COBB — With a chance at a conference title hanging in the balance, Iowa–Grant senior Sydney Lundell delivered the at-bat of the season.
Lundell’s two-out bases loaded walk in the bottom of the eighth inning drove home the game-winning run in Iowa–Grant’s key 2–1 victory over first-place Mineral Point Monday afternoon.
The Panthers improved to 11–5 on the season and 10–2 in the Southwest Wisconsin Activities League, forcing a first-place tie with the Pointers (13–4, 9–2 SWAL), who hammered I–G 10–0 back on April 23.
Junior Olivia Liddicoat was hit by a pitch to lead off the home half of the eighth.
After a Taylor Runde sacrifice bunt, Maci Stevens and Kyle Cutts drew a walk against a tiring Dana Schmitz.
Liddicoat was then caught trying to steal third base for the second out of the inning, but Kylie Cutts walked and senior shortstop Lexi Busse came through with an infield single to shortstop to load the bases setting the stage for Lundell’s game-winning walk-off walk.
Iowa–Grant scored the game’s first run in the bottom of the fourth on a two-out RBI single by junior catcher Annie Spurley that plated sophomore Grace Kite who doubled five pitches earlier.
Sophomore Mya McCarthy (10–4) pitched one of her best games of the season, allowing one run on one hit in eight innings. She struck out nine and walked two.
Point scored its lone run of the game on a walk, a sac bunt and a passed ball in the sixth inning, but senior Kylie Cutts made an incredible diving catch over the fence in left centerfield to rob Lauren James of a go-ahead two-run homer.
“It sure was an great win,” said I–G head coach Deanna Fulton. “Mya pitched an awesome game and held them to just one hit. Our defense was solid and Kylie made an incredible catch before landing on the other side of the outfield fence. Offensively, we put the ball in play consistently. We had multiple great at-bats with two outs. Both are runs were scored with two outs.”
Iowa–Grant kept pace with SWAL-leading Mineral Point with a pair of convincing league victories last week.
Fulton’s Panthers blanked visiting Southwestern 6–0 Monday afternoon, then jumped out to an early lead and held off host Fennimore 11–5.
McCarthy tossed a complete game three-hit shutout and the Panthers defense was flawless behind her in Tuesday’s win.
McCarthy struck out eight and kept the Wildcats (8–7, 4–5 SWAL) at bay until the Panther bats came alive in the fourth inning.
Busse reached on an error and Lundell followed with a single. Kite’s ensuing two-run single up the middle made it 2–0.
McCarthy grounded into a fielder’s choice and later scored on a wild pitch later in the inning.
Stevens single to lead off the I–G fifth and Busse doubled down the right field line and Stevens scored on a Southwestern throwing error on the play. Busse came in to make it 5–0 on Lundell’s sacrifice fly to left field.
Iowa–Grant added an insurance run in the sixth.
Thursday at Fennimore, Iowa–Grant used a seven-run second inning to build an 8–1 lead and never trailed.
Busse finished 3-for-4 with three RBI in the win, including a perfect RBI bunt single in the seven-run second.
Fennimore also committed three errors and had a dropped third strike in Iowa–Grant’s big inning. The Eagles finished the game with seven errors and allowed six unearned runs.
McCarthy allowed five runs, four earned, on 11 hits in the complete game victory. She struck out 10 and walked two.
Iowa–Grant will travel to Riverdale Thursday before participating in the Viroqua Tournament on Saturday. The Panthers will also travel to Cuba City on Monday to close out the regular season.
Iowa–Grant 6, Southwestern 0
(from Monday, April 29 @ Cobb)
Southwestern 000 000 0 — 0 3 4
Iowa–Grant 000 321 x — 6 9 0
Leading hitters — IG: Maci Stevens 3x4, Annie Spurley 2x3; S: A. Kunkel 2x2. 2B — IG: Lexi Busse, Stevens.
W — Mya McCarthy (8–4, 7IP, 3H, 0R, 8K, 2BB). L — Hannah Brant 6IP, 9H, 6R, 2ER, 0K, 0BB).
Iowa–Grant 11, Fennimore 5
(from Thursday, May 2 @ Fennimore)
Iowa–Grant 107 300 0 —11 10 2
Fennimore 010 101 2 — 5 12 5
Leading hitters — IG: Maci Stevens 2x3, Kylie Cutts 2x3, Lexi Busse 3x4; F: Bailee Hunt 2x4, Taylor Ferretti 2x4, Madeline Glasbrenner 2x3, Tierra Flynne 3x4, Brelynn Neuroth 2x4. 2B — F: Ferretti, Glasbrenner.
W — Mya McCarthy (9–4, 7IP, 12H, 5R, 5ER, 10K, 2BB). L — Taylor Ferretti (5–5, 7IP, 10H, 11R, 6ER, 10K, 3BB).
Iowa–Grant 2, Mineral Point 1
(from Monday, May 6 @ Cobb)
Mineral Point 000 001 00 — 1 1 0
Iowa–Grant 000 100 01 — 2 6 1
Leading hitters — IG: Lexi Busse 2x4. 2B — IG: Grace Kite.
W — Mya McCarthy (10–4, 8IP, 1H, 1ER, 9K, 2BB). L — Dana Schmitz (7.2IP, 6H, 2ER, 6K, 3BB).