Tritons open with lopsided victory
BOONE — The 15th-ranked Iowa Central softball team made quick work out of Southwestern here Friday to begin regional play.
Kallie Malloy pitched a shutout and Jenna Peschel put the exclamation point on an 8-0, five-inning victory at Pod A of the Region XI Tournament.
Iowa Central (39-15 overall) faces No. 2 Des Moines Area (44-6) Saturday at 2 p.m. The Bears downed Northeast, 8-0.
Malloy had 11 strikeouts on the day, with Parker Mathews driving in three runs and Peschel scoring twice.
“The first game is really important for us because it gives us a confidence boost going into the second round,” Peschel said. “We definitely took care of business.”
Cheyenne Andersen collected two hits, scored twice, drove in a run and stole a base, Payton Adwell had two runs and Mathews finished with two hits.
Just one Southwestern batter reached past first base, but Malloy worked out of the two-on situation in the third with two strikeouts. She retired the side on three strikeouts in the second and had two strikeouts in the first, fourth and fifth innings, as well.
“Kallie looked really good out there,” ICCC head coach Rick Sandquist said. “She was feeling it and our offense got going and ended it early.”
The winner of Iowa Central-DMACC plays Sunday at noon. The loser takes on either Southwestern or Northeast at 4 p.m. Saturday in an elimination game.
Sandquist will use Alex Boyce against the Bears with Malloy set to return on Sunday. Boyce has won five games and recorded 33 strikeouts on the year.
DMACC won all four regular season meetings, including a sweep right here earlier this month, 7-0 and 4-2. Scores of the games in Fort Dodge at Rogers Park were 7-5 and 7-4 in favor of the Bears.
“Any game you can end in five innings is a good one,” Peschel said. “It helps save the pitchers’ arms for the rest of the tournament.”
The Tritons will be without Fort Dodge Senior High graduate and all-stater Bre Tjebben for the remainder of the tournament. Tjebben, the leading hitter with a .443 average to go along with 13 homers, 56 runs and 54 RBI, missed the regular season finale with a knee injury.
“It just locked up on her,” Sandquist said. “She could really do some serious damage if she played right now, so we’ll be without her.
“It’s a tough loss and we’ll need some other girls to step up and replace her.”