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Lady Spartans slugging their way to wins

Solon offense pounding out runs

SOLON– Offense is not a problem for the Lady Spartan varsity softball team.
Among those squads reporting statistics to Quik Stats Iowa (as of June 5), Solon ranked second in all classes for doubles (29), third in hits (152) and seventh in home runs (10).
The Lady Spartans have racked up 117 runs.
Thirteen of them came in a wild and wooly 13-10 win over Mount Vernon June 4 in Solon.
The Lady Spartans split with the Mustangs, who took the nightcap, 12-2, handing Solon its first loss of the season.
The Lady Spartans were the No. 5 team in Class 3A in the initial rankings released by the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union May 20, with the Mustangs No. 10.
In the opener, Solon broke open a 2-2 tie in the bottom of the fourth inning. Freshman Jada Buffington, junior Kayla West and senior Taylor Ryan singled to load the bases and sophomore Monet Barnhouse doubled home Buffington and courtesy runner Payton Haasl.
That’s when incoming freshman Hilary Wilson, the team’s leader in doubles (seven) and co-leader in runs-batted-in (18), swatted her first home run of the season off Mount Vernon freshman Jenna Sprague over the fence in left field to give Solon a 7-2 lead.
Senior Skylar Stookey went back-to-back with a solo shot to left to make it 8-2.
But that was not a comfortable lead.
The Mustangs stormed back with eight runs in the top of the fifth to take a 10-9 lead off Solon starter Kayla West, who gave up 10 runs on eight hits while striking out six and walking two over six innings.
The score stayed that way until the bottom of the seventh when Solon rallied for four runs and a 13-10 win.
Stookey homered twice in the game with three RBI. Ryan was 3-5 at the plate with a triple and three RBI. Senior Taylor Moore was 3-4 with two doubles.
The Lady Spartans amassed 15 hits in the win.
Solon could only manage two runs in the nightcap against Mount Vernon’s Summer Brand. Brand fanned eight Lady Spartans and walked none.
Solon had managed a 2-1 lead going into the third, but the Mustangs roughed up the Lady Spartan defense for nine runs in the third and tacked on two more insurance runs for the 12-2 win.
Solon ended May with doubleheader sweeps on the road at Maquoketa and South Tama.
In Maquoketa May 31, the Spartans took the opener 8-3 then lit up the Cardinals for 27 hits in a 16-8 victory.
Freshman Carly Ellison took the win on the mound, throwing a complete game on 73 pitches. Ellison struck out one and walked one while giving up eight runs on 10 hits.
Most of that damage came in the second inning, when the Lady Spartans had spotted Ellison to a 9-0 lead. Maquoketa came back with six runs in the bottom of the inning. Solon tacked on runs in each inning but the fifth to run away with the win.
Seven Lady Spartans had multiple hits, including Ryan, who was 6-6 with five runs scored. Wilson was 3-6 with two doubles and four RBI, while freshman Ava Stebral was 5-5 with a double. Freshman Elyse Rios was 2-5 with a double and three RBI.
Solon slugged four doubles and a triple in the 8-3 win. The Lady Spartans broke out to a 4-0 first-inning lead and Maquoketa didn’t score against starter West until the bottom of the seventh. West struck out 13 and walked one while allowing four hits.
Barnhouse had a triple and three RBI, freshman Camryn Keith had two doubles and scored twice, and Ryan was 3-5 with four stolen bases.
Solon outscored South Tama 22-1 in a doubleheader road sweep May 29.
The Lady Spartans pounded out 14 hits, including three doubles (all by Stookey) and a triple, in the 11-0 opener and went back to the well for 15 hits, including three doubles and a Stookey home run, in the 11-1 nightcap. Both games were completed in five innings.
Junior Peyton Sands pitched four innings, allowing one run on two hits while striking out three and walking one batter in the 11-1 win. Ellison pitched an inning of relief.
West held South Tama hitless in the shut out, striking out 11 batters and walking one.