Madi Huisman and the Ankeny Centennial softball team were ready for the start of CIML Central Conference play on Monday.
Huisman tossed a six-hitter and had five strikeouts as the Jaguars posted a 2-0 victory in the first game of a doubleheader at 10th-ranked Johnston. The Dragons then won the nightcap, 10-5, to earn a split of the twinbill.
“We played really well in the first game,” said Centennial coach Brett Delaney. “Madi threw seven shutout innings, which was really good to see her bounce back coming off a loss to Ottumwa (on Thursday).”
Centennial (3-4) took a 1-0 lead in the first inning, then added another run in the fifth. Lily King and Carleigh Kray each stole a base and scored a run for the Jaguars, who had just two hits in the win.
“We focused a lot on the little things,” Delaney said. “We found a way to move the runners over and a way to get them in. We always tell the girls, ‘Three good things will score a run,’ and we got three good things a couple of times. And we had a lot of great defense behind Madi, too.”
There was a 20-minute rain delay in the bottom of the seventh inning. When play resumed, the Jaguars quickly wrapped up the victory.
Huisman, a junior, evened her record at 2-2.
“Our girls handled (the delay) really well,” Delaney said.
In the nightcap, Johnston (3-5) scored three runs in the fifth inning to take a 6-2 lead. After Centennial cut its deficit in half in the top of the sixth, the Dragons put the game away with a four-run outburst in the bottom of the frame.
“We tried to claw our way back, but we could never get back on top of them after the second inning,” Delaney said. “We had one mental breakdown defensively, and that kind of cost us.”
Freshman Marissa Meyer hit her first varsity home run for the Jaguars. It was a two-run blast.
Ella Schulz doubled and drove in a run. Cassie Severson went 2-for-4, stole a base and scored two runs.
Sam Klug (0-1) took the loss.