By Brenden West
Assistant Sports Editor
Leading up to Tuesday, the Class 3A regional softball matchup between Camanche and Davenport Assumption had all the makings of a thriller. The teams had split their series during the regular season — the Knights taking the first game 6-5 in late May and the Indians avenging that loss with a 5-3 win in mid-June.
Heading into the bottom of the third inning, in fact, both teams looked as if they were bound for another nail-biter, Assumption leading 1-0. Then the Knights turned up the offense, and the game spiraled out of control for the Indians.
Assumption put its first eight runners on base en-route to an 11-run inning and a 12-0 shutout win. The third inning was a small-ball exhibition; none of the 15 Knights hitters had an extra-base hit during the rally, combining for eight singles and five walks. All but one Assumption batter recorded an RBI.
The loss eliminated Camanche from contention.
“It kind of makes you feel like, when are we going to get out of this inning? When are we going to stop them?” first-year Camanche coach Erin Schlotfeldt said. “But for the most part, they were hitting the ball where the defense wasn’t, and there’s really nothing we could do about it.”
Maddy Matthys, Kaitlyn Andresen and Jamie Miller each had multiple hits for the Knights, who move on to face Northeast in the regional semifinals Frida at Goose Lake. Miller also got the shutout, striking out six Camanche batters without allowing a hit.
“We’re definitely battle tested,” Assumption coach Bob Matthys said, adding the team’s tough Mississippi Athletic Conference schedule served as good preparation for the postseason. “I told the girls, we had our 40-game preseason, now it’s time to go.”
The Knights jumped in front in the bottom of the first inning. Maddy Matthys looped a single to center field, then rounded three bags to score on Andresen’s left-field double two batters later.
Camanche starter Morgan Mussmann appeared to settle in a groove after that, sending down the next five batters she faced to keep her team within one run through two innings.
The Indians couldn’t catch fire offensively. Assumption gave Camanche’s leadoff hitter a free base in each inning. Then Miller turned up the heat, striking out two batters in each frame for an abbreviated no-hitter.
“Our hitting disappeared,” Schlotfeldt said.
Mussmann faced 11 batters and allowed seven runs in the third before being replaced by Kelsey Sexton. After Mussmann walked Andresen — Assumption’s fourth batter that inning — the bases were loaded for the rest of the game. The Knights’ hits found all the right holes, blooping just out of the infield’s reach. The game ended when Miller lined one to center, scoring two to give Assumption the 12-run rule victory.
The end was disheartening for Schlotfeldt, but she didn’t dwell on negatives during her team’s last huddle of the season.
“I’m definitely happy with our season overall,” she said. Camanche posted a 19-12 record after finishing 12-11 and 8-19 the previous two years. “I’m excited to get back at it and work on things for next year.
“I pretty much complimented them on their season. (The loss) is extremely frustrating for me, and I can only imagine how they (the players) feel. This game definitely does not reflect our whole season.”
DAVENPORT ASSUMPTION 12, CAMANCHE 0
Camanche 000 — 0 0 0
Assumption 10(11) — 12 10 1
Morgan Mussmann (2 1/3 ip, 8 h, 8 r, 8 er, 4 bb, 1 so), Kelsey Sexton (1/3 ip, 2 h, 4 r, 4 er, 1 bb) and Jordan Goldbeck; Jamie Miller (3 ip, 0 h, 0 r, 2 bb, 6 so) and Clair Bird. Multiple hits — Assumption (Maddy Matthys 3, Kaitlyn Andresen 2, Jamie Miller 2). 2B — Assumption (Andresen). RBIs — Assumption (Matthys, Mary Kate Kilfoy, Andresen 3, Clair Bird 2, Miller 2, Emma Valainis, Ashley Ackerman, Hannah Guy).