WAPELLO, Iowa -- Good pitching is crucial to the success of any softball team. And good pitching is something Louisa-Muscatine has plenty of. Especially if it’s a pitcher with the last name Sanders.
Junior Hailey Sanders started the game for the Falcons (9-0), recording 10 strikeouts through five innings. Then sister Kylee Sanders, a sophomore, came on and recorded five of her own. That didn’t leave much opportunity for the Wapello Arrows (5-7) offensively as L-M controlled the game from the start en route to a 6-0 win in Wapello Thursday night.
"Hailey pitched outstanding," Falcons head coach Bryan Butler said. "We knew Kylee would come in and do her job ... once we got a little bit of a lead, I wanted to give Hailey a little bit of a rest."
And that rest was well deserved, as Hailey was coming off a 16-strikeout performance in L-M's win over Pekin on Tuesday.
"(Hailey) is very high up there in strikeouts," Butler said, "so it's good to get (different pitchers in) and give the defense an opportunity."
But the Sanders sisters didn’t just put on a pitching show, they both contributed with their bats as well.
Kylee, the Falcons’ lead-off hitter, started the game by reaching on an Arrow error. She then came around to score when the next batter, freshman McKenna Hohenadel, drove in Sanders with an RBI single.
The next time through the Falcons’ order in the third, Kylee again found a way to reach base, this time by taking a pitch to the foot while attempting a slap hit. After a stolen base, Hailey drove Kylee in with an opposite-field base hit to make it 2-0.
In the fourth, the Louisa-Muscatine bats came alive as three runs came across to build the lead to 5-0. The Falcons got RBIs from senior Mallory Hohenadel, McKenna Hohenadel and another from Hailey Sanders.
Louisa-Muscatine scored their last run of the night when freshman Brynn Jeambey sent a rocket liner down the third base line and was eventually driven in by Mallory Hohenadel, which gave Hohenadel her second RBI of the night.
For Wapello, it managed to find ways to put a few runners on. Even though they only had two hits on the night, the Arrows had hitters reach on three walks and a catcher’s interference call. But it wasn’t nearly enough to threaten the Falcons’ lead.
Even though they did all they needed to in order to get the win, the Louisa-Muscatine team still feels like it's leaving something on the table as far as hitting goes.
"We're focused on the process, not the outcome," Butler said. "In softball you're going to fail, (we) just need to focus on 'did you get a quality at bat?', that type of thing."