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Vinton bests South Tama in double header
June 8, 2018

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Despite two double digit losses there was still something to get excited about for STC. Abby Sandvick hit her first career homerun in game two. South Tama hosted Vinton-Shellsburg for a WaMaC Conference double header.

Game one was a showing of utter domination from the Vinton Vikettes. Vinton's Alex Maynard took the win for the Vikettes. She pitched for two innings allowing no hits, no runs, made no errors and walked no batters while striking out three. Addy Maynard closed the game for the Vikettes pitching one inning allowing one hit, no runs, no errors, walked no batters and struck out one. The game went for just three innings before the 10-run rule was enforced. Brittney Breya took the loss for the Trojans. Vinton racked up 10 hits and 18 runs. Breya had three errors, walked four and struck out four.

The Trojans were just coming off of their yearly softball weekend away. They had played at a tournament in Centerville over the weekend and also got in some team bonding.

"I don't know if we were still asleep in game one but boy, it looked like we were half asleep," said head coach Chelsea Ahrens. "We definitely weren't prepared and we didn't come to play and it showed."

One area the Trojans really struggled with was dropped flyballs. This surprised Ahrens as she said they had spent time in practice the week before working that particular skill. But something was not clicking Monday evening. Communication wasn't there and several pop ups fell between the hands of players. The Trojans lost game one 18-0.

"I think it's a communication issue and a confidence issue too," said Ahrens. "It's not taking the right first step. We are not drop stepping the first step whether we are infield or outfield so yes I definitely think it is a communication problem. We'll have two players looking at each other after a drop like 'oh I thought that was your ball'. Then we aren't doing what we are supposed to be doing, the fundamental part of it."

But just like with every double header, game two must go on. Even though the Trojans lost game two as well they showed much more determination than in game one.

Ashlynn Ellenbecker took the loss for the Trojans. She pitched for five innings allowing 10 hits, 13 runs, had three errors, one walk, and two strikeouts.

The Trojans showed much improvement offensively in game two and ended the night with three runs. The hit of the night came from sophomore Abby Sandvick. Her at bat in the third inning resulted in a two-run homer that gave the Trojans the lead for a brief moment.

"I had to wait to make sure it was going over but the biggest thing is that when I went in for that at bat my mindset was 'I'm going to hit the ball'. I wasn't necessarily thinking about where I was going to hit it, I just wanted to make contact and have confidence. I think it was an extra push," said Sandvick.

It's been a couple of years since South Tama has had someone hit a homerun. Maci Fritz was the last player to go yard for South Tama on June 14, 2016 in a home game against Montezuma. Sandvick is only the eighth player in the past 10 seasons to hit a home run for STC. Others include Fritz, Sam Holtz, Madison Baack, Riley Rutledge, Jade Rohach, Jenn Maus, and Tasha Green. The rarity of Sandvick's achievement certainly made for a rewarding moment when she rounded home to greet her teammates that were crowded around the plate.

Vinton's Rachel Tandy started for the Vikettes. She pitched for 2 1/3 innings allowing five hits, three runs, two errors, one walk, and one strikeout. Following Sandvick's home run, Vinton opted to bring back in Alex Maynard to finish off the game for the Vikettes.

Things were going well for the Trojans until the top of the 5th inning. Vinton got hot at the plate and they scored nine runs. The Vikettes 5th-inning flurry was enough to salt the game away and Vinton came away with another double digit win, 13-3.

Both of South Tama's pitchers have certain strengths according to Ahrens. Between Breya and Ellenbecker one is stronger at hitting spots and the other throws harder. Both are working to improve in each skill.

The Trojans will be home on Monday, June 11 hosting Center Point-Urbana (7-3).

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