Hawks’ 7-game surge ends with sluggish effort

Gilbert scores unearned run in final inning; SH strands 11 runners on bases in HOIC?loss

South Hamilton outfielders Emma Lewis (left) and Lily Skartvedt run to the dugout smiling following a lunging catch by Skartvedt that turned into an 8-6-3 double play to end the first inning Wednesday night in Gilbert. DFJ photo/Troy Banning

GILBERT — Unable to come through with that key hit with runners in scoring position, the South Hamilton softball team saw its seven-game winning streak come to an end here Wednesday night.

Hawks’ head coach Harry McMaken isn’t sure whether his players were over-confident or just had an off night, but either way the club suffered its first Heart of Iowa Conference loss, 2-1, to Gilbert.

“It was an off night,” McMaken said. “We were a little flat coming in because I think we had expectations we were going to win the game just by showing up, but that didn’t happen.”

South Hamilton (7-2, 4-1 HOIC) produced nine hits, four more than Gilbert (5-5, 3-1 HOIC), but they were all singles and only one came with a runner in scoring position. The Hawks stranded 11 runners on base.

“That’s not typical for us,” McMaken said. “Typically when we get runners in scoring position, we produce.”

South Hamilton’s Kaylee Oskvig (left) slides safely into third after tagging up on a fly ball to right against Gilbert on Wednesday. DFJ photo/Troy Banning

Gilbert celebrated the victory in walk-off fashion. South Hamilton committed its fifth error of the game to open the seventh inning and Nessa Johnson made the Hawks pay by belting a Taylor Volkmann riseball into the gap in left-center for the game-winning RBI double.

Johnson had the game’s only extra-base hit. She had two hits, as did South Hamilton No. 9 stick Emma Lewis.

Volkmann suffered the loss in relief of Jessi Harms, who worked six innings in the circle for the Hawks. She struck out seven.

Harms, Volkmann, Breanne Diersen, Cortney Harris, Krista Swenson, Leah Jacoby and Kenzy Grady all added singles for the Hawks.

Lewis drove in South Hamilton’s lone run in the fourth inning. Gilbert knotted the contest at 1 in the fifth on a Peyton Mary Clatt RBI base knock to right.

Gilbert 2, South Hamilton 1

Wednesday at Gilbert

S. Ham 000 100 0 — 1 9 5

Gilbert 000 010 1 — 2 5 2

Jessi Harms, Taylor Volkmann (7) and Hailey Diersen, Breanne Diersen (7). Halli Nissen, Brianna Newton (6) Samantha Grove. WP — Newton. LP — Volkmann. Multiple hits — SH: Emma Lewis; GIL: Nessa Johnson. 2B — GIL: Johnson. RBI — SH: Lewis; GIL: Johnson, Peyton Mary Clatt.