The Central College softball team picked up a pair of late-game wins Friday, but left the Grinnell Hy-Vee Classic with mixed emotions after a 3-2 win over No. 24 Washington-St. Louis and a 10-6 triumph over Dubuque.
The No. 9-ranked Dutch earned a significant non-conference win against Washington, spurred by a game-tying home run from catcher Caitlyn Meyer in the fifth inning and a five-strikeout, no-walk pitching performance by Kiley Lythberg – who improved to 6-1 after scattering six Bears hits in seven innings of work.
The high that Central was riding after defeating a likely national tournament contender was quickly neutralized by Dubuque in the nightcap, as the Spartans’ lead-off batter rounded the bases, courtesy of two Central errors as part of a record-tying seven-error game. The Dutch would redeem themselves, though, by batting through the line-up in both the first and fifth innings – plating five runners each time.
Pitcher Rhianna Fleetwood started the game and returned to close out the game and earn the win to improve her record to 7-0. Fleetwood gave up 11 hits, but only two runs in six total innings of work.
Standing out on the day for the Dutch was leftfielder Bethany Koskamp, who was on base six times between the two games with five hits and a walk; including two stolen bases and two runs scored.
The Central softball team is now 16-2 overall entering today’s Iowa Conference opener and home debut with a doubleheader against Wartburg. The Knights are 8-4 entering this afternoon’s games, which will be broadcast live on 92.1 fm KRLS and streamed online at www.kniakrls.com with Trevor Castle and Eric Gotschall providing the call. The opening pitch between Central and Wartburg is slated for 2:00 p.m. at the A.N. Kuyper Athletics Complex Field in Pella.