Denver ladies defeat Dike-New Hartford 7-4 in home opener
By Sean Kiefer
Images provided By The Scrappy Trib

On the night of June 24, the Denver ladies’ softball team faced off against the Dike-New Hartford Wolverines in the Cyclone’s home opener for the season. In a long, hard-fought battle that had many twists and turns, the Cyclones came out on top for their first win of the season. The Cyclones’ record is now up to 1-3 going into a home game against Vinton-Shellsburg on June 25.

To start the game, the Cyclones struck first in the bottom of the first. After Reese Johnson made it to first and stole second, Jaden McMahon hammered a 2-run homerun to left field, putting the ladies up 2-0 over the Wolverines. McMahon also kept the Wolverines from getting hits, collecting 2 strikeouts and several groundouts in 2 innings with no hits for the Wolverines.

The Denver ladies would score again in the bottom of the 3rd. Emily Herbst hit a single, Johnson bunted her way to first, and McMahon was hit by a pitch, which loaded up the bases. Morgan Smith brought in 2 runners with an RBI double to centerfield that made the score 4-0 in Denver’s favor.

In the top of the 4th, the Wolverines would begin their comeback against the Cyclones. Taylor Kvale of the Wolverines made her way to third with strategic steals and bunts, setting up the next batters to get in scoring position. Ashton Syharath brought in the runners waiting on base with a 3 RBI double that made the score 4-3 with Denver clinging onto the lead. The Wolverines would tie it up with Lydia Huntington using a sacrificial bunt to bring in a runner to tie the game at 4 apiece.

For the next few innings, the two teams would go back and forth, with Sydney Eggena pitching well for Denver, until the bottom of the 6th inning when Denver started to pull the game back into their favor. Bailey Nuss was hit by a pitch and Avery Forde hit a single center, putting two runners on base for the Cyclones. Herbst brought both runners home with a double that made the score 6-4 with Denver ahead. Johnson followed this up by bringing Herbst home with a double and making the score 7-4. The Cyclones sealed the game in the top of the 7th with three straight outs.

In a post game interview with Cyclone Head Varsity Softball Coach Dani Gordon, she said, “I think the girls had a great defensive effort, specifically in the circle. Jaden and Sydney did their jobs and the team had their backs.”

She added, “We need to minimize runners left on base - too many runners in scoring position that we didn’t bring home. I’m proud of the girls and the effort they have shown thus far. They are a talented bunch and will see their work come to fruition if they do the little things right and execute.”
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