ALLEMAN – The season ended for Shenandoah softball, Friday, July 12 with a 10-0 loss to Class 3A number 12 North Polk in a regional semifinal.
The game was called in the fifth inning due to the run rule.
The Fillies were unable to score over five innings against Comets pitcher Sophie Swygman, but they had two good chances.
The first came in the second inning with the Fillies trailing 2-0. Courtnee Griffin and Sara Morales both took walks with one out, but they were unable to advance when Swygman struck out Sidda Rodewald and Cayley Lorimor to end the threat.
Shenandoah’s best chance came in the fourth inning. Natalie Gilbert opened the frame with a single with the Fillies trailing 5-0. She advanced to third on a double from Griffin. Swygman again responded by striking out Morales and inducing a fly out to right from Rodewald that wasn’t deep enough to score Gilbert. Cayley Lorimor worked a walk to load the bases, but Voshell popped out to short and the Fillies left the bases loaded.
The Comets opened the scoring in the first against Voshell. Two singles and a walk loaded the bases with one out, and then a passed ball and a steal of home plated Foster and Sporra for a 2-0 lead.
The first four reached base in the third inning with Carolyn Steffen doubling in two runs for the Comets. She would come around to score on a groundout.
Steffen added a two-run triple as part of a four-run fourth inning. Bailey Hougham also singled in two.
Voshell gave up eight hits, seven walks and nine runs, eight earned, over four innings in the circle.
The Comets added a run in the fifth against Nichole Gilbert to clinch the win.
“We wanted to play free and loose,” Shenandoah coach Aaron Burdorf said, “but you get down two runs and we started to think about it a little bit. If we could have put something together with two on in the second or the bases loaded in the fourth, it changes the complexion of the game and the girls start to believe a little bit.”
The Fillies finished with four hits, which came from Griffin, Logan Hughes and Natalie and Nichole Gilbert. Burdorf said they made good contact, but couldn’t get the ball to fall.
“(North Polk) is a good team,” said Burdorf. “They pitched well and fielded it well. We hit it right at them a couple times. Our offense hit the ball. We struck out a little more than we wanted, but we put up a fight and I couldn’t be prouder.”
Shenandoah’s season ended at 21-13 while 12th-ranked North Polk improved to 22-10 and advanced to a regional final.
The 21 wins is an improvement of seven from the previous year and Burdorf said his first season as head coach was a successful one.
“Raise the standard was our motto and we achieved that,” said Burdorf. “Our kids bought in over the winter. We hit, the pitchers were in a ton and we worked with the little kids. I look forward to the future of Fillies softball.”
That future does not include the three seniors who exit the program in Hughes, Alexis McGinnis and Lorimor, who held down the shortstop, center field and third base positions.
“Logan Hughes is all over the record books,” said Burdorf, “and Shenandoah is going to miss her. Alexis played volleyball, basketball, tennis and had a super fun year of softball. She covered a ton of ground in the outfield and it was fun to watch her play. Cayley did a great job at third base all season long and bought into what we were doing. We moved her down to the nine-hole with a purpose. She knew her role, took it on and played aggressive (softball). I couldn’t be any more proud of those three.”
Several pictures from Shenandoah softball’s final game can be seen at valleynewstoday.com.