Photo by Jeff Yoder
Your Prep Sports
IOWA CITY – Much like its season as a whole, the Regina softball team showed both its good side and bad side during Monday’s doubleheader split with Mid-Prairie.
The good side came in the first game as freshman Emma Nibaur pitched a complete-game five-hitter to lead Regina to a 5-2 victory at home.
Nibaur also helped her cause on the mound by collecting two hits, scoring two runs and driving in a run.
But instead of gaining a sweep, Regina’s bats turned silent in the second game as Mid-Prairie rebounded with a 4-1 victory.
“I think that’s a good way to put it, we’ve had some good games, win or lose, we’ve played some tough competition really close, and then we’ve had some games where we haven’t made plays, lost some discipline in the box and kind of what you saw tonight,” said Regina coach Jake Koolbeck. “Kind of the good and the bad and the results kind of showed, which is which.”
Nibaur showed poise beyond her age in the first game as she kept the Mid-Prairie batters off balance by changing speeds and by consistently throwing strikes.
“Sometimes, I get a little nervous in tough situations, but I know my team is behind me and I trust them very much,” Nibaur said.
It helps Nibauer that she has a senior catcher in Maeve Dunne, a senior centerfield in Jess Hunter, a senior at second base in Lauren Marth and a senior in right field in Carrigan O’Connor. Their experience helps to give her confidence, which is key for a young pitcher.
“It helps so much,” Nibaur said. “I applaud the seniors. They’re so helpful. They’re so positive and they really help you through the thick and thin.
“And I know they have my back.”
Sophomore Kathryn Milder smacked a two-run double in the third inning to expand Regina’s lead to 5-1 in the first game.
Regina took an early 1-0 lead in the second game on a run-scoring single by eighth grader Courtney Kessler in the bottom of the first.
However, the Regals wouldn’t score again as Mid-Prairie sophomore Myah Lugar allowed just four hits while going the distance on the mound.
“She mixed speeds pretty well and we just lost discipline,” Koolbeck said. “We didn’t attack early on good strikes early in the count. And then when we got down in the count, we started guessing instead of kind of seeing it and making adjustments based on what we were seeing.”
Mid-Prairie was clinging to a 2-1 lead in the top of the seventh when Rylee Vercande and Jaselyn Robertson belted solo home runs to give Lugar some much-needed cushion.
Lugar then cruised through the bottom of the seventh as Mid-Prairie improved to 4-9 on the season.
Regina was trying to climb to .500 in the second game, but fell to 7-9 overall with the loss.
The Regals will receive a boost with the return of senior pitcher Katie Bracken. She missed Monday’s doubleheader while attending college orientation.
“We definitely missed her presence in the circle and missed her in the three spot (on offense), but we’ve got to be able to compete when one kid is missing,” Koolbeck said. “So it shouldn’t change our whole team, but obviously, it makes a little bit of a difference when you lose that senior in the circle that plays a big role in the circle and in our batting order.”
Mid-Prairie 001 001 0 – 2 5 3
Regina 032 000 x – 5 7 2
Cassidy Rourke and Kylee Kos; Emma Nibaur and Maeve Dunne
2B – ICR: Kathryn Milder
HR – M-P: Kylee Kos
Mid-Prairie 000 200 2 – 4 8 0
Regina 100 000 0 – 1 4 2
Myah Lugar and Rylee Vercande; Jaelynn Ernst and Maeve Dunne.
3B – M-P: Myah Lugar
HR – M-P: Rylee Vercande, Jaselyn Robertson
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