Good teams win these games. That's what Muscatine softball coach Steve Hopkins told his team after a pair of road Mississippi Athletic Conference wins Thursday night.
Hopkins said his team grew frustrated at the plate and made "uncharacteristic errors." Still, Muscatine found a way to sweep Burlington 9-8 and 4-3 Thursday night.
"These games are going to pay dividends down the road," Hopkins said. "When we get into a tight game we're going to feel comfortable. As frustrating as these games were it will pay off down the road."
The Muskies (8-3, 4-2 MAC) won the first game in eight innings. The second came down to the wire, as Burlington had a runner on second base with two outs in the bottom of the seventh.
Burlington's Bryanna Mehaffy hit a line drive to center field hard enough to score a run. However, Muscatine sophomore Rylie Moss made a diving catch to record the final out in the 4-3 victory.
The first game was a back-and-forth affair with Muscatine holding a 6-4 lead after five innings. However, Burlington's Makaylin Powers hit a grand slam in the bottom of the sixth to give the Grayhounds an 8-6 lead.
The Muskies scored two runs in the seventh to tie the game and another in the eighth to win.
Moss had three RBIs in game one and Kaylynn Salyars had two. Kaitlyn Lathrop had a home run in game one and two RBIs to lead the Muskies in game two.
Burlington 14-3, Muscatine 4-8: Muscatine coach Grant Pippert said his team has been resilient all season. That was on display Thursday night as the Muskies (4-2, 3-1 MAC) salvaged a split with the Grayhounds after giving up eight runs in the first two innings of game one.
"It started after that second inning," Pippert said. "After that rough start we started playing some good baseball."
Though it didn't result in a win in the first game, Muscatine jumped out to a 4-0 lead in game two and rode that to a win. Senior Drew Logel hit a three-run shot to get the Muskies going and they never looked back.
His younger brother, Dalton Logel, pitched a "beautiful game" according to Pippert.
"It's always nice when you go up to the mound with a 4-0 lead," Pippert said. "Drew was a good older brother with that home run."