning. Eight Golden Hawks recorded hits, and all nine positions in the batting order scored at least one run. For Columbus, Kelsey Pretz recorded the lone Wildcat hit and Caitlyn Chaney tallied the only Columbus run of the night, coming in the first. Olivia Lugar got the win for Mid-Prairie, going two innings, allowing no hits, one unearned run, walking three and striking out two. Megan Pretz took the loss. Columbus ends their season at 13-23.
Mid-Prairie improves to 28-10 on the year and will host the regional semifinal round of the post season Friday night against Mount Vernon who was a 6-3 winner over Williamsburg on Tuesday. Mid-Prairie and Mount Vernon matched up once this year, a 10-0 Golden Hawk win in five innings on June 14th at the Roland-Story tournament. You can hear all of the action between the Golden Hawks and the Mustangs live from Kalona Friday night on AM and FM KCII with pregame at 6:30 and first pitch at 7PM on the one to count on for today’s local sports coverage AM and FM KCII.