Edwards, Van Veen pace Mustangs to victory to open 3A regional play
MONROE — With senior Payge Edwards in control from the pitching circle, Prairie City- Monroe High teammates sophomore Makenna Van Veen and junior Abigail Gilson fueled the Mustang offense in Tuesday’s Iowa Class 3A opening round regional softball game.
The Mustangs powered past visiting Nevada High’s Cubs 11-1 in six innings. It was a seven-run outburst in the bottom of the sixth that put the game on ice and propelled the Mustangs into the next round of the regional tournament.
Van Veen went long-ball, small-ball against the Cubs. The junior left fielder already had a single in the game, which the Mustangs turned into a run in the second inning, when she stepped to the plate to lead off the fourth for PCM.
“I was hitting really well tonight. Our hitting has been strong this year and we’ve really been working on that,” Van Veen said. Van Veen’s fourth home run of the season was a solo shot that got out over the left field fence quickly.
That run answered Nevada’s single run in the top of the fourth. The Cubs had used two singles and a sacrifice bunt to score. The Mustangs led 4-1 at the end of four complete innings.
It was a Van Veen bunt single with one out to begin the ending for the game. She got the bunt down in the sixth and her teammates began ripping the softball.
“We struggled at the plate early against her (Nevada’s Alex Van Dam). We finally began attacking the pitches at the end but she (Van Dam) pitched a good game,” said Mallory Grove, PCM’s first-year head coach.
Senior Kelsey Townsend ripped her second double of the night to the left-field corner and Shelby Palm connected for an RBI single. Nevada tried to get the ball home but Townsend followed Van Veen in to score on the play and Palm ended up at third base.
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