TRUMAN - Madelia/Truman ace right-hander Beth Kotewa looked in midseason form during season-opening softball action on Monday in Truman.
The hard-throwing sophomore hurler recorded 10 strikeouts to pace a three-hit complete-game shutout as the Jayhawks posted a 2-0 nonconference triumph over the Mountain Lake Area Wolverines.
"(Second baseman) Brianna (Stevensen) turned a nice double play for us in the top of the sixth inning," Madelia/Truman mentor Terri Baumgartner said in reference to her team's clutch defensive gem with Wolverine runners on first and second base with no outs. "We didn't have an error today and that pretty good, especially considering this is our our first time (on the diamond) this spring."
MOTORING TO THIRD — Madelia/Truman hitter Savannah Hodge (right) rounds second base and heads for a one-out triple in the bottom of the third inning during season-opening softball action Monday in Truman. Mountain Lake Area shortstop Olivia Hopwood (8) awaits the throw from Wolverine right fielder Bailey Lehman to second baseman Lexie Peters on the play. (Photo by Leanna Becker)
Kotewa allowed Mountain Lake Area to reach third base only two times during the season-opener - Channah Brandt's two-out triple in the third and Olivia Hopwood on the heels of the sixth-inning double play.
Jayhawk catcher Ciera Drevlow also helped preserve Kotewa's opening-day shutout by fielding Jaden Hoek's well-placed sacrifice bunt during the fourth before Kotewa slammed the door shut with a strikeout.
While Kotewa and the Madelia/Truman defensive unit kept Mountain Lake Area off of the scoreboard, Savannah Hodge literally set the offensive tables for a Jayhawk batting order that produced 10 hits.
Hodge went 3-for-4 from the batter's box, but the line-drive hitting designated player delivered her most important hit during the bottom of the sixth inning.
Clinging to a 1-0 lead, Stephanie Jahnz deposited a leadoff single to right-center to open the Jayhawks' sixth at-bat before Stevensen took her place on the base paths via a fielder's choice groundout.
Stevensen advanced to second base when Skyla Smith was hit by a Signey Stoesz pitch before Hodge stepped to the plate one out later. Hodge, who had tripled during the third but did not score, hammered a clutch RBI single to right to plate Stevensen with a sixth-inning insurance run.
Sierra McCraw, who went 2-for-3 on the game, staked the Jayhawks to a 1-0 edge in the home half of the fourth frame.
McCraw punched a leadoff single to right and reached second when Jahnz's comebacker was mishandled on a force play at second base. Both McCraw and Jahnz advanced a base on a wild pitch before McCraw scored when Briannia Pearson legged out an RBI infield hit to the hole at short.
Hanna Hartman, Drevlow, Kotewa, Jahnz and Pearson each added singles to Hodge's three-hit performance and McCraw's two-hit effort.
Brandt went 2-for-3 to top the Wolverines, while Stoesz added a single.
Kotewa struck out 10, walked three and allowed three hits in seven scoreless innings to earn the complete-game victory.
Stoesz allowed two runs - one earned - on 10 hits, struck out nine, walked one and hit one batter in six innings of work to absorb the loss for the Wolverines.
Madelia/Truman (1-0) travels to Welcome today for a 4:30 p.m. game against Martin County West. Mountain Lake Area (0-2) travels to Adrian Area today.
MLA 000 000 0 - 0 3 2
M/T 000 101 x - 2 10 0
Signey Stoesz (LP) and Channah Brandt. Beth Kotewa (WP) and Ciera Drevlow.
LOB-Madelia/Truman 9; Mt. Lake Area 5. 3B-Savannah Hodge (MT); Brandt (MLA). SAC-Jaden Hoek (MLA).