BY ETHAN LILLARD
FORT MADISON – Fort Madison softball played a double header earlier in the season against Mount Pleasant. The two contest were actually the first two losses on the season for the Bloodhounds, as the two losses dropped them to 1-2 on the year.
Fast forward to June 17 and again the Hounds and Panthers competed in a Southeast conference double header, this time on the Bloodhounds’ home diamond.
Much like the first go around, Mount Pleasant was able to come away with two wins in the two games, but unlike the first time the teams faced, Fort Madison lost by just two runs in both contest.
Game one started with both teams producing three-run innings. Two doubles combined with a single gave Mount Pleasant a 2-0 lead before the Hounds recorded the first out. Cassie Powers answered with back-to-back strikeouts, before another single brought in the third run of the inning.
Olivia Williams was hit by a pitch to put a runner on for Fort Madison to start the bottom of the first. Kylee Cashman moved Williams to second on a sacrifice bunt, before a Mount Pleasant fielding error put Williams at third. Ivy Geerdes had a sacrifice groundout for the Hounds’ first run, before a Powers double brought in Featheringill to cut the lead to 3-2.
Neeley Rehm came in to run for Powers and scored on a Mount Pleasant fielding error the next at bat, tying up the game at 3-3.
All of the runs in the game came from two innings of play, as the next runs weren’t scored until the top of the seventh inning with Powers holding Mt. Pleasant to just four hits from innings two through six. The seventh is when the Panthers’ bats got hot again.
A double, a walk and a single loaded the bases for Mount Pleasant in the top of the seventh. Another single to center field plated the final two runs of the game, as Mount Pleasant went on to take game one 5-3.
Geerdes and Powers had the lone RBIs for the Bloodhounds in game one. Powers tossed 115 pitches over seven innings, giving up 11 hits and five earned runs while striking out eight.
Fort Madison led through four innings in game No. 2.
Kylee Cashman came in to score on a wild pitch in the home-half of the first, providing the only run of the game through the first four innings. Katelyn Dennis was able to maintain the lead from the circle, starting off with two three-up, three-down innings before allowing her first hit in the third on a single.
Singles were the difference maker for Mt. Pleasant in game two, as the Panthers rallied with back-to-back singles in the top of the fifth with two outs. An error allowed one of the singles to turn into a run, before another single gave the Panthers the 2-1 lead. A double in the top of the sixth inning extended Mount Pleasant’s lead to 4-1.
Vanessa Golowach hit a double to try to keep things alive for Fort Madison in the bottom of the seventh, later coming in to score and make it a 4-2 game. The run was short lived, as Mount Pleasant retired the next three batters in order, coming away with the 4-2 victory and the sweep.
Williams collected the lone RBI for the Bloodhounds. Dennis was hit with the loss, throwing 101 pitches over seven innings, allowing seven hits and just one earned run while striking out seven.
The Hounds fall to 8-10 on the year and have lost their last four. They host Washington on Thursday night for a double header.