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Knights’ rough week capped off by losses to Denver

June 27, 2019
CJ Eilers - Editor ( , Dysart Reporter

The Union softball team emerged this past week 0-5 as the Knights head into the final stretch of their regular season with issues to address.

After two losses 11-0 and 11-1 against fourth-ranked Columbus Catholic on June 19, the Knights hosted a South Tama squad with two wins under the belt, presenting an opportunity for the home team looking for their first victory in La Porte. Quickly finding themselves down 2-1 in the first inning, the Knights defense collapsed due to stacking errors against the Spartans' offense, putting up two and seven runs in the subsequent innings to take the game in five innings.

"That game was not the best of us," coach Laurie Driscol said. "It shouldn't have been a struggle for us, but we weren't making basic defensive plays."

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Junior Natalie Tecklenburg has drawn praise from the coaching staff for her versatility this season playing catcher, pitcher and short stop this season.

Looking to move past their loss, the Knights next hosted Denver for a doubleheader on

Monday, June 24. Union stood their ground down 3-1 in the first five innings before five runs in the sixth "blew up a decent game."

"We have that one inning we can't put a stop on it and the game goes haywire for us," Driscol said.

The Knights would switch things up in the second game of the evening, putting Natalie

Tecklenburg in the circle and throwing the Cyclone's offense out of sorts. Runs by Allie Driscol, Tecklenburg and Jocelyn Gates gave Union a 3-0 lead before an injury forced the Knights to revert back to their first lineup with Sarah Roberts pitching.

"I'd clone Natalie three times because she does an excellent job pitching, fantastic behind the plate and put her at short stop," Driscol said. "She does what we need defensively with keeping the ball where it needs to be and offensively hitting well for us."

Denver shot back with three runs off Union errors to tie the game up. The Cyclones would continue to take advantage of errors via pitching or fielding to go up to seven runs before Driscol responded with her second run of the evening. A promising defensive stand in the sixth was washed away by three quick outs for the Knights in the bottom of the innings and two additional Denver runs as Union were unable to respond in the final innings to loss 9-4.

"We held on even after the change we made, but these games seem to get away from us," Driscol said. "The floodgates open and we miss the basics: throwing, catching. Right now, we're struggling in those areas."

In their five losses, the Knights put up seven total runs to 50 runs scored by opponents. Union will look to regroup during the last doubleheader against Sumner-Fredericksburg on Thursday, June 27 before ending their season on the road against Don Bosco on Friday, June 28 and North Tama on Tuesday, July 2.

"The message is simple: stick to the basics," Driscol said. "If we make the outs we should, then we don't have those floodgate innings."

The Knights are currently 4-13 on the season.



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