Softball team earns first trip to state in school history
By SUE RIEDER
On July 14, the 2014 Greene County softball team did something that has never been done before in a Jefferson-based high school softball program-they qualified for the state tournament. The Rams had their third consecutive big night at the plate and defeated fourth ranked Sioux Center 12-3. In their last three games, the Greene County squad blasted 46 hits and out scored their ranked opponents 36-5. “These last three games have been the best wins that I have been associated with,” said a beaming assistant coach Greg Ruth.
The Warriors entered the contest with a 26-3 record, but they could not handle the Ram offense which included eight singles, one double, one home run each for Emma Saddoris and Marissa Promes, and two home runs off the bat of Hannah Onken.
The Rams scored two in the top of the second inning when Promes singled, and Onken drove her in with a home run, but they got a little careless in the bottom of that inning when the Warriors took advantage of a walk, two errors, and an infield hit to score one run and load the bases. Promes struck out the next batter, and Carleigh Paup, and Emily Christensen caught fly balls to leave Sioux Center’s three runners stranded on the bags. The Warriors scored their other two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning when they were trailing 10-1. The Rams made two additional errors, and the Warriors ripped two solid hits to improve the score to 10-3. Greene County got two more insurance runs in the top of the seventh, and Promes held the opponent by striking out two and fielding a ground ball hit back to her.
Promes, who improved her pitching record to 23-4, gave up three runs on seven hits, while striking out eight and walking three. None of the Warrior runs were earned. In addition to the season high four home runs, Paup and Mobley each connected for two singles, Saddoris added a single and a double, and Tressa Rasmussen, Promes, and Hannah Onken also got one single. Onken led the team with four RBIs, while Saddoris drove in three, and Emily Christensen, Rasmussen, and Promes were all credited with one RBI.
“I am so happy for our team,” said coach Tom Kennedy. “We didn’t play good defense tonight, but we hit well enough to win. The girls have worked so hard . They deserve this honor. I would also like to thank all the girls who played in recent years and helped build this program.”
The Rams (27-7) will begin state tournament action on July 21 when they will meet sixth ranked Center Point-Urbana (28-9) in a 5 p.m. game at Rogers Sports Complex north in Fort Dodge. The Pointers will also be making their first state tournament appearance. They started seven freshman in their last game, but pounded twelve hits in their 8-5 regional championship win over twelfth ranked Mount Vernon. Since there are championship and consolation brackets at the state softball tournament, Greene County will play a minimum of three games in the tournament.
The Rams got to the championship game by thrashing 6th ranked Sargent Bluff - Luten 14-2 on the Warriors home diamond. SB-L had recently won the Missouri River Conference title, a league that includes mostly 5A schools from Sioux City and Council Bluffs. The outfield fences at the diamond were draped with banners from the team’s recent state tournament appearances, and the orange and black clad home fans had arrived early to get seats behind home plate, but Greene County’s squad was not intimidated.
The team got a huge boost of confidence when Emma Saddoris hit her third lead off home run in her last four games. Warriors answered with two in the bottom of the first when Ashtin Hazel hit a two run dinger. Batters for both teams were retired in order in the second inning, but the Rams broke open the game and silenced the home crowd by sending 13 batters to the plate and scoring seven runs in the third inning to take a 8-2 lead. The Warriors got a runner to third base in the bottom of the third, but two good defensive plays by the Rams left her stranded.
Greene County continued to pad their lead by adding two more runs in the fourth, and four in the sixth. Meanwhile, Ram pitcher Marissa Promes only gave up one hit and one walk in the last three innings, and her team mates backed her up by playing an error free game.
The Rams had a season high 21 hits off of Sergeant Bluff Luton’s two pitchers who had combined for 21 wins this season. Saddoris slapped a single to go along with her lead off homer, and Emily Christensen smashed two doubles and two singles.
Kayla Mobley, Sydney Koch, and Bailey Godwin all ripped three singles, while Tressa Rasmussen connected for a double and a single, and Carleigh Paup and Hannah Onken each added two singles. The team improved its record to 26-7 for the season with their second tournament win.
1 2 3 4 5 6 R H E
SB-L 2 0 0 0 0 0 2 5 1
Rams 1 0 7 2 0 4 14 21 0
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
SC 0 1 0 0 0 2 0 3 7 2
Rams 0 2 0 4 1 3 2 12 13 4