Mustangs dispose of Hawks with solo dinger in 8th

JEWELL – Nine hits, including three from Carly Swenson, and a pitching masterpiece from Brittany Nicholson should have been enough to get the South Hamilton softball team a victory Friday night at the Mike Penning Athletic Complex.

But the Hawks stranded a slew of runners on the bases – five in scoring position alone – and were never able to push a run across in a 1-0, 8-inning Heart of Iowa Conference loss to Prairie City-Monroe.

The Mustangs (12-11, 8-4 HOIC) plated the game’s only run on a solo home run to left field by Abigail Gilson in the top of the eighth. It was only their second hit off Nicholson, who struck out seven and walked five.

“It was a really great game, one of the best battles we’ve fought all year,” South Hamilton head coach Laura Read said. “Our defense is playing really well right now, so it’s just a matter of putting some runs together.”

Swenson belted a double and two singles for the Hawks (5-13, 2-9 HOIC). Ella Jans added two singles; Nicholson, MacKenzie Busch, Alyssa Hegland and Kayla Lucas all had one.

SH SOFTBALL 4th AT OWN INVITE: South Hamilton beat Southeast Webster-Grand (3-1) and then lost to ninth-ranked (Class 3A) Iowa Falls-Alden (4-2) and No. 8 (3A) Interstate-35 (10-3) to place fourth at its own invite in Jewell on Saturday.

Adi Wintermote struck out three, and Brittany Nicholson ripped two doubles and drove in two runs in the win over SEW-G.

“I thought we played really good ball up until that last inning against I-35 (the Hawks gave up seven runs),” South Hamilton head coach Laura Read said. “I think we’re right where we need to be.”