By Chris Umscheid
North Liberty Leader
IOWA CITY– Tuesday night was tough for the Women of Troy, when the squad faced-off against a potential regional semifinal opponent. The Mustangs of Dubuque Hempstead galloped into town, and West was dealt its first loss in 17 outings.
Tuesday also would have been the 18th birthday of beloved friend and teammate, the late Caroline Found.
The field was decorated in honor of Found and the team wore special blue tie-dyed shirts imprinted with Found’s number nine and the words “A Season on Cloud Nine.” West was on cloud nine after winning game one 5-0, but were under a black cloud for the nightcap, falling 6-0.
In the opener, West put up a pair of runs in the third as Mikaela Morgan and Grace Tafolla scored, and had three runs in the fifth. Tatum Klein, Morgan Ryan and Morgan scored in the fifth. Michaela Recker blasted a triple in the second inning, but was left stranded on base.
Mackenzie Laux took the win with five innings in the circle. Laux gave up only one hit, sent 10 batters back to the bench and walked two. Shelly Stumpff relieved Laux for the final two innings, striking out two.
For West: 5 runs, 6 hits, 0 errors.
For Hempstead: 0 runs, 1 hit, 2 errors.
The Mustangs returned the favor in the nightcap with one run in the third, three in the fourth and one each in the fifth and sixth innings. Klein, Stumpff, Recker, Madi Miller and Ryan all had one base hit each, but never made it back home. Mackenzie Haight worked 5-1/3 innings giving up seven hits and five earned runs. Haight struck-out three and walked two. Stumpff came back to the circle for the final 1-2/3 innings, striking-out one and walking one.
For West: 0 runs, 5 hits, 2 errors.
For Hempstead: 6 runs, 7 hits, 2 errors.
West is on the road Thursday, June 28, for a pair of varsity games at Dubuque Wahlert and will host the West High Classic at the U of I softball complex Friday and Saturday, June 29-30, before finishing the regular season at Waterloo East on Tuesday, July 3. The Women of Troy have a first-round bye for Class 5A Softball Regionals, and will play Saturday, July 7, at home against either Clinton or Hempstead. The winner of that match-up will play at West Tuesday, July 10, in the regional final, and a trip to Fort Dodge for the 2012 state tournament.