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Roaring back from 0-2

Lady Spartans on a six-game tear Solon sweeps home opener against CPU

SOLON– There’s nothing like home cooking.
After dropping the first two games of a condensed season at West Delaware June 15, Solon High School’s varsity softball team returned to the friendly confines at home and promptly erased the opening day memory with six straight double-digit wins.
The Lady Spartans opened the home stand with a doubleheader against Center Point-Urbana (CPU) June 17, rolling up 11-1 and 12-0 victories. On Friday, June 19, Solon swept Maquoketa 15-3 and 10-0, and at a weekend triangular Saturday, June 20, the Lady Spartans lapped Union Community 12-2 and Durant 12-0.
Solon, however, was not included in the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union’s June 18 rankings.
West Delaware was, coming in at No. 7 in Class 4A after handing Solon the two-opening day losses.
The Lady Spartans managed only two runs in the two games against the Hawks, falling 8-1 in the first game of the season and 5-1 in the nightcap at Manchester.
The lone run in the first game came from senior Peyton Sands, who plated freshman Hilary Wilson in the third inning. It was actually a short-lived lead for Solon, as the Hawks came back for three runs in the bottom of the inning off Lady Spartan starter Kendall Jensen, an incoming freshman. Jensen threw five innings for Solon, allowing five earned runs on eight hits.
The Lady Spartans were down 4-0 in the nightcap before scoring in the top of the sixth inning. Sophomore Jada Buffington’s RBI pushed Wilson across the plate again, but West Delaware would tack on an additional run for the 5-1 win.
Sophomore Carly Ellison and senior Kayla West combined for Solon on the mound.
But when the Lady Spartans took to the field at home against CPU, it was a different story.
Solon struck early and often, taking a 3-0 first-inning lead in game one and scoring at least two runs in the next three innings.
Ellison, West and Jensen all spent time on the mound, allowing a combined four hits and a single earned run over five innings.
Ellison also contributed on offense, with a double, a triple and three RBI to lead the team. Six other Lady Spartans– Wilson, junior Sarah Heick, Sands, senior Jadyn Jeter, junior Monet Barnhouse and sophomore Ava Stebral– had multiple-hit games. Barnhouse, Stebral and Wilson each had two RBI. Solon batted an impressive .600 in 25 at-bats.
Solon dispatched the Stormin’ Pointers in three innings in the nightcap, taking a 2-0 lead in the first and then rattling off five runs each in the second and the third.
Wilson clubbed her first homer of the season to go with two singles and finished with two RBI. Ellison again was a run-producer with four RBI and two singles, while Barnhouse and Jeter each added two RBI. Buffington was 3-3 with three runs scored.
Ellison claimed the win, allowing two hits and no runs over the three-inning affair.

The momentum continued against Maquoketa.
The Lady Spartans knocked 15 hits against the Cardinals in the first game and 10 in the second.
Maquoketa actually took an early two-run lead in the first inning off Solon’s Kayla West, and the game was tied 3-3 heading into the third inning. The Lady Spartans responded with 12 unanswered runs in the next two innings to ice the game in four.
West picked up the win, allowing a single earned run on six hits while striking out three.
West and Stebral each had four RBI, while Heick added three RBI.
In the nightcap, Ellison, Jensen and the Solon defense held Maquoketa off the scoreboard, allowing four hits over six innings. Ellison struck out three, Jensen two. Each gave up two hits.
The offense, meanwhile, added to an early 1-0 lead with three runs in the second and four in the third inning. Two more runs were tacked on in the home half of the sixth.
Stebral had a single, a double and four RBI, while Sands and Heick each had two RBI. Wilson and Barnhouse each had two-hit games as well.

The winning streak extended to six with weekend wins over Union and No. 15 (2A) Durant.
Solon didn’t allow Union on the board until the sixth inning when the Lady Spartans were ahead by eight, and Solon added four more runs after that for the 12-2 win.
Ellison and senior Madison Sprague combined for the win. Ellison struck out four and walked one while allowing a single hit and no runs over five innings.
Solon blasted 17 hits, including a single, a home run and four RBI for Wilson. The Lady Spartans hit six doubles, including two by Heick, who went 4-4 at the plate.
Solon scored 12 runs on 13 hits in the shutout of Durant later in the day, with West and Jensen pitching four innings of scoreless ball, allowing just one hit each. West struck out four.
Heick and West each had three RBI, with Barnhouse and Ellison each contributing two. Barnhouse had two of the team’s six doubles. The others belonged to Ellison, Jeter, Heick and West.