BY PCC STAFF
FORT MADISON – The No. 10 team in the state in Class 4A handed Fort Madison a shutout in the first game of a doubleheader Tuesday. But the Lady Hounds gave Fairfield all they wanted in the nightcap coming up one run short resulting in a 10-0, 6-5 sweep in Fort Madison.
Fort Madison had a runner on with two outs in the bottom of the seventh of the second game trying to tie things up, but a Kylee Cashman grounder to second ended the game.
The Hounds took a 3-0 lead in the second inning when Lexi Whaley drilled one over the fence in dead center. Erika Kruse would reach on a error at second and then Lauryn Helmick doubled on a line drive to center moving both runners into scoring position.
McKenna Cashman hit an RBI groundout to second scoring Kruse and moving Helmick up. Allyson Helmick would then drive in her sister with a grounder to short for the second out, before Taylor Johnson flied out to center to end the inning.
Fairfield would get one in the third and one in the fourth while holding Fort Madison scoreless cutting the lead to 3-2 after four.
Lauryn Helmick would give up back-to-back singles in the fifth with one out, but would work out of the jam without giving up a run. Fort Madison would get its lead-off runner on as a result of an error, but the Trojans retired the next three in a row to get out unscathed.
Helmick retired the side in order in the sixth.
Kylee Cashman grounded out to start the bottom half before Logan Johnson drew a walk. Whaley then drilled her second homer of the game, and 10th of the year, scoring courtesy runner Aija Jenkins for 5-2 Fort Madison lead. Kruse would fly out to right before Lauryn Helmick walked on five pitches. But McKenna Cashman would pop out in the infield to end the inning.
The Trojans got to Helmick in the top of the seventh, however. Brynley Allison singled to open the frame, and then Hannah Simpson drilled a shot out over the centerfield fence to cut the lead to one at 5-4. A flyout out to center, put the Hounds two outs away from the upset, but Emersyn Manley connected on a shot that cleared the centerfield fence to tie things up at 5.
Peyton McCabe and Danielle Breen would follow with singles, but an error on Breen’s hit allowed McCabe to come all the way from first for the go-ahead run. Savannah Hollander singled to center moving Breen to third, but a pop up in foul territory and a fly ball to Taylor Johnson in left ended the half setting up the Hounds final shot.
Whaley’s line was 2-for 3 with two runs scored and 3 RBI on the two homers to lead Fort Madison. Emily Steffensmeier, Kylee Cashman, Logan Johnson and Lauryn Helmick all had hits for Fort Madison. McKenna Cashman and Allyson Helmick had RBIs.
Lauryn Helmick gave up 14 hits and six runs all earned while striking out two in the loss.
In the opener, Neeley Rehm got roughed up for 10 runs, nine earned on 14 hits while striking out four. Sophomore Coty Engley gave up just two hits in the shutout while striking out five and walking two.
Kylee Cashman and Kruse had the hits for Fort Madison. Cashman’s a single in the bottom of the first with one out, while Kruse doubled to center with one out in the second. Lauryn Helmick and Kendall Beebe drew back-to-back walks to put two on with one out in the fifth, but Helmick would get caught stealing third to end the inning.
Fort Madison wouldn’t get another base runner after that.
Fort Madison fans recognized Kylee Cashman, Allyson Helmick, and Kendall Beebe prior to the game for senior night.
The Hounds fall to 13-18 on the year and 7-11 in Southeast Conference play putting them in 4th place ahead of Keokuk and Mt. Pleasant. The girls travel to Keokuk for a doubleheader tonight and then start Class 4A Region 5 action Thursday in Burlington with a 7 p.m. start.