CALAMUS – Local teams enjoyed a sunny Saturday in rural Iowa for a three-game softball invitational hosted by Calamus-Wheatland High School. The Camanche softball team stayed undefeated, while other teams got a mid-season check of where they’re at.

 Northeast enjoyed a couple of big offensive showcases while they also got a look at what is coming later this season in conference play. 

Clinton continued to push across runs, although they still fell in two close games. They picked up one win this weekend, their second of the year. 

CLINTON COMPETES

The Clinton River Queens picked up just one win on Saturday, but they saw a lot of things they liked to take back into Mississippi Athletic Conference play.

The River Queens were coming off of their first win of the season, and head coach Nate Herrig thinks his team is finally hitting stride. Although they only finished one game of the doubleheader against Davenport Central last Thursday, it was good to get in the win column.

“We’re playing well,” Herrig said.  “We’ve started to string some innings together.”

In their first game of the day against Calamus-Wheatland, the River Queens started behind. A big grand slam from Makenzie Cooley, only Clinton’s second of the year, tied everything back up at 7-7.

“That was a great poke by her,” Herrig said.  “She’s been struggling at the plate a little bit, we’ve worked on some things and stayed at it. She put a nice swing on a ball and boom, we’re back in the ball game.”

The runs stopped for Clinton after that and Cal-Wheat started finding all the gaps. They quickly ran up a lead and took that game 17-7.

“They just hit it where we weren’t,” Herrig said. “Kudos to those girls for hitting the ball like they did.”

They got down in Game 2 against Highland as well. Even so, they started crawling their way back into the game with some timely hits. They had the Huskies on the ropes, getting within one run. The score was 6-5 when the last inning started, the Queens just couldn’t find another run.

“We’re doing some nice things.,” Herrig said. “We got down and we battled back. That’s the nice thing, we’re always battling to stay in ballgames.”

Their only win of the day came against Class 1A Easton Valley 7-3. Senior Macy Mulholland went 3-for-3 from the plate with two RBI to lead the offense, while Molly Fergusen and Casey Mandrell each added two hits of their own.

See the Prep Report on Tuesday's 15A for results from MAC play on Monday. 

CAMANCHE GOES 3-0

The No. 11 Indians started their morning off with a local foe in Northeast, and took that game from the Rebels 12-1 with huge home runs.

The Indians played excellent defense behind pitcher Abby Stock to keep the hard-hitting Rebels at bay, allowing just five hits and striking out eight. Big plays helped keep Northeast off the bases and keep runners in place when they did make it.

Offensively, they never had a slow moment.

“Whenever we play Northeast it’s a gamble,” head coach Kevin Roling said.  “You always figure with rivals like that you have to play your best game and I thought we really played a nice game.”

Madi Parson went 2-for-5, but both hits went over the outfield fence, driving in four runs. Abby Stock also had a homerun to add to the total.

Every game after that went similarly. The Indians dominated Midland 14-0 and took down Highland 5-3. Abby Beal had two homers throughout the day and Lauren Snyder added another. That brings their home run total to 39, leading the entire state in that category by 21.

A big test came on Monday. They took on conference and Class 3A opponent Anamosa, who is also undefeated, on the road. Anamosa currently sits at No. 12 in the Class 3A rankings, just being Camanche.

 “I think there might be a lot of people watching that game,” Roling said about the RVC matchup.  “It’s our power game against their short game, and hopefully we can scratch off a couple runs and have a few more than they have.”

See the Prep Report on Tuesday's Page 15A for the results of that game.

NORTHEAST GETS RVC LOOK

The Rebels went 2-1 on the day, their only loss coming to Camanche. They also beat RVC opponent Bellevue 16-2 and downed Highland 13-1.

The Rebels have just four losses on the year, sporting the third best record in the River Valley North and an exceptionally talented and young team. There no seniors on the varsity roster.

Head coach Travis Eversmeyer was glad they got a look at the Indians before they face them in the conference contests later this year. Even though they struggled to get on base with just five hits, he liked the mentality.

“I was happy with our attitude even though we were down by ten runs,” Eversmeyer said.  “That’s the biggest thing we’re trying to change right now is culture and getting it back to the way it should be.”

“Hitting wise it wasn’t our best day. A lot of that had to do with the pitching and defense of Camanche.”

The Rebels did make some nice infield plays, helping them stay close until Camanche homers got to be too much.

“We have talent,” Eversmeyer said about his speedy infielders. “We’ve played a lot of softball.”

Northeast has a team batting average of .420 with just 35 strikeouts and 124 RBI. They certainly are capable of the big hits, but have been hot and cold against certain pitchers.

 “We have to change our approach whether it’s a good pitcher or a bad pitching,” Eversmeyer said. “We make the good ones look really good and the bad ones look really bad. We’re trying to do a little bit too much.”

The Rebels were back into conference play on Monday and take on Camanche again later in June.

EASTON VALLEY GET TWO

The young River Hawks had some rough moments on Saturday, but picked up two wins over Bellevue and Midland, while falling to Clinton High School.

The River Hawks struck first Saturday afternoon against Bellevue, picking up three runs in their half of the first. They then watched the Comets bring in six over the next two innings.

Behind 6-3, Easton Valley had a huge third inning to pull ahead by three runs and never looked back, taking the first game from Bellevue 11-7.

Their only loss of the day came from spotty offense. The River Hawks brought in a single run in each of the first three innings, but wouldn’t push another across after that. Meanwhile, Clinton was able to score later in the game, diminishing the River Hawk lead and then building a Clinton lead.

The River Hawks fell to the River Queens 7-3.

They finished things out with an 11-6 win over Midland. The River Hawks jumped out early, scoring all 11 runs in the first three innings. Despite Midland’s five-run fourth, the River Hawks maintained their lead for their third win of the season.