Cherokee softball splits a pair to open season
The Cherokee softball team fell 16-3 in their season opener against Sioux Center at home on Monday evening before traveling to take down Sioux Central, 7-5, on Tuesday night.
On Monday the Braves were down early as the Warriors scored five runs to start off the game. The Braves could only respond with one run in the bottom half of the first before Sioux Center ran a pair across in the second and third to lead 9-1. In the bottom of the third Cherokee started to make some ground with two runs of their own but the Warriors closed things off with three in the fourth and four in the sixth to take the 16-3 win.
At the plate the young Braves had four hits, a walk and nine strikeouts. Senior Dena Claycamp led the bats with a pair of hits, a triple, a home run, and an RBI while sophomores Parrissa Barnes and Carly Fuhrman had a pair of singles each.
Sophomore Maddy Courtright pitched the whole game and struck out three, but allowed 13 hits, 16 runs, nine earned, walked two and hit one batter. The Braves made seven errors on 30 total chances in the field.
“Varsity had a tough go tonight,” said Cherokee head softball coach Abby James. “We started the game rocky with three costly errors in the first. Sioux Center is a tough team to start out the season with and silly errors are going to be quickly taken advantage of. Dena Claycamp was a leader at the plate with a triple and home run, resulting in one RBI. Defensively Maddy Courtright and Addison James worked well together on the dirt with Courtright assisting in four put-outs for James alone. Allison Gunn also had a strong defensive game with four put-outs in right field. Right field was a hot spot all night for both teams. We did some good things, but have a lot to focus on going into this week. Hopefully our game time jitters will settle down and we'll get things done the remainder of the week.”
Get things done the Braves did as on Tuesday they took down Sioux Central 7-5, a team that finished last season in the regional championships at 21-7.
The Rebels took an early lead with a pair of runs in the second inning before the Braves tied things up with a run in the second and third each. The Rebels put one more across in the sixth but the Braves scored five to take the lead for good with a 7-3 lead heading into the seventh inning. Sioux Central attempted a comeback with a pair of runs in the seventh but the Braves held on to take the win.
The Braves had 13 hits at the plate, five RBIs, were walked five times and struck out seven. Courtright led the bats with four singles and a pair of RBIs while Claycamp had three hits, two singles and a double, and a pair of RBIs as well. Cherokee also stole eight bases in the game, three of which were taken by sophomore Carly Fuhrman while Claycamp stole two.
On the mound Courtright took care of all seven innings and fanned nine while allowing nine hits, five runs, four earned and walked only two. The Braves still had seven errors on 35 chances defensively.
“It was one wet and chilly night,” said James. “We did our best to stay focused and into the game. Our bench did a nice job keeping us going and not letting up. We had a couple of incidents of "throwing the ball around" which fortunately didn't end up being too costly for us. Maddy Courtright stayed strong at the mound through all the rain and Carly Fuhrman did a great job of holding onto the ball behind the plate. Our steady hitting kept us in the game, as Sioux Central took care of the ball.”
The Braves start the season 1-1 and were scheduled to face Ridge View on Monday and East Sac County on Thursday. They will travel to Kinglsey for a tournament on Saturday at 10 a.m. before traveling to take on Estherville on Wednesday for a double-header at 5:30 p.m.