Kraus' no-hitter is Monti highlight

Pete Temple
Express Sports Editor

A no-hitter, lots of big Panther hits and two close games were part of the final week of the regular season for the Monticello High School softball team. 


Jaelynn Kraus pitched a no-hitter, with two strikeouts, as the Panthers dispatched Bellevue 15-0 in three innings July 1. 


“I thought she had good command of all her pitches,” Monticello coach Bret McDonald said. “She moved the ball really well and made them swing at her pitches.” 


The Panthers also put the bats to work against the Comets. Jordan Kuper hit a two-run homer, Jaelyn Kraus clouted a solo shot, Aspen Gillmore went 3-for-3 with a double and five runs batted in, Tori McDonald was 2-for- 3 with two doubles, and Maddie Fellinger drove in three runs. 


Monticello scored six runs in the top of the first inning, two in the second and seven in the third. 


“Bellevue is just a real young team,” coach McDonald said, “and we hit the ball real well.” 


That was a scheduled doubleheader, but thunderstorms moved into the Bellevue area and the second game was called off. 


The Panthers followed that with a couple of narrow losses. At Mid-Prairie July 3, in the final game of the River Valley Conference schedule, Monticello made a pair of big comeback attempts but fell short in an 8-7 loss. 


Mid-Prairie took a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the third inning, but the Panthers rallied with a single run in the fourth and three in the top of the sixth to tie it 4-4. 


The Golden Hawks answered with four in the bottom of the sixth to lead 8-4. Again the Panthers came back, scoring three in the top of the seventh, but wound up a run short. 


“We had a lot of people in scoring position, but we still can’t get that timely hit,” the coach said. “Mid-Prairie played really well.” 


Six Panthers had hits, including doubles by Sydney Hansen, Kraus and Gillmore. Hansen also stole two bases. Kraus pitched and took the loss. 


The Panthers traveled to play Vinton-Shellsburg in the final game of the regular season, a non-conference contest, and lost 10-8. The story was similar to the one at Mid-Prairie, with Monticello falling behind and rallying. V-S held leads of 3-1 after two, 7-4 after four and 10-6 after five. Monticello scored twice in the top of the seventh inning, but the Vikings held on. 


“That game went back and forth,” McDonald said. “We rallied late, but we didn’t hit the ball as consistently as we have.” 


Jordan Kuper had a big game at the plate, going 2-for- 3 with two doubles. Reese Cox and Kraus also doubled in the game. 


Kraus and Cox each pitched three innings, with Cox taking the loss.



 Monticello finished the regular season with a 13-22 record, including 5-13 in the River Valley.


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