IOWA CITY– An 11-inning battle of endurance and will power ended with a 3-2 win for the West High Women of Troy Thursday, June 20, on the home diamond against the Trojans of Waterloo East. However, the nightcap, while finishing in regulation play, ended on the sour note of a 6-4 loss.
Madi Miller put West on the board in the first inning with a solo homer carried by a southerly breeze over the left field fence. Adara Opiola, Lauren Larson and Taylor Libby followed with base hits but weren’t able to reach home. Waterloo East scored a pair of runs in the top of the fifth for the lead, which held until the bottom of the seventh inning when Michaela Recker scored on an RBI single by Miller to tie the ballgame 2-2.
The Women of Troy loaded the bases in the eighth, but couldn’t convert that good fortune into runs scored. West pitcher Jessica Harder faced a tough situation in the top of the 10 with two runners on base and two outs. A big strikeout issued by Harder got the West crew out of trouble. In the 11th, Morgan Ryan walked and advanced on a bunt by Grace Tafolla. Through a series of Waterloo miscues, Ryan was able to go all the way to home plate for the win.
Harder went the distance, putting four strikeouts in the book. West had three runs on 16 hits with a double for Opiola and two singles each for Tafolla, Larson, Harder and Ryan. Tafolla and Miller each had an RBI.
Tafolla led-off for West in the nightcap with a triple, and then scored on a wild pitch for a 1-0 lead. Ryan scored in the third inning after knocking out a double and advancing on a sacrifice bunt by Tafolla. Miller followed with a bunt and made it to first as Ryan came home. Larson joined Ryan on base after being hit by a pitch and both came home on a double by Libby to give West a comfortable 4-0 lead going into the fourth inning.
The pendulum swung Waterloo’s way in the fourth as a runner scored on an RBI single. It could’ve been worse, the visitors had runners on the corners at the time. West had a golden opportunity in the bottom of the fourth with bases loaded and one out. Unfortunately Miller popped up for the easy out and Opiola grounded out on a controversial call. The East team struck again in the sixth with a run, chipping West’s lead to two runs on the cusp of a disastrous seventh inning. A pair of Waterloo runners were on base waiting for the right opportunity when an East batter belted out a double. The two runs tied the game up in a neat little 4-4 knot.
But the carnage continued as the winning run sat on third base before scoring on a dead ball. A bobbled ball at second base allowed another East runner to advance to third with the score in Waterloo’s favor at 5-4. A sacrifice pop-up allowed that runner to score for the 6-4 final.
Paige Powers took the loss for West with one strikeout. The Women of Troy mustered seven hits.
It was also Youth Women of Troy Night with the players and coaches of the Barracudas, I-Club, Jaguars and Renegades recognized before the games along with the players and coaches of the youth leagues of Coralville, Iowa City and North Liberty. In addition it was also the Coaches versus Cancer game with the Women of Troy wearing pink camouflage shirts. 46 items were donated for a raffle with $747 raised to help with cancer research. Tara Opiola, mother of Adara and a cancer survivor, threw out the first pitch.