When the Ankeny softball team erupted for eight runs in the first inning of Wednesday’s game against visiting Ballard, it looked like the Hawkettes were going to roll to a season-opening victory.
But the Bombers refused to go away.
Ballard scored four runs in the third inning, then rallied for five more in the seventh to post a 10-9 victory. Catcher Skylar Rigby homered twice and had five RBIs for the Bombers, who evened their record at 1-1.
“It was probably one of the most wild games I’ve ever been a part of to open the season,” said Ankeny coach Dave Bingham. “It was like a regional final atmosphere. Ballard had a lot of fans there, and they really wanted to beat us.”
Both teams were ranked in the preseason rankings. Ankeny is No. 12 in Class 5A, while Ballard is No. 11 in Class 4A.
In the first inning, the Hawkettes sent 13 batters to the plate.
“I don’t know that I’ve ever seen an inning like that to begin the season,” Bingham said. “And then we loaded up the bases in the second inning and really had a chance to blow it open, but then we just had a crazy double play to end the inning.”
Ballard started its comeback in the top of the next inning, pulling to within 8-5. Ankeny answered with a run in the bottom of the third, but the Hawkettes were unable to hold onto the lead.
“Give credit to Ballard. They’re going to be really good,” Bingham said. “I thought we had them in the seventh inning, but we just made some errors that we hadn’t made all game.”
Ankeny used two pitchers in the game, Shelbie Chambers and Paige Jacobsen. The Bombers pounded out 17 hits, six of them for extra bases.
“I’m confident that Shelbie and Paige will shut those games down as the season goes on,” Bingham said.
Anna Voigt led the Hawkettes’ offense. She went 3-for-4 and drove in three runs.
“We’re going to have a good season,” Bingham said. “It’s just going to take awhile.”