BELLEVUE – With one last swing, Easton Valley senior Calli Beck finished the 21st out of the night with a strikeout, clinching a 6-4 win for the Easton Valley softball team over Marquette Catholic.
The River Hawks collapsed on Beck, screams and tears of joy running freely as hugs were exchanged.
“This was a huge win for the girls,” head coach Taylor Bell said after the River Hawks cleared the field. “It was just so big.”
After not winning a single regular season game, the River Hawks took their second straight postseason win from the Mohawks in unprecedented fashion. Trailing 4-1 heading into the top of the seventh, their offense surged for the comeback.
It started with senior Calli Beck helping her own cause with a leadoff double. Mikayla Mitchell brought her in with a single right after that.
With another runner on base after wearing a pitch, Sydney McNeil got a ground ball past the infield and into the grass. That cut the lead to 4-3 and left two River Hawks in scoring position.
Jaysie Woods then sent a looping hit over the glove of the first baseman, and the River Hawks took a 5-4 lead, their first since the second inning. Kylee Ready added the insurance run, sending a ball into the outfield for the final 6-4 lead.
They closed it out defensively from there.
“Words cannot even describe it,” Bell said. “I told them we have to jump out right away, but I told them, they’re my favorite comeback team I’ve ever seen. It was exciting, it was nervewracking.”
Beck pitched the entire game for the River Hawks. After sitting out nearly the entire regular season, Beck has pitched the two postseason games for the orange and gray.
“She has made a big difference,” Bell said. “It helps that we now have a second look, because all these teams we played in regular season saw Jaysie [Woods]. So now, it’s huge to have a speed difference and that new look.
“Calli is a big part of our team. She’s our only senior and one of our leaders, and I think it helps know that she can be out there.”
The roster was mixed up a bit. In the middle of their first regional game against Springville, catcher Zoe Espiridon went down with an injury and was unable to return. She was out of the lineup Thursday as well, throwing some players into new positions on the field.
“They responded really well in that first game,” Bell said. “It was a challenge and we saw so much focus from the girls because they knew they were somewhere new, and they had to do the job.”
Because of the postponement of the game from Wednesday to Thursday night, the River Hawks have a quick turnaround. They travel to Central City on Friday night to see if they can extend their streak into the regional semifinal. Central City is ranked No. 13 in Class 1A.
Camanche out-hit by Liberty
WEST LIBERTY – The Camanche softball team came out quick on Thursday night but were unable to hold off a No. 7 ranked West Liberty team, falling 6-3 and bowing out of the postseason.
“This was very emotional,” first year head coach Andrew Carbajal said. “We had out ups and downs in this game. We all had errors, silently or visible on plays.”
Camanche senior Tarah Wehde capped off her career in a big way. The school record holder for career home runs, Wehde kicked off the game with a lead off bomb to put the Indians on the board and to notch her 50th career homer.
The Comets put their own runs up, but in the third, Aubrey Carstensen drew a walk and then Wehde did it again, sending one over the fence to five the Indians a 3-2 lead.
“Tarah [Wehde] was huge for us,” Carbajal said. “Their coach intentially walked her her last two at bats. After the game, he told me to tell Tarah how much respoect he had for her and that she is the best player in the conference.”
West Liberty strung together four hits in the fifth inning to take the lead once and for all.
Wehde finished with five Ks on the night from the pitcher’s circle.
The Indians only had three hits outside of Wehde’s the rest of the night, two coming off the bat of Lauren Snyder. Abby Beal added a single to the mix.
“The girls were very emotional but in all honesty I couldn’t be more proud of them,” Carbajal said. “They have grown and blossomed. All Ihope is that we continue to show our grit and continue to work hard.”
Camanche finishes the 2020 season 5-8.
Sabers blank Maquoketa
DEWITT – The Central DeWitt Sabers took care of Maquoketa in five innings to open up their postseason, downing the Cardinals 10-0 on Thursday night at home in the regional quarterfinal.
DeWitt improves to 13-13 and will move on to the Class 4A Region 8 semifinal, traveling to Western Dubuque on Saturday.