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Iowa softball: Orabs fall short

Orab first baseman Jess Van Beek looks to tag a Nighthawk baserunner on a pickoff play during Thursday night's game in Sheldon. (BRIAN KORTHALS/DAILY GLOBE)

SHELDON, Iowa — In a game dominated by pitching, it was the Boyden-Hull/Rock Valley Nighthawks that were able to scratch across just a couple more runs by capitalizing in key situations.

They defeated a strong Sheldon Orabs team 3-1 in Iowa high school softball.

Sheldon sent Sami Kleinwolterink to the rubber. Kleinwolterink had it working for her as she pitched all seven innings, giving up six hits, three earned runs and struck out seven.

However, it was CJ Van Der Zwaag who stole the show. Van Der Zwaag looked to be in her element out there as she took a shutout into the seventh. Van Der Zwaag finished the night allowing only one unearned run to go with eight strikeouts.

Neither team was able to get anything going at the plate as the game remained scoreless entering the sixth inning.

Alexis Mousel started off the sixth with a single. Then, the next batter, Kensy Vande Hoef, walked. Sam Blum laid down a sacrifice bunt to move the runners to second and third. Cassie Van Beek then bunted and an errant throw allowed Mousel to break the deadlock and put B-H/RV up by one. Van Der Zwaag was up next and saw the opportunity to help her own cause. She slapped a two-RBI double that put the Nighthawks up by three.

A three-run cushion proved to be plenty for Van Der Zwaag.

Sheldon looked to rally in the bottom of the seventh. Sydney Iedema led off with a walk. Then, with two outs, Caitlin Cain grounded the ball right back to Van Der Zwaag. Van Der Zwaag’s throw was offline and that allowed Iedema to cross the plate and Cain to advance to second.

Sheldon had some momentum going, only down two with a runner in scoring position. The rally was ended, however, when Van Der Zwaag recorded her final strikeout of the evening.

The Orabs saw a good night at the plate from Caitlin Cain as she went 3-for-4.

Van Der Zwaag finished 2-for-3 with two RBIs. Alexis Mousel also went 2-for-3.

“I thought this was the best game we’ve played all year,” said Sheldon coach Carla Kleinwolterink, “It came down to who capitalized and who made errors. Overall, I thought we played a solid game”


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