CALAMUS – A little early trouble could not stop the Calamus-Wheatland softball team.
Not with the way the Warriors were hitting the ball at their home tournament Saturday.
Cal-Wheat ran into some tight situations in the early innings of its games with both Clinton and Midland, but hit its way out of them, hammering 33 combined hits to eventually pull away for two big victories (17-7 over the River Queens, 18-5 over the Eagles).
Add in a third rout against Bellevue and the Warriors went a perfect 3-0 at the eight-team Warrior Invitational, tying Camanche for the best mark at the tourney.
Fellow Observer-area squad Northeast went 2-1 at the tourney, falling to Camanche in its opener, but rebounding to rout both Highland and Bellevue.
The runs came fast and furious during the Warriors’ game with Clinton.
Cal-Wheat struck first, scoring four runs in the opening inning behind five early hits – the biggest being a two-run double by Taylor Jacobsen.
The River Queens answered back with three runs in the second, but the Warriors used another double – this one by Alison Boeckmann – to score three runs of their own in the bottom of the inning.
Clinton answered back, loading the bases and then hitting a grand slam to knot things up at seven.
The River Queens, though, could not stop the Warriors.
Cal-Wheat took the lead right back in the bottom of the third – Alexis Clark scored on a Boeckmann single, while Addy Widel scored on a ground out – before piling on in the fourth and fifth innings.
The Warriors scored five runs in the fourth as Grace Elvert slugged a triple that struck the top of the fence and bounced back in the field of play to drive in a pair of runs.
Elvert would score, herself, on a single by Kaylie Wilhelm before Boeckmann slugged a home run to right-center.
Back-to-back doubles by Widel and Elvert sandwiched between singles by Raven Knoche and Wilhelm, meanwhile, helped the Warriors end things early in the fifth.
The Warriors had 19 hits. Widel and Elvert both led the way with four, while also scoring four runs apiece (Elvert drove in four runs for good measure).
Boeckmann added three hits and drove in six runs – she finished just a triple shy of hitting for a cycle – while Wilhelm and Isabel Shockey both had two hits.
The Warriors fell behind 5-3 after the first two innings of its game with Midland, but scored 15 unanswered runs, including 10 over the final two innings to turn the deficit into a big victory.
Cal-Wheat tied the Eagles with two runs in the third inning and then took the lead with four straight hits – from Widel, Elvert, Wilhelm, and Boeckmann – in the fourth inning.
Midland miscues in the field helped the Warriors pull away late. Cal-Wheat had five hits during the sixth and seventh innings and the Eagles matched that number in errors, helping the Warriors plate four runs in the sixth and six in the seventh.
The top of the Cal-Wheat order – Widel, Elvert, and Wilhelm – accounted for eight of the team’s 14 hits, while combining for eight runs and five RBIs.
Addison Luepker and Camryn Schnede both scored three runs, while Boeckmann, Kiah Widel, and Clark all had two RBIs.
Boeckmann earned the victory in relief, allowing four hits and striking out three. Knoche made the start and also allowed four hits, while fanning one.
There was no need to rally in the finale with Bellevue as the Warriors jumped out to a 4-0 lead and then plated eight runs in the second inning en route to a 15-3 victory.
Every spot in the Warriors lineup scored a run during Cal-Wheat’s early eruption against the Comets.
A. Widel, in fact, had three hits and two runs through the first two innings.
The Warriors tacked on another run in the third and then two in the fourth to end the game early.
Widel finished 4-for-4 with three runs scored, while Elvert, Wilhelm, and Shockey also had multiple hits.
Luepker drove in a team-high three runs, while Elvert, Wilhelm, and Schnede all had two RBIs.
In its three victories, the Warriors pounded out 49 hits.
Widel added the victory on the mound for good measure, allowing six Bellevue hits and three runs with one strikeout.
The Warriors came into the game on the heels of a doubleheader split with Edgewood-Colesburg on Thursday.
The two Tri-Rivers Conference teams took part in a marathon game in the opener as the Vikings scored four runs in the top of the seventh to force extra innings.
After a scoreless eighth, the Warriors broke through in the ninth as Clark singled, Schnede doubled, and Knoche singled right up the middle to score Clark and give Cal-Wheat the 13-12 victory.
The Warriors built an 8-1 lead behind an eight-run second inning, but could not keep the Vikings at bay.
A. Widel, Knoche, Wilhelm, Boeckmann, and Schnede all had two hits in the game, while Shockey belted a three-run home run in the sixth and led the team with three RBIs and two runs.
Alyssa McElmeel and Wilhelm also scored twice for the Warriors, while Boeckmann earned the victory, pitching over seven innings in relief and striking out four.
In the nightcap it was Edgewood-Colesburg who had a big inning, plating seven runs in the third to create enough separation to earn the split with an 11-6 victory.
The Warriors had seven hits, Elvert led the way with two, and picked up their six runs from six different players – Elvert, McElmeel, Wilhelm, Boeckmann, Luepker, and Shockey.
Shockey scored her run after belting her second three-run home run in as many games.
Rebels rout Huskies, Comets
After falling to Camanche in its first game of the tournament, the Rebels struck quickly to handle Highland and Bellevue.
Neveah Hildebrandt led off Northeast’s 13-1 rout of Highland with a home run and the Rebels scored eight runs right away in the first inning.
Hildebrandt’s homer was followed by five other hits as Northeast batted through its lineup without recording an out – every Rebel either scored or drove in a run during the frame.
The Rebels were not done, scoring five more runs – on four hits – in the second inning to help them end the game after just three frames.
Claire Abbott, Audrey Morris, and Valerie Spooner all had two hits with Abbott driving in a team-high four runs and Morris and Spooner both scoring twice.
Hildebrandt and Alexis Ehlers also scored twice, while Madison Tarr and Hildebrandt both drove in two runs.
Ehlers earned the victory, allowing just three hits and striking out two.
The Rebels batted just twice against the Comets, thanks to an 11-run second inning that gave them plenty of support in a 16-2 rout.
Northeast collected 10 hits and earned six walks in the win. Ehlers, Morris, and Spooner all had two hits, while Hildebrandt (three), Ehlers (three), Bree Mangelsen, Abbott, and Morris all scored at least two runs.
Spooner and Abby Boyer both drove in a team-high three runs, while Alyssa Pessman earned the victory, allowing just four hits and fanning three.
The Rebels opened the tournament by becoming the latest victim of the hard-hitting Indians.
The state leader in runs and home runs, Camanche pounded out 19 hits in a 12-1 victory.
Ehlers provided the Rebels’ run. She doubled in the sixth and then scored on a second double by Morris.
Morris led the Rebels two hits, while Spooner socked a triple.
Saturday’s tournament marked the fourth straight day in which the Rebels were in action.
Friday, Northeast feasted on Tipton pitching, piling up 26 hits in five innings for a 19-3 romp.
Two Rebels – Abbott and Makenna McDonald – finished the night with five hits, while Hildebrandt, Ehlers, and Morris all added three.
Hildebrandt and Ehlers each slugged home runs – the former led the Rebels with four RBIs, the latter earned the victory on the mound – while Spooner and Boyer both had two hits and three RBIs.
A day earlier, it was the Rebels on the wrong side of a big score as West Liberty – ranked eighth in Class 3A – plated nine runs in the first two innings of an 11-1 victory.
The Rebels had just five hits – a team-best two from Spooner – and scored their lone run in the fourth when Boyer drove in McDonald with a sacrifice fly.