Washington Evening Journal
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Neighbors Growing Together | Jul 23, 2014

Hawks fly through first round

By Aaron Viner | Jul 09, 2014
Mid-Prairie’s Emma Troyer went 1-for-3 with a three-RBI double and a walk during the Golden Hawks’ 11-1 district playoff victory over Louisa-Muscatine in six innings.

It didn’t take long for Mid-Prairie to get started in the playoffs.
The Mid-Prairie softball team jumped early and often on Louisa-Muscatine, as the Golden Hawks earned the 11-1 victory in six innings to advance to the regionals, where they will face Williamsburg.
“It’s a good feeling, because in the first game you might have district jitters, and you are so nervous,” Mid-Prairie pitcher Taylor Kurtz said. “Now we can take a deep breath and relax to focus on who we play next.”
In the bottom of the first inning, Mid-Prairie loaded the bases with its first three batters, and first baseman Emma Troyer drove them all home with a one-out double to give her team a 3-0 lead.
“Our mentality from the beginning was just to get ahead,” Mid-Prairie coach Kara Beatty said. “Our one and two hitters have so much speed and are so hard to get out, and then with Amber in the three spot, it’s unbelievable for a right-handed hitter to hit for .600 almost, and she’s got so much power and is so
clutch.”
After picking up the lead, the Golden Hawks didn’t look back.
In the third inning, Mid-Prairie brought Chelsea Kral and Whitney Christiansen around to score, and in the fourth Amber Kral tripled in Duwa. Kral later scored on a passed ball, along with Troyer to open up an eight-run lead.
A double by Amber Kral in the fifth gave the Hawks a 9-0 lead.
After a Louisa-Muscatine run crossed in the sixth, Chelsea Kral and Ashley Sojka started the bottom of the inning off with back-to-back singles. Kral came around to score on a passed ball, while Sojka scored on a wide throw from the third baseman to end the game.
Troyer led the way for the Demons with three RBIs, while Amber Kral went 2-for-3 with two RBIs and two runs scored.
Despite the large offensive performance, the Golden Hawks were only able to capitalize on their four bases-loaded opportunities once, leaving a total of 10 runners on base.
“We did leave a lot of baserunners on, and with less than two outs and runners in scoring position, we have to find a mental toughness at the plate,” Beatty said. “We did have some jitters tonight and a little bit of nervousness at the plate, but going forward, the girls understand when we do have those moments, they are going to have to find a way to put the ball in play.”
Troyer led the team with three RBIs, while Lexi Duwa, Amber Kral and Chelsea Kral each notched multi-hit games for Mid-Prairie.
It was also a good night defensively for the Golden Hawks. After a leadoff single, Kurtz was able to shut down Louisa-Muscatine, striking out seven batters.
“We gave up that hit at the beginning of the game, but then she really settled down and retired 14 straight after that,” Beatty said. “She did an awesome job getting ahead of the count right away and controlling batters.”
On the night, Kurtz only allowed five baserunners on three hits, a walk and an error, with the only run allowed coming in the top of the sixth inning on a
double.
“There were some nerves and I told myself to take a deep breath,” Kurtz said. “I just need to hit my spots and I know I have a good defense behind me, and that’s what calmed me down. I know the girls behind me know what they are going to do.”
Mid-Prairie opponent in the next round, Williamsburg, is coming off a 9-5 district win over West Liberty. The two teams met earlier in the year, on June 27, and ended with Mid-Prairie winning in five innings, 10-0.
In that game, Troyer picked up three RBIs, Kurtz launched a homerun and Amber Kral had two RBIs.
Troyer tossed five scoreless innings for Mid-Prairie in the game, allowing only three hits.
The game will take place at Mid-Prairie Middle School in Kalona on Friday at 7 p.m.

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