Every team across the state of Iowa faces turbulence at some point during the season, even the Class 4A second-ranked ADM Tiger softball team.
They faced adversity in the form of their fifth loss of the season in game one of a doubleheader against conference foe Carroll in Adel. In that game one, the Tigers produced a season-low two hits across the entire contest as Carroll senior pitcher Julia LaRue dazzled the ADM lineup with four strikeouts just two hits allowed through 84 pitches thrown.
“We just weren’t on top of our game and we were more reactive to what was happening instead of proactive,” said head coach Jodi Dotty. “We had a real coming to Jesus talk after game one about what we are doing and why we are here. We shot ourselves in the foot with some mental mistakes in game one and that’s just not who we are.”
The two hits recorded by the Tigers came from freshman Olivia Tollari and junior Abbie Hlas who had a solid overall night with two hits across both games. Despite how well Carroll did inside the circle, it was just as impressive by ADM’s Abbie Hlas who suffered just three hits and one earned run against her all while striking out six Tiger batters along the way.
The loss gave ADM their fifth defeat of the season and plenty of motivation for game two in which the host Tigers struck an early led that they rode to a 6-3 victory. At first, the game seemed to follow a similar path to game one after Carroll struck for one run in the first inning. ADM has been quite strong in the early goings of games and broke out for a three-run bottom of the second for an early 3-1 advantage. Two innings later, ADM would strike for yet another trio of runs for a 6-1 lead before Carroll would answer with two more runs spread out across the fifth and sixth innings.
Offensively it was a much-improved game complete with ten hits and two multi-hit games. Soon to be freshman Brylee Person showed the world her power with a blast past the outfield fence, her fourth long ball of the season. Person would end her night 2-for-4 with three runs driven in. Also, earning a pair of hits for the game was Aliya Yanga who continued her hitting run with a double and a single in game two.
Inside the circle, eighth-grader Ailya Yanga dazzled the Carroll lineup for ten strikeouts and just three earned runs on 118 pitches thrown. It was an amazing feat to watch and it left quite the impression on coach Dotty after the game.
“What a game for Ailya tonight,” said coach Dotty with amazement. “She’s just 14 years old and she played like she was a senior tonight. She’s a shining example of if you have confidence in yourself you can achieve great things because the only thing that can hold her back is herself. She did great mixing things up tonight and did a fantastic job keeping a good hitting team like Carroll off balance.”
With the win, ADM officially draws their overall record to 21-5 with an 8-4 mark inside Raccoon River Conference play. Next up for ADM will be yet another test as the Tigers lay host to Class 5A’s Indianola Thursday, June 27 with first pitch set for 7:15 p.m.