Midland splits six games to open season



     Midland came out even after the first six games of this high school baseball season.

     The Eagles (2-3 conference, 3-3 overall) opened the season with a home doubleheader against Tri-Rivers Conference opponent Bellevue Marquette May 24. Midland won a dramatic opening game with a walkoff, bases-clearing double by Matt Sauer to win 5-4. Zain Sauer hit a two-run single in the third inning, and finished 2-for-4. He also pitched for the win, working 3 2/3 innings in relief of starter Warren Etten, striking out seven and allowing no runs on one hit.

     “We played a pretty complete game for the opener,” Midland coach Josh Soper said.

     Marquette won the second game 13-4, holding Midland to five hits. D.J. Soper went 2-for-3, and Zain Sauer was 2-for-4 with two RBIs.

     “We saw a pretty good pitcher in this game and struggled to put the ball in play consistently,” coach Soper said.

     On June 1, the Eagles played a single game at North Linn, and lost 12-3. Midland had five hits, including a double by Iziek Soper.

     Next, Midland played at Maquoketa Valley June 2, and lost 7-6 as MV scored twice in the bottom of the seventh.

     “In the end, we could not get the final three outs to secure a victory,” the coach said.

     Midland had 17 hits. Zain Sauer went 4-for-5 with two doubles and two RBIs. D.J. Soper had three hits, while Aaron Bixler, Carson Hunter and Etten had two apiece.

     The Eagles followed with a pair of wild, high-scoring games. First, they played host to Starmont June 3 and won 21-15. Zain Sauer went 3-for-4 with a double and five runs batted in. Bixler was 3-for-4 with a double and four RBIs. Hunter was the winning pitcher.

     Then, Midland scored a 22-13 win at Bellevue June 4. This time the Eagles had 19 hits. Zain Sauer was 4-for-6 with a home run. Iziek Soper had a homer and totaled five RBIs. Ethan Paulsen drove in four runs, and Matt Sauer knocked in three. Jamisen Dodge pitched six innings of relief to get the win.



     Midland had three wins in the 2020 softball season, but this year’s Eagles are two-thirds of the way there already this year.

     The Eagles (1-5 conference, 2-9 overall) picked up a pair of wins in their season-opening 11-game stretch.

     Midland started out with a home loss to Grundy Center May 24, by a score of 5-3. Gracie Harrington went 3-for-3 at the plate. Rashelle Cole pitched and took the loss.

     On May 29, the Eagles participated in the Central City Tournament, going 1-2 for the day. Midland lost 11-1 to Central City, getting just one hit, a single by Gracie Franzen.

     Against Clayton Ridge, the Eagles lost 10-4. Harrington went 2-for-2.

     Midland then picked up its first win of the season, an 11-3 decision over New London. Rashelle Cole pitched five innings to get the win, striking out four. Mariah Hacke and Harrington each had two hits. Anna Bartels had a double.

     At North Linn June 1, the Eagles lost by scores of 13-0 and 22-0, both in three innings. Franzen had the lone Midland hit in the first game. Kyla Cole and Harrington had singles in the nightcap.

     Next came a doubleheader split at Maquoketa Valley June 2. Midland won the first game 6-5, scoring three runs in both the fifth and sixth innings. Bartels pitched all seven innings for the win, fanning six. Scoring two runs apiece were Kyla Cole, Kaylee Atkinson and Sophia Coates.

     In the second game, MV won 13-1 in four innings, holding Midland to four hits.

     On June 3, the Eagles played host to Starmont in a non-conference doubleheader, and lost 11-1 in five innings and 9-7. Midland had three hits in the first game, including doubles by Allison Paulsen and Harrington.

     Kyla Cole went 2-for-4 with two RBIs in the second game. Franzen hit a double.

     Midland then played at Bellevue June 4, and lost 11-10. The Eagles scored four times in the top of the seventh to take a 10-9 lead, but the Comets answered with two in the bottom half. Rashelle Cole, Harrington, Franzen, Paulsen and Coates each had two of the team’s 13 hits. Paulsen had a double and two RBIs.



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