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Cubs shut out Norse on senior night

Nevada third baseman Peyton Messerli starts a throw to first after fielding a grounder in the Cubs’ 1-0 victory over Roland-Story on senior night at the SCORE Athletic Complex in Nevada July 3. Messerli drove in the only run of the game in the second inning.
Nevada third baseman Peyton Messerli starts a throw to first after fielding a grounder in the Cubs’ 1-0 victory over Roland-Story on senior night at the SCORE Athletic Complex in Nevada July 3. Messerli drove in the only run of the game in the second inning.
Nevada pitcher Alex Van Dam threw her first shutout of the season to defeat Roland-Story July 3.
Nevada pitcher Alex Van Dam threw her first shutout of the season to defeat Roland-Story July 3.

NEVADA – A change in scenery didn’t bother the Nevada softball team on senior night versus Roland-Story July 3.

The game was moved to the SCORE Athletic Complex due to poor field conditions at the high school field. The new park may have been just what Nevada needed as Cub pitcher Alex Van Dam tossed her first shutout of the season to lead her team to a 1-0 victory.

“It sure would’ve been nice to play on our home field; however, being here just seems an even more perfect way for this to happen,” Nevada head coach Tonya Van Dam said. “(Seniors) Alex and Kelsey (Haley) started their careers out here in Park and Rec softball. I would just like to say many thanks to the city crew for coming out here and working with the Nevada school district so well and having everything looking so nice for us today.”

Alex Van Dam tossed a three-hitter with three strikeouts and walks apiece.

Roland-Story put runners in scoring position during the fourth, fifth and sixth innings. But Van Dam was able to work around the adversity each time to keep the Norse off the scoreboard.

“For us just to stay in the game and for Alex to control the batters, that’s what it was about,” Tonya Van Dam said. “Making those little pop-ups and ground balls happen was key to our success today.”

In the top of the fourth inning, with Nevada holding a 1-0 lead, Roland-Story’s Jesslyn Coghlan drew a leadoff walk and Sam Reisinger followed by reaching on an error to put runners on second and third with no outs. But Van dam forced Schyler Polaski to fly out to left field and she caught Hailey Louw looking on strike to get two outs without either runner advancing.

Natalie Tryon then lined out to Nevada’s Skye Borton in center field for the final out.

In the top of the fifth, Jenna Clark reached on an error to lead things off for the Norse. Clark was sacrificed over to second and then took third on a ground out, but Van Dam coaxed Sydney Berends to fly out to right field for the final out, again keeping Roland-Story off the board.

In the Norse half of the sixth Coghlan led off with a single and Reisinger followed with a double down the third base line to again give Roland-Story runners on second and third with no outs. But just like in the fourth inning, Van Dam dug down deep to retire the next three batters.

Cub shortstop Abby Stephenson snared a liner by Polaski for the first out and Louw was called out on a bunt after the ball hit her in fair territory. Stephenson then corralled a fly ball by Bridget Concannon for the final out of the inning.

“I was really confident in our team,” Alex Van Dam said. “Our coaches preach to us to stay mentally tough and that’s what we did. I’m just really proud of my team tonight.”

Stephenson was the glue for Nevada defensively. The quick and athletic shortstop made five putouts and two assists without committing an error to help preserve the shutout.

“She’s come in and filled that position great,” Tonya Van Dam said. “She has great range on the field – she moves really well either direction. To have her swallowing up that spot is just working out in our benefit.”

Nevada scored the game’s only run in the bottom of the second inning.

Ellie Burlage reached on an error to start things off for Nevada. Madi Highland sacrificed her over to second and then Peyton Messerli connected for a single to score Burlage.

“It felt amazing to get the only score in for my teammates,” Messerli said. “I was glad we could stay tough defensively and offensively to have a win for our seniors.”

Burlage ended up 2-for-3 and Haley celebrated her final home game with a perfect 3-for-3 showing at the plate. The victory was Nevada’s third in five games to help the Cubs improve to 5-17 overall and 4-13 in the Heart of Iowa Conference.

Roland-Story finished 7-11 in the conference and the Norse dropped to 11-18 overall. Sydney Mathis took the loss as she allowed one earned run on six hits with two strikeouts and no walks and Reisinger, Coghlan and Concannon each ended up with one hit for the Norse.

Nevada 1, Roland-Story 0

R-S 000 000 0 – 0 3 1

N 010 000 0 – 1 6 2

R-S: Sydney Mathis and Brooke Staker

N: Alex Van Dam and Tanner Messerli

WP: Van Dam

LP: Mathis

2B: R-S – Sam Reisinger

GILBERT – A late rally came up short for Nevada against Gilbert July 2 at Gilbert as the Cubs were handed a 6-5 Heart of Iowa Conference loss by the Tigers.

Nevada trailed 5-1 after five innings. The game was knotted at 1-1 after one frame, but Gilbert scored two unanswered runs in the third and added two more scores in the fifth.

In the top of the sixth Nevada woke up offensively. The Cubs put four runs on the board to tie the score.

But Gilbert came back with a run in the bottom of the inning and Nevada was unable to answer in the seventh to end up on the losing end of the stick.

Nevada pounded out 13 hits in the loss. Kelsey Haley went 3-for-4 with a triple, walk, run and three RBI and Erica Helton was 3-for-4 with two doubles and an RBI to lead the way for the Cubs.

Skye Borton and Abby Stephenson both went 2-for-4 at the plate for Nevada. Stephenson also scored one run.

Ellie Burlage, Madi Highland and Peyton Messerli each singled once for Nevada. Burlage also drove in one run.

Madison Abraham walked and scored and Abby Van Dam and Jordan McKinney each scored once for the Cubs.

Alex Van Dam was the losing pitcher. She allowed six earned runs on 11 hits with one strikeout and no walks.

Gilbert 6, Nevada 5

N 100 004 0 – 5 13 NA

G 102 021 X – 6 11 NA

N: Alex Van Dam and Tanner Messerli

LP: Van Dam

2B: N – Erica Helton 2

3B: N – Kelsey Haley

SAYDEL – Nevada never got going against Saydel in a 13-1 loss to the Eagles July 1 at Saydel.

Nevada was the home team, but the game was moved to Saydel due to poor field conditions at the Nevada High School field. The Cubs were out of sync from the start, falling behind 7-1 after four innings and never regrouping.

Nevada had eight hits in the loss.

Kelsey Haley tripled and scored the lone Cub run in the first inning. Skye Borton drove Haley home and she ended up 1-for-3 on night.

Abby Stephenson finished 2-for-3 and Abby Van Dam, Erica Helton, Peyton Messerli and Tanner Messerli each had a single for the Cubs. Van Dam and Peyton Messerli also drew one walk a piece.

Alex Van Dam took the loss. She gave up 12 earned runs on 16 hits with two strikeouts and walks apiece in seven innings.

Annika Hofbauer struck out six and walked two in seven innings to get the win for Saydel. She also went 3-for-5 at the plate with a double and four RBI.

Liz Miklus went 4-for-4 with a home run, four runs and two RBI; Hannah Van Houten hit a solo home run; Lyndsay Bianchi doubled and drove in two runs and Taylor Steinkamp was 3-for-5 with two runs and a steal for the Eagles.

Saydel 13, Nevada 1

S 311 200 6 – 13 16 NA

N 100 000 0 – 1 8 NA

S: Annika Hofbauer and Mac Miller

N: Alex Van Dam and Tanner Messerli

WP: Hofbauer

LP: Van Dam

2B: S – Hofbauer, Lyndsay Bianchi

3B: N – Kelsey Haley

HR: S – Liz Miklus, Hannah Van Houten

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