Paul Hunt has complete confidence in any hitter occupying one of the nine slots in the St. Edmond softball lineup
None more than Jaci Stumpf.
The team's leadoff batter knocked a base hit to left that scored Cassie Sells, giving the Gaels a 5-4 victory over No. 13 (Class 3A) Iowa Falls-Alden Friday at Rogers Park.
Stumpf finished the night 2-for-5 with two RBI, while Sells, Amanda Lansman and Brigid Hanley each had two hits.
Maggie Harvey scored three runs and Jessica Kuebler drove in a pair for St. Edmond (3-0 overall, 2-0 in North Central Conference).
Lansman was also strong inside the circle, improving to 3-0 on the year with seven strikeouts and just two walks. The Cadets (2-1, 2-1) entered having scored 28 runs in their first two games.
ST. EDMOND 5, IOWA FALLS-ALDEN 4
IF-A 020 002 0 - 4 6 2
St. Edmond 101 101 1 - 5 12 2
Brittany Fisher (L, 6 2/3 IP, 3 ER, 12 H, 4 K, 2 BB) and Lauren Keane; Amanda Lansman (W, 3-0, 7 IP, 2 ER, 6 H, 7 K, 2 BB) and Maggie Harvey. 2B - IFA: Jewel Friend (2), Emma Juhl.
"We knew this wouldn't be a 1-0 or 2-1 game," SEHS head coach Paul Hunt said. "Amanda rose to the challenge and had her best pitching game of the year. And what can you say about Jaci that hasn't already been said. She's one of the most clutch hitters in our lineup and, from a competitive standpoint, I've never coached a more competitive person in my life."
St. Edmond struck first with a run in the first courtesy of Kuebler, plating Harvey. Hunt was especially pleased with the senior, who is headed to Iowa Central in the fall, because she was productive at the plate.
Iowa Falls-Alden took advantage of two errors to tie it in the second, but the Gaels quickly answered with runs in the third and fourth innings.
After the Cadets grabbed a 4-3 lead in the sixth, St. Edmond tied it up with an RBI from Anna Yung with two outs, as she drove in Harvey.
"Anna really battled," Hunt said. "She looked for her pitch and when she got it, she took advantage. We're expecting good things from her this year."
Lansman got Jewel Friend to ground out with a runner on third in the seventh, providing Stumpf with her shot at becoming the hero. Friend was 6-for-7 entering the at-bat, including two doubles on the night.
Sells, one of two seniors and a co-captain with Kuebler, started off the inning with a single, followed by a base hit from Hanley. After a sacrifice by Megan Flattery, Stumpf belted a shot that fell into the outfield.
The Gaels return to action at the Sioux City Heelan Invitational on Saturday, playing eighth-ranked (2A) Woodbury Central and No. 3 (2A) Lawton-Bronson. St. Edmond defeated Lawton-Bronson in the state consolation semifinals last year, 4-2.