NL softball falls to No. 1 Falcons
WEST BURLINGTON — A 3-0, Monday-night loss to Class 3A’s top ranked team wasn’t too disappointing for New London softball.
“It’s really great to play good teams,” New London Coach Duane Blint said.
Tigers came up short by a three-run margin for the second time in three days when they took on West Burlington/Notre Dame last night. They lost to the Falcons by a score of 7-4 at the Mt. Pleasant Classic on Saturday.
Monday’s game was supposed to be in New London, but the rain washed out that plan. However, the Falcons said they could get their field ready in time, and — because the number of open days on the schedule is dwindling for both teams — the Tigers agreed to travel.
New London is now 20-7 on the season, and four of those seven losses have come from WB/ND. The Tigers also drop to 5-3 in the SEISC South. The Falcons up their record to 22-2 on the season (10-0 SEISC South).
“We played well — it easily could have been a one-run game,” Blint said of Monday night’s contest.
The Tigers had runners on second and third early in the game, but left them stranded there.
“We just couldn’t get the key hits,” Blint said.
All of the Tigers’ offense came from the top of the order, as New London’s first four batters had one hit each. Sami Koontz, Caitlin Chiri, Morgan Christner and Emily Parks each singled in the game. No. 5 batter, Victoria Noel, took a walk.
The Tigers were making contact, but struggled to find a gap.
“We were putting the ball in play — we were seeing the ball really well,” Blint said.
The Tigers struck out only three times, which was an improvement from their last conference game against WB/ND pitcher Alex Yacko, in which she recorded eight strikeouts.
Christner took the loss on the mound for New London, giving up seven hits and walking two batters for three runs (two earned) in the complete game effort.
“Morgan (Christner) threw well,” Blint said.
West Burlington’s Regan Fraise did the most damage, going 2-for-4 with a double and scoring two runs. Machaela Diaz also had a double, going 1-for-3 with an RBI.
Christner, who is third among pitchers across the state in strikeouts, added nine to her total last night. The New London freshman has now fanned 243 batters in 160 innings.
She is behind only Rachel Smith, a sophomore from Exira-EHK (250 Ks in 120 2/3 innings) and Lexi Binder, a freshman from Lawton-Bronson (257 Ks in 135 innings).
The Tigers continue their busy week with a pair of games tonight at Danville, starting with the JV contest at 5:30 p.m. They also play games on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday this week.
NEW LONDON vs. WEST BURLINGTON
West Burlington 000 210 0 — 3
New London 000 000 0 — 0
WP — Alex Yacko
LP — Morgan Christner
New London — Sami Koontz, 1-3. Caitlin Chiri, 1-3. Morgan Christner, 1-3. Emily Parks, 1-2. Victoria Noel, 0-2, BB.
West Burlington — Riley Hale: 1-4. Courtney Coffin: 0-3, BB. Kori Mesecher: 1-4. Regan Fraise: 2-4, 2B, 2 runs. Machaela Diaz: 1-3, 2B, RBI, run. Kelci Hill: 0-2, BB. Reagan Rogerson: 2-3, RBI. Steals — Hale.