—by Todd Thorson

(tthorson@storycityherald.com)

R-S 12, Ballard 5

Mikenzi Monthei went 4 for 4 with three runs scored and three stolen bases to lead the Norse J.V. girls to a 12-5 win over Ballard Tuesday night (June 25) in Roland. Alexa Whipple and Schyler Polaski each had two hits, with Alexa scoring three times and driving in two runs. The Norse banged out 13 hits, while Ballard had seven hits.

A five-run fourth by R-S broke open a tight 4-3 ball game, as the contest moved to the fifth with the Norse now in front 9-3. Ballard cut the lead to 9-5 in the top of the fifth, but R-S added two insurance runs in the bottom of the fifth and another one in the bottom of the sixth to win by seven, 12-5.

Pitcher Natalie Tryon went six innings and allowed seven hits, four earned runs, struck out one and walked one.

R-S 13, Gilbert 3

Roland-Story blasted 15 hits, while holding Gilbert to just three, as the Norse defeated the Tigers 13-3 Wednesday night (June 26) in Gilbert. Mikenzi Monthei and Alexa Whipple had three hits apiece. Lexi Georgius and Kelsey Polaski each had two hits. Hope Sievers had a hit and scored four runs.

The Norse scored in every inning but the fifth in the six inning contest, including four-spots in both the third and sixth frames.

Natalie Tryon allowed no earned run and three hits during her six innings of work on the mound.

R-S 10, PCM 2

The Norsemen had only five hits against PCM, but four Mustang errors and six walks issued by PCM’s pitcher helped generate the 10 runs. The result was a 10-2 victory at Monroe Thursday night (June 27). PCM posted nine hits, but could only score twice with single runs in the fourth and fifth.

Once again the R-S defense and the team composure enabled them to keep the upper hand.

The Norse tallied runs once again in all but one inning, scoring three in the first, and two each in the second, third and fourth frames. R-S added a single run in the sixth to end the scoring.

Jesslyn Coghlan went 2 for 4, including a double and two RBIs. Alexa Whipple and Mikenzi Monthei each had two hits, with Alexa scoring three runs and stealing two bases.

Saydel 10, R-S 8

A barrage of hits by both teams turned the six inning contest into a slugfest on Friday night (June 28) in Roland. Ten hits for Roland-Story and 14 for Saydel resulted in a 10-8 victory for Saydel. The game wasn’t decided until pretty much the last inning, with Saydel scoring four runs to go up 10-5 in the top of the sixth. R-S tried to rally, scoring three times themselves in the bottom of the sixth, but they fell two runs short.

Schyler Polaski went 3 for 4, with two doubles and three RBIs to lead the R-S offense. Lexi Georgius, Jaeda Pitman and Bridget Concannon each had two hits.

The Norse took a 1-0 lead in the second, only to see Saydel score four times in the third to take a 4-1 lead. In the bottom half of the third, R-S tallied four of their own to take their last lead of the game, 5-4. Saydel assumed the lead for good with two in the fourth to go up 6-5.

"The girls continue to play well offensively, scoring 43 runs in four games," commented Coach Dennis Nuetzman. "The entire roster is contributing as we scored runs in 18 of the 24 innings played this week. Natalie (Tryon) continues to pitch consistently, pitching all 24 innings (in these four games) and allowing only four walks. The leadership and consistent performance from freshman catcher Brooke Huffaker has been an important component of our ability to play well as a defensive team. After outstanding games on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday (June 25-27), we were challenged on Friday (June 28) by the combination of a good hitting Saydel team and a strong gusty wind reminding us of the value of communication before and during every play."

Head Coach Amber Doyle has also been impressed with the development of the junior varsity squad and the underclassmen this season, having this to say recently:

"A couldn’t be happier with the growth that the junior varsity team has showcased this summer," she said. "With a predominantly freshman team and after an early injury, an 8th grade pitcher, I knew it may be difficult for them to play at the junior varsity level. After putting up an 11-4 record thus far, they have proven my concerns to be unnecessary. The sophomores and occasional junior have done a nice job of leading through their play, and we have seen some early leadership skills in a few of the freshman girls. Eighth grader Natalie Tryon has shown great poise on the mound. The number of runs they have scored this summer has been quite impressive and I look forward to seeing how this team finishes up the summer."

R-S 10, South Hamilton 4

The Norse J.V. girls broke open a scoreless game with three in the third and fourth innings, and then added four in the fifth and final frame to cruise to a 10-4 win over South Hamilton last Monday night (July 1) in Roland. Alexa Whipple went 3 for 4, including a double, three runs scored and four RBIs to lead the Norsemen. Kelsey Polaski was 2 for 3 at the plate, with two runs scored and an RBI. Jesslyn Coghlan also went 2 for 3 with three RBIs. And Hope Sievers was 2 for 3 as well with two RBIs. All totaled, the Norse smashed 14 hits, as all nine batters in the lineup had at least one hit.

Natalie Tryon went all five innings on the mound and allowed three earned runs, six hits, struck out two and walked two. The Hawks scored single runs in the third and fourth and added two in the fifth inning.

R-S 6, Nevada 3

The Norsemen again reached double figures in the hitting department, as they banged out 11 hits against Nevada Wednesday night (July 3) in Roland and posted a 6-3 victory. Schyler Polaski went 3 for 3, with three RBIs, including a big two-run homer that broke a 1-1 tie in the fourth. Schyler’s blast also scored Alexa Whipple ahead of her, after Alexa had doubled to lead off the inning. Whipple ended up 2 for 3 on the night, with two doubles.

Following Schyler’s shot, Jesslyn Coghlan singled. Her pinch runner Mikenzi Monthei stole second and advanced around to score on an error by the catcher on the throw to second, and a ground out by Hope Sievers.

The Norse ended their scoring with two more in the sixth to assume a 6-2 lead. Sievers and DH Jaeda Pitman both singled and scored in the sixth frame.

Kelsey Polaski doubled to lead off the first for the Norse, and she came around to score on sister Schyler’s double to left.

Natalie Tryon went seven innings and allowed three runs, nine hits, struck out two and walked no one.

R-S 8, CMB 2

Kelsey Polaski went down the home run highway as well, smashing a two-run blast in the second inning to help put the Norse up 4-1 Friday night (July 5) against CMB in Roland. Kelsey would finish with a 2 for 4 performance at the plate, with three RBIs. Sam Reisinger went 3 for 3, with three runs scored and three RBIs. The Norse would add a single run in the fourth and three more in the fifth to win by six. CMB managed only single runs in the second and third frames. Pinch runner Mikenzi Monthei also scored twice and stole three bases.

The Norse collected eight hits, while pitcher Natalie Tryon was holding CMB to just four hits. Natalie finished with six K’s, and allowed just one earned run and two walks.

The R-S J.V. girls finished their season with an impressive 14-4 overall record and 12-3 in the Heart of Iowa Conference. Due to weather, the Norse J.V. squad did not play North Polk this season, and they played Colfax-Mingo only once. C-M cancelled their second meeting, which was to have been last Tuesday night (July 2) due to lack of players.

"The girls closed the season with three well-played ball games, said Coach Dennis Nuetzman. "The formula of good pitching, consistent and fundamental team defense and confident hitters/base runners makes this young Norse team a tough match up for any opponent. The growth in the team from mid-May to early July has been a rewarding experience for both the players and the coaching staff."