Camanche softball

After forcing out a Calamus-Wheatland runner at third base, Camanche High School’s, Naomi Duke throws to first, Saturday, June 12.

The season may be over, but the Camanche softball team is just getting started.

Maquoketa (18-18) defeated the Indians 8-0 in a Class 3A Regional Quarterfinal game Tuesday at Camanche.

The Indians — which feature a roster with five eighth graders, three freshmen, three sophomores, four juniors and no seniors — end the season 5-22.

“We played Maquoketa earlier on in the year at their tournament we won,” Camanche coach Andrew Carbajal said. “(Maquoketa pitcher Carley Cavanagh) pitched really well. Their defense was pretty good as well. Their bats came alive. We had one bad inning. Pitching-wise, we’re very inexperienced — I’ve only thrown eighth graders in as pitchers. Inexperience of those eighth graders took a toll on us.”

The Cardinals scored seven runs in the fourth inning and one in the fifth. Ava Huling started the game for Camanche, but had back issues and Annika Weber took over during the fourth, with the bases already loaded. Huling eventually came back in and gave up a home run in the fifth inning for the final run of the game, but Carbajal praised her ability to get out of jams early on.

The Indians almost got the bats going with a big Jamie Robertson hit, but ultimately couldn’t get across home plate.

“Our bats weren’t there,” Carbajal said. “Our best at-bat was Jamie Robertson — oh my goodness, she hit a laser in the first inning, one bounce over the fence and was probably the hardest-hit ball I’ve seen besides Abby Beal hitting a home run at Bellevue the other night.”

With all of the returners to next year’s team and no seniors, Carbajal said his team will be back.

“Overall, we were very young,” Carbajal said. “Next year is going to be better with the experience we had, the bumps in the road — we’re going to learn from it, move on and have a great season next year.”

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