Coming into its game against top-ranked and undefeated Davenport Assumption, the Muscatine softball team just wanted to come out and compete to show it could play with anyone.
The Muskies ended up proving not only can they compete with anyone — they can beat anyone.
Assumption scored two runs late to take Game 1, 4-3, but Muscatine made quite a statement with a 10-5 victory in Game 2.
"(Assumption) is the best team we've played so far this year," Muscatine head coach Steve Hopkins said. "We feel good coming out of here one and one, we played right with them."
Assumption sophomore Anna Wohlers smacked a pair of two-run homers in Game 1 to make the difference.
In Game 1, it was the Muskies' bottom part of the order that did the table-setting.
To start the second inning, senior third baseman Kate Nelson reached on a base hit, followed by senior left fielder Nikole Molina and sophomore right fielder Olivia Harmon drawing walks to load the bases.
That's when sophomore lead-off hitter and center fielder Rylie Moss slapped a double into the gap to score two. They would later add the third in the inning when senior catcher Kaylie Reynolds drew a bases-loaded walk.
Muscatine's bats fell relatively quiet from that point on in Game 1.
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In the bottom of the seventh, Reynolds drew another walk and advanced into scoring position, but the Muskies couldn't do anything from there.
"The girls just keep working, just keep pushing," Hopkins said. "They believe in what they can do and they believe in themselves and we believe in each other as a team.
"After the first game, I told them we had no reason to hang our head. We played very well. We were right there. We had an opportunity, it just didn't go our way."
Game 2 was quite a different story, although a familiar beginning.
The Knights (10-1, 3-1) scored twice again in the top of the first. But this time, Muscatine (6-3, 2-2) answered by plating two of its own when Moss and sophomore second baseman Kaylynn Salyars came around to score.
Assumption would score once in the top of the second, but Muscatine ended up with five in the bottom part of the second inning.
From that point on, the Muskies never looked back. Salyars and Nelson both went deep in the sixth.
"I was just ready for whatever (the pitcher) was going to bring me in that second at-bat," Nelson said. "(This game) was super important, it really showed us what we can do and what we're capable of."