COLLINS — The Class 2A No. 1 Collins-Maxwell/Baxter softball team had a runner on base in every inning, but two big hits by Des Moines Christian was enough to end the Raiders’ season and program in dramatic and stunning fashion.
Senior Abbey Kahler struck out eight of the first nine batters she faced and allowed only three hits and one walk in the game but two of the hits were two-run home runs during a 4-0 loss in a 2A Region 7 semifinal on July 7.
It was the only time CMB was shut out this season. The Raider girls took off the black and silver uniform for the final time, finishing the season 26-6.
Baxter begins its era as Bolts and Collins-Maxwell becomes the Spartans moving forward starting next month.
Kahler took the loss after allowing four runs on three hits with eight strikeouts and one walk. Alayna Bakke walked and hit a double off Kahler. She was on base for Emma Veenstra and Olivia Penland’s two-run home runs in the fourth and sixth innings.
Penland was the winner in the circle for Des Moines Christian (19-12). She allowed no runs on six hits with five strikeouts and one walk.
Sophomore Hannah Caple had two hits for the Raiders, who had their nine-game winning streak snapped.
Senior Megan Ritter had one hit and two steals, junior Jordynn Wesselink finished with one hit and one walk and senior Mikayla Eslinger and freshman Abby Husak and Holly Jessen all had one hit apiece.
The Raiders put a cap on their softball program with back-to-back conference championships.
They were fifth at last year’s 3A state tournament.
Freshman Mikayla Houge stayed unbeaten in the circle and struck out 14, Caple drove in two big insurance runs in the seventh inning and the Raiders advanced to the Region 7 semifinals with a 6-2 victory over Woodward-Granger on July 5.
The Raiders led 3-0 early before needing three late runs to hold off a Hawk rally.
CMB got RBI hits by Jessen and Wesselink in the second inning.
The Raiders went up 3-0 in the fifth after Ritter singled, stole second, went to third on a sacrifice bunt by junior Katie Camp and then scored on a sacrifice RBI flyout by Houge.
Those three runs would be enough as Houge fanned 14 in the circle and allowed just two hits with two walks. She ended her season 15-0.
Woodward-Granger (15-20) reached base on twice on two CMB errors in the first five innings.
The Hawks got within one in the sixth with two unearned runs. Houge stranded the bases loaded after a strikeout and a ground ball to herself.
CMB pushed its lead to two runs after a W-G error, and then Caple drove in the final two runs with a double.
The Raiders had seven hits from seven different players in the game.
Those hits came from Ritter, Camp, Houge, Caple, Jessen, Wesselink and Husak.