MONROE - Hitting has never been the issue, and it wasn't again for the South Hamilton softball team here last night.
But defensive blunders and an inability to get out of jams eroded any chance the Hawks had of stealing a Heart of Iowa Conference victory.
Prairie City-Monroe unloaded nine hits and scored four times in the initial three innings to seize control for good in a 9-4 victory over South Hamilton (4-13). The Hawks committed five errors behind pitcher Brittany Nicholson.
"(PCM) hit the ball hard, but we made errors that advanced runners into scoring position a lot," South Hamilton head coach Tarin Bell said.
South Hamilton cracked 11 hits, four of which went for extra bases. Shannon Hoyle, Ella Jans, Alyssa Hegland and MacKenzie Busch all laced doubles.
Jans also ripped two singles, and Hoyle had one. Mattea Detrick, Elisabeth Elsner and Kayla Lucas added base knocks. Jans, Busch and Lucas plated runs.
South Hamilton100 003 0-4 11 5
PCM211 032 x-9 9 1
Brittany Nicholson and Shannon Hoyle. Sierra Scarnati and Abigail Gilson. W-Scarnati. L-Nicholson. 2B-SH: Hoyle, Ella Jans, Alyssa Hegland, MacKenzie Busch. RBI-SH: Jans, Busch, Kayla Lucas.
South Hamilton jumped on the board with a run in the first inning, but trailed 7-1 before responding with three runs in the sixth.
Up next for the Hawks is a home date with Colfax-Mingo on Wednesday at the Mike Penning Athletic Complex in Jewell. The first pitch is scheduled for 7:15 p.m.