Fans of the Greene County Rams making the long trips to PCM on Friday night might have been left uttering the saying made famous by major league baseball Hall of Famer Yogi Berra; “It’s Deja Vu all over again.” Greene County lost in Monroe to PCM 4-3 in softball, and about 30 minutes later, Greene County lost to PCM in Prairie City in baseball, also by a 4-3 final. In both games, the Mustangs scored the winning runs on two-out doubles in the bottom of the seventh inning.
The softball game featured teams that collected at least a share of the Heart of Iowa Activities Conference title in 2012 and again in ’13, and both figure to be contenders again this season. A solo homer by Abby Gilson in the first inning gave the Mustangs a 1-0 lead that held up until the top of the fifth when the Rams scored two unearned runs with two outs for a 2-1 advantage. The lead grew to 3-1 in the sixth on another unearned run and the scored stayed 3-1 until the bottom of the seventh inning when PCM scored three times to win the game. The Rams were up 3-2 with runners at second and third with two outs when second baseman Molly Vignavich doubled to the gap in right center for the game winner.
The loss was a tough one for Coach Tom Kennedy’s team and pitcher Marissa Promes. She entered the contest with 18 strikeouts and no walks in the first two games and issued just one walk prior to the seventh inning on Friday night. But PCM batters drew a pair of bases on balls in the seventh inning. For the game, the junior finished with nine strikeouts, three walks, and she hit a batter with a pitch.
Greene County stranded eight base runners vs. winning pitcher Kayla Jennings, who had four strikeouts and two walks. Both pitchers allowed five hits. Junior Bailey Godwin doubled to the dirt behind third base in the two-run fifth for the only extra base hit for the Rams. Junior Emma Saddoris singled twice while juniors Emily Christensen and Hannah Onken each had singles.
The Rams are 2-1 overall and in the HOIAC while PCM is 3-0 overall and in the conference. The Mustangs went the first 18-2/3 innings of the season without giving up a run, and they still have not allowed an earned run. Greene County plays today in the Ogden tournament (weather permitting) vs. a trio of Class 4A teams in Boone, Webster City, and Carroll, in that order. Game time is 9 a.m.
In baseball, senior Wes Tipton made his varsity pitching debut and he exceeded expectations by all accounts. The tall right hander did not allow an earned run in his 6-2/3 innings of work. The Mustangs had four hits and walked three times. Tipton recorded three strikeouts.
The winning run for PCM scored on a two-out double to right center that brought around a runner from first base. The Rams had some trouble picking the ball up cleanly at the fence, but may not have had a play at the plate regardless. The frame started with the fifth of five Greene County errors when a fly ball to shallow left field was dropped.
The Rams led 1-0 in the top of the fifth, but PCM scored three times in the bottom of the frame to lead 3-1. Greene County bounced back to tie the game 3-3 with two runs in the sixth. There were only seven hits combined in the contest with three by the Rams. Junior Jordan Challen had two singles and junior Dylan McConnell added a base hit. Junior Colton Fitzpatrick and sophomore Tyler Beger each batted in a run. PCM had two errors. The Mustangs improved to 2-1 overall and in conference play while the Rams fell to 1-2 overall and in the league. Greene County pitchers have thrown three complete games in the first week of the season and have not allowed more than four runs in any of the first three games despite 13 combined errors by the Ram defense.
Greene County’s baseball team is off until Monday, June 2 when the Rams are scheduled to meet Colfax-Mingo at Allensworth Field in Jefferson. The varsity game is set for 7:30 p.m. with coverage on KG98 beginning around 7:15 p.m.