TRAER - A nine-win regular season hasn't sapped the confidence and determination out of the South Hamilton softball team in the postseason.
The Hawks (11-20) won their second Class 2A Region 6 games in as many nights yesterday evening, as they blanked North Tama, 4-0, in the quarterfinal round to move to within two wins of the state tournament.
"I think we played a pretty tough schedule throughout the year, so the record doesn't really explain the caliber of team we have," South Hamilton head coach Laura Read said. "Everybody is peaking right now and we're playing with a lot of intensity."
Brittany Nicholson tossed a second straight shutout, as she allowed just four hits and struck out 10 North Tama (16-11) batters.
Nicholson also helped bust the game open in the third inning with a two-RBI double, part of a three-run frame that put South Hamilton ahead to stay. She added a pair of singles - part of the Hawks' 11-hit attack.
"Everybody hit the ball hard," Read said. "The girls were pretty excited."
SOUTH HAMILTON 4, NORTH TAMA 0
Wednesday at Traer
South Hamilton003 001 0-4 11 0
North Tama000 000 0-0 4 2
Brittany Nicholson and Alyssa Hegland. Emma Knoop and Sam Zobel. W-Nicholson. L-Knoop. 2B-SH: Nicholson. HR-SH: Kayla Carlson. RBI-SH: Nicholson (2), Carlson (2).
Kayla Carlson cemented the victory with a lead-off solo home run in the sixth inning. She also had a pair of base knocks.
Ella Jans added two singles; Carly Swenson, Tiffany Jacobson and MacKenzie Busch all had one.
The Hawks will go back to work on Friday against No. 11-ranked Jesup (26-12), which blanked South Hardin, 9-0, in another quarterfinal last night. The game will be held in Jesup at 7 p.m.