Cardinals push Huskies to brink in 4A regional opener
DES MOINES — Playing their best softball of the 2013 season, Newton Senior High’s Cardinals did not go quietly into the night in their Iowa Class 4A regional tournament opener.
The Cardinals — a young team led by two seniors — pushed a senior-laden Des Moines Hoover High Huskies’ team right to the brink Thursday. They bowed out of the playoffs on a 2-1 loss.
First-year head coach Ashley Ryan has been touting that her team was playing better each outing through the final weeks of the regular season. The only regrets seniors Sarita Smith and Sarah Tingle have for the 2013 season are that it is over and they lost Thursday’s playoff game.
“As seniors, we knew we were going to come into this season struggling because we’re a young team,” said Smith, who plays center field, following the game. Newton finished 8-26. “A lot of the players, it was their first year to play varsity.
“Just as coach said, if we could watch a video of our first game of the season and one of tonight’s, we’d see the proof of our progress. We went into tonight’s game with our heads up and we were focused to be in this game and not just go through the motions and go home.”
For Newton’s right fielder Sarah Tingle, it was a good senior season.
“Our record doesn’t show it but I’m very proud of my teammates, especially how far the younger players have come this season. We’ve really bonded as a team and gotten so much better,” Tingle said.
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