Newton softball stays unbeaten after win over Pleasantville

May 26—It's not uncommon for a softball player to reach base three or more times in a game and then follow it up with an 0-for-4 performance.

That's just the way the game works, especially when hard contact can sometimes result in an out.

Mack Sims is off to a strong start this summer. She reached base three times and homered in the season opener against Grand View Christian and then went 0-for-4 against Marshalltown two nights later.

The momentum shifted back to Sims on Friday during a non-conference game against Class 2A Pleasantville and the Cardinal sophomore belted another homer, reached base five times and led the Newton softball team to a 13-3 home win over the Trojans.

"She had a bit of spin, but I just tried to find the right timing with her," Sims said. "The team did a great job overall in doing that."

Mack Sims

The Cardinals scored at least one run in all six of their at-bats, cranked out 15 hits and improved to 3-0 for the first time since winning their first eight games in 2018.

Newton also is 3-0 for just the second time since 2007.

"I'm very excited about the start. This is what we expect every night," Newton head softball coach Kory Leiker said. "They showed up and were ready to play. This is a good group and the sky's the limit."

Sims opened her night with a walk in the first inning. She then stole second, moved to third on a fly out to center by Sloan Brodersen and scored on an RBI sacrifice fly by Chloe Swank.

Sims added a two-run home run in the second and three straight singles in the fourth, fifth and sixth frames.

"The other night she was very down on herself at Marshalltown and really struggled that night," Leiker said. "But to come back and respond like that is something we like to see."

Sloan Brodersen

Newton (3-0) scored four runs in the second and three each in the fourth and sixth.

In the second, Paige Benson walked and reached second on a fielder's choice by Kadance Ahn. Both runners were safe on Pleasantville's only error of the night.

Before Sims' two-run homer, Ava Williams made it 2-0 with an RBI single and Haylie Ryan drove in another run with a fielder's choice.

The Cardinals scored a single run with two outs in the third. Benson reached on a fielder's choice. She eventually scored on a wild pitch.

Sims finished with four hits, but Ahn, Williams and Makenzly Brant all had two hits. Every single player in the Cardinals' starting lineup but one had at least one hit. Ryan didn't have a hit but scored two runs and had one RBI.

Newton sent nine batters to the plate in the fourth and scored three runs.

Brant began the frame with a double, Sims singled and both runners scored on a two-run double by Brodersen. Hailey Sumpter helped herself with an RBI double, too.

Kadance Ahn

Sims singled and stole second in the fifth and then scored on Swank's two-out RBI single.

The game ended early after the Cardinals reached the 10-run mercy rule with a three-run sixth.

All five Newton players recorded hits in the frame. Ahn reached on an infield single before Williams put two on base with another single. Viana Vasseau laced a pinch-hit RBI single back up the middle, Brant doubled again and Sims ended the night with a two-run single.

"They came out and hit the ball. You can't complain about almost every girl in the lineup getting at least one hit and no errors in the field," Leiker said. "This was one of the most complete wins we've had the past two seasons."

Sims led the Cardinals with four hits, four runs, four RBIs, three steals and one walk. The homer was her second of the season.

Brant doubled twice, Ahn finished with two hits, two runs and one steal and she was hit by one pitch and Williams tallied two hits, one walk and one RBI.

Brodersen and Swank both totaled one hit and two RBIs, Benson walked once, had one hit and scored two runs and Sumpter doubled, walked once and had one RBI.

Vasseau collected one hit and one RBI, Ryan scored two runs and had one RBI and Katelyn Lambert scored twice as a courtesy runner.

Hailey Sumpter

Sumpter improved to 3-0 on the season in the circle after allowing three earned runs on seven hits in six innings. She struck out six and hit one batter.

Sumpter's earned run average is now 2.80 and she's thrown all 20 innings so far this season.

"She's throwing well in the circle. We'll start seeing the other pitchers when we get into the doubleheaders," Leiker said. "I think she knows she's going to be a workhorse this year. She's well conditioned. We have a long weekend to recover."

Sims is leading the Cardinals offensively with two homers, eight runs, five steals and five hits and is tied for the team lead with five RBIs. Her batting average is sitting at .500 after three games.

"I love the confidence we have," Sims said. "We trust each other with the ball, trust the pitcher to throw strikes and trust the hitters to hit the ball in the spot it needs to go. It all goes into building the team and playing together."

Ella Clark led Pleasantville (3-1) with two hits and one run, Taylor Perkins had one hit and two RBIs and Kally Wysong and Danika Park each contributed one hit and one run.

The Trojans scored their first run in the first and then added a pair of runs in the fifth.

Notes: Sumpter pitched around traffic on the bases all night. Her only 1-2-3 frame was in the sixth. She gave up an infield single in the second, fanned three straight batters in the third after the first two Trojans reached and had a fairly clean fourth inning. ... Pleasantville started its season with a 10-0 win over Pella Christian and also defeated Panorama 13-2 twice. ... The Cardinals began the 2023 season 2-0 and 5-1. The 2018 team started 8-0 and finished 24-7.