SH softball breaks out big lumber, wins Hudson tourney
HUDSON — The South Hamilton softball team said enough was enough here on Saturday.
Stuck in a four-game funk to start the season, the Hawks were determined to end the drought at the Hudson Invite and they broke out the big lumber to make it happen.
Behind four home runs in the opener, the South Hamilton bats scorched throughout the day en route to three much-needed wins and the tournament title. The Hawks trucked Grundy Center, 12-4, snuck by Janesville in the semifinals, 7-6, and then throttled Denver, 13-0 in 5 innings, with the crown on the line.
Head coach Harry McMaken stressed the notion that there was no need to panic following the four losses leading into Saturday. He knew that his team would be fine once the bats got rolling.
“All we’ve needed was to get our bats going,” he said. “But this is what we needed. This was huge.”
It all started at the top of the order where Lily Skartvedt, Marla Grubb and Cortney Harris combined for 19 hits on the day. Skartvedt went 7 for 12 with a home run and seven RBI, Grubb was 6 for 9 with a double, two dingers and six RBI, and Harris 6 for 11 with a pair of doubles, a long ball and four RBI.
“Them hitting like that is tremendous because that’s where we need to generate our runs,” McMaken said. “They really executed well (on Saturday).”
Grubb got the ball rolling with a first-inning solo jack against Grundy Center. She went yard again in the sixth, a two-run shot.
Skartvedt and Harris also trotted around the bases against the Spartans. Skartvedt left the park in the third inning and Harris hit a three-run bomb in the fifth.
The trio went a combined 8 for 11 with 11 RBI against Grundy Center.
South Hamilton (3-4) broke up a 6-6 tie in the top of the seventh inning against Janesville, as Emma Lewis roped a RBI single that brought Katie Johnson to the dish. Johnson was running for Harris, who ignited the rally with a double into the gap in left-center.
Skartvedt drove in three more runs against the Wildcats. Taylor Ratzke also roped a double and plated two runs.
South Hamilton put down the hammer with 11 hits in the win over Denver. An eight-spot in the fourth inning put the game out of reach.
Skartvedt, Grubb, Harris, Ratzke and Breanne Diersen all had two hits in the championship contest.
Jessi Harms, a sophomore, picked up two wins in the circle. She limited Denver to just one hit and fanned six.
Katie Johnson earned the win over Janesville. She struck out six.
With the loss of ace pitcher Taylor Volkmann to a knee injury prior to the start of the season, Johnson was the only proven hurler on the Hawks’ roster. McMaken stressed the importance of Harms gaining confidence.
“Jessi pitched really well,” he said. “The team had trust in Katie as a pitcher, but no one else had any varsity experience. So for (Harms) to come out and pitch the way she did, the team also now has confidence in her and that’s going to help us tremendously.”
Hawk fall to Saydel
DES MOINES — South Hamilton was roughed up by Heart of Iowa Conference rival Saydel, 9-2, as the Eagles swatted 12 hits, including three that went for extra bases on Friday.
But McMaken felt there were glimpses from his team that may help it down the road.
“Despite the score and despite the errors (South Hamilton committed six that led to all nine runs being unearned), I saw a lot of positives out of this game for the first time this year,” McMaken said. “Our outfield was a little bit better and we cut down a lot of runners at home plate. So I was really pleased about that.”
South Hamilton (0-2 HOIC) connected for six hits, four of them doubles by Diersen, Grubb, Harms and Kaylee Osvig. Grubb’s sixth-inning two-bagger plated a run and Chloe Barkema drove in another run a few batters later on a sacrifice fly to center field.
Saydel scored multiple runs in three frames, keyed by a four-run third that pushed its lead to 6-0.
Johnson suffered the loss in the circle. She struck out one.
Diersen finished 2 for 3 at the dish for the Hawks. Skartvedt also had a single in the contest.
S. Hamilton 12, Grundy Center 4
Saturday at Hudson
S. Ham 111 033 3 — 12 11 3
Gr. Ctr 200 001 1 — 4 9 1
Jessi Harms and Marla Grubb. Emma Beck, Brittany Burroughs (7) and Jenna Bonorden. W — Harms. L — E. Beck. 2B — SH: Grubb, Harms; GC: Landry Luhring. HR — SH: Grubb (2), Cortney Harris. Multiple hits — SH: Skartvedt (3), Grubb (3), Harris; GC: L. Luhring, Kyah Luhring, Megan Beck. RBI — SH: Grubb (5), Skartvedt (3), Harris (3), Harms; GC: M. Beck, L. Luhring, E. Beck.
South Hamilton 7, Janesville 6
Saturday at Grundy Center
S. Ham 030 300 1 — 7 11 1
Janesville 204 100 0 — 6 10 2
Katie Johnson and Breanne Diersen. Kennedy Meister and Bailey Hoff. W — Johnson. L — K. Meister. 2B — SH: Jessi Harms, Taylor Ratzke. 3B — JV: Hoff. Multiple hits — SH: Harms, Lily Skartvedt; JV: Lily Liekweg, Noami Hovenga, Grace Hovenga. RBI — SH: Skartvedt (3), Ratzke (2), Diersen, Emma Lewis; JV: Hoff (2), Julia Meister (2), N. Hovenga.
South Hamilton 13, Denver 0 (5)
Saturday at Grundy Center
S. Ham 120 82 — 13 11 0
Denver 000 00 — 0 1 2
Jessi Harms and Breanne Diersen. Sydney Eggena, Jaden McMohon (4) and Reese Johnson. W — Harms. L — Eggena. 2B — SH: Harms, Cortney Harris, Taylor Ratzke. Multiple hits — SH: Harms, Ratzke, Diersen, Lily Skartvedt, Marla Grubb. RBI — SH: Harms (2), Ratzke (2), Skartvedt, Diersen, Grubb, Harris.
Saydel 9, South Hamilton 2
Friday at Des Moines
S. Ham 000 002 0 — 2 6 6
Saydel 204 003 x — 9 12 1
Katie Johnson and Breanne Diersen. Jade Olsen and Alle Thompson. W — Olsen. L — Johnson. 2B — SH: Diersen, Marla Grubb, Jessi Harms, Kaylee Osvig; SAY: Olsen, Carissa Boley, Sabrina McKay. Multiple hits — SH: Diersen; SAY: Olsen, Thompson, McKay, McKenzie Carney. RBI — SH: Grubb, Chloe Barkema; SAY: Olsen (3), M. Carney (3), Thompson, Alexis Carney, Destiny Butters.