NEW SHARON — The New London softball team didn’t make it easy on No. 15 North Mahaska on Wednesday night in New Sharon. The Tigers scrapped in a low-scoring battle, but had trouble pushing across runs when they reached base, and their season came to an end 3-1 in the regional quarterfinal round.
New London put the pressure on early. Sofie Reighard reached to begin New London’s half of the first inning, and she was eventually knocked in by Alexa Wenger to give the Tigers a 1-0 advantage.
Tiger starter Chloe Heitmeier threw six shutout innings in the loss, but one long fly ball was all North Mahaska needed, and they got that big fly in the third.
Junior second basemen Chloe Bossard entered the game with four home runs on the year, and No. 5 came at a rough time for New London. With two runners on in the third frame, Bossard launched a three-run homer to give the Warhawks a 3-1 lead, and it would be the last lead change of the game.
Neither New London nor North Mahaska could score in the later innings and the Warhawks moved on, getting revenge for a walk-off loss in last year’s postseason meeting in the process.
Layney Loyd and Lia Reighard each went 2-3 with a stolen base each to lead New London’s offense in the loss. Wenger went 1-3 with an RBI. Sofie finished 1-4 with a run scored, and Marha Hartrick went 1-4.
Heitmeier gave up three earned runs on 11 hits and two walks, while striking out one batter. She finished the year strong on the mound, giving up just four total runs over her last three games.
North Mahaska was led by Bossard, who finished 2-2 with a homer and three RBIs. Madison Mickay went 3-4 with a run scored on the mound, and gave up just one unearned run over seven innings, striking out four Tigers in the process.
New London will bring the bullk of their team back next season. The Tigers will lose starting pitcher Heitmeier as well as Kaylor Schulte, but the top seven hitters on the New London team are juniors or below.