'Explosive' Blue Raiders put an end to Panthers' season

Monticello shortstop Tori McDonald fields a grounder during the regional quarterfinal game at Anamosa July 15. (Photo courtesy of Daryl Schepanski, Anamosa Journal-Eureka)
Pete Temple
Express Sports Editor

     Monticello head softball coach Bret McDonald was just as impressed by the eighth-ranked Anamosa Blue Raiders the third time, if not more so.

     The Panthers faced Anamosa in the Class 3A, Region 7 quarterfinals July 15, and came up on the short end of a 9-0 score. The Raiders advanced to the regional semifinals with the win, while Monticello saw its 2020 season come to an end.

     It was the third matchup of the neighboring rivals, and the Blue Raiders controlled this game just as they had the first two.

     “Anamosa is just so explosive,” McDonald said. “You’ll get two outs on them and then they’ll string together four or five hits. Or, if you make a mistake, it seems like they always capitalize on that situation.”

     The Blue Raiders scored multiple runs in four different innings, while collecting 10 hits. Meanwhile, Monticello was held to one hit, an infield single by DeLainy Fellinger. Much of that was due to Anamosa pitcher Kalli Minger, who also struck out nine.

     “In the three games we played them, that was the best Kalli Minger pitched against us,” McDonald said. “She was really on.”

     The Panthers’ best chance to score came in the first inning, with a pair of two-out walks to Jaelyn Aitchison and Mallory Steiner. But Monticello was unable to bring a run across.

     In the bottom half, RBI singles by Emily Watters and Lexi Bright gave Anamosa an early 2-0 lead. A two-run single by Bright keyed a three-run third inning that pushed the Raider lead to 5-0. Anamosa then added a pair of runs in both the fifth and sixth innings to round out the scoring.

     The Panthers did have one defensive highlight, an over-the-shoulder catch by Aitchison near the fence in the sixth inning.

     Mallory Steiner was Monticello’s starting pitcher, and was relieved by Reese Cox. They each worked three innings.

     Monticello finished its season with a 2-11 record. But like most teams across Iowa, the Panthers were grateful to have a season at all during this era of the COVID-19 pandemic.

     “That’s the biggest thing,” coach McDonald said. “For five of our starters, this was their first full-time experience, and that was big for them. Getting the kids out and being able to play; that was a positive.

     “And our kids played hard. We got better as the season went along.”


July 15

Class 3A, Region 7


Anamosa 9, Monticello 0

MONTICELLO                            AB     R     H     BI

Roher 3b                                       3      0      0      0

Cox lf                                             3      0      0      0

Aitshison ss                                   1      0      0      0

Steiner p                                        2      0      0      0

Kramer cr                                       0      0      0      0

McDonald cf                                   2      0      0      0

Butterworth 1b                               3      0      0      0

Stahlberg dp                                   2      0      0      0

Van Dorn cr                                    0      0      0      0

Fangmann lf                                   1      0      0      0

Fellinger c                                      3      0      1      0

Hansen 2b                                     2      0      0      0

McQuillen rf                                   0      0      0      0

Totals                                           22     0      1      0

Monticello                   000  000  0   –    0      1      3

Anamosa                    203  022  x   –    9     10     0

LOB – Anamosa 6, Monticello 5.

Pitcher.                        IP      H     R    ER   BB   SO

Steiner (L, 0-1)              3      7      5      4      2      1

Cox                               3      3      4      1      1      0

Totals                           6     10     9      5      3      1



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