Danica Workman

Danica Workman beats the throw home in last Thursday’s game against Knoxville. (Terry Simmons photo)

Knoxville’s Ashlyn Finarty, an 8th grader with a bright future is not a bad high school pitcher. Chariton’s senior Grace Bengston, who has 76 strikeouts on the season, is not a bad pitcher.

The problem for these two South Central Conference pitchers is that they have had to face the Albia Lady Dee softball team in one of the most remarkable hitting sprees in the history of the sport in Albia.

The Lady Dees knocked around Finarty for 10 hits and 16 runs last Thursday, scoring a 16-4 win in three innings. It took a half inning less to drop Chariton on Monday’s senior night game with the Dees pounding Bengston for 12 hits and 14 runs in just two innings.

The Dees didn’t play into the bottom of the third because Jena Lawrence was pitching a one-hitter with Chariton’s lone score coming in the top of the second. Lawrence retired the Chargers without a run in the third.

The Lady Dees have a team batting average of .402. Their number nine hitter, Ellie Spurgin, went two for two with two runs scored and two RBI Monday. She was 2-3 with a double and three RBI against Knoxville.

Rylee Leshen, the Dee’s senior third baseman, was mired in a slump throughout the first part of the season. Her average has risen from a buck fifth to .204 in the last week. Against Knoxville she had two hits including a double and three RBI while scoring three times. Against Chariton she doubled and drove in a run in two trips to the plate.

Check out the averages and what young Finarty and the veteran Bengston had to look at on the mound. Albia leadoff, Kennedy Schroeder is hitting .516. She was 1-1 against Knoxville and 3-3 against Chariton with a double and three RBI. Hitting second is Makenna Ross, batting .370. Ross had a rare hitless game against Knoxville but was 1-2 with a double, two RBI and two runs scored against Chariton.

Alex Beard hits third, batting .569 with seven home runs on the season. Playing with a broken ring finger on her right hand (the plight of catchers everywhere), Beard smashed an RBI single against Knoxville and was 2-3 with a double and two RBI against Chariton.

Knoxville chose to intentionally walk Beard last Thursday, only to run into her battery mate, Jena Lawrence, batting .450. Lawrence was 2-2 with three RBI against Knoxville and ripped a double in two at bats against Chariton. Sophomore MacKenna Jones is hitting in the five spot with a .439 average. She walked and scored against Knoxville and was 2-2 with a double against Chariton scoring twice.

Batting sixth is Abbey Griffin with a .367 average. Griffin was 1-1 with two RBI and three runs scored against Knoxville and was clunked by a pitch to drive in a run against Chariton. In the seven spot is Abbie Martin, batting .391. Martin ripped a two-run double against Knoxville and scored against Chariton after hitting into an error.

We’ve already covered the Dees #8 and #9 hitters.

On a current 12-game win streak, the Dees have scored 19, 17, 8, 8, 11, 11, 7, 13, 16 and 14 runs. They have accumulated 226 hits and 159 RBI on the season as a team.

Lawrence picked up both wins on the mound.

“We’ve seen a lot of good pitching, but I don’t think we’ve run into that dominant pitcher yet this season,” said Coach Darren Hill. “We were really disappointed when they cancelled the Pella Christian Tournament because we might have seen the Jacobsen kid from Humboldt. From the beginning of the season until now, our kids have become really patient at the plate. We’re not swinging at first pitches and we’re not popping up much. Teams aren’t able to pitch around us.”

The Dees have a busy week as they attempt to defend their South Central Conference title. The team traveled to Clarke on Tuesday. The Indians were tied with Albia for the conference lead with a 7-1 record and games to make up with Centerville and Davis County. Their game against Knoxville on Monday was not reported on Quik Stats.

Albia heads to Centerville on Thursday before completing a suspended game (Albia was leading 12-5 in the Osky tournament game) against Sigourney on Friday and playing the Savages in a seven-inning affair immediately following.

The Dees are 18-3 and jump a spot in the rankings to seventh in Class 3A.

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