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Rebels’ run ended by Colfax-Mingo

Gladbrook-Reinbeck matches program’s deepest run

July 17, 2016
ROSS THEDE - Central Iowa Press , Reinbeck Courier

CONRAD - The Gladbrook-Reinbeck softball team endured a 5-17 regular season only to find itself two wins from the state tournament.

A season-best three-game win streak would have advanced the Rebels farther than any previous team in program history, but Colfax-Mingo wouldn't allow it.

The 12th-ranked TigerHawks pitched Gladbrook-Reinbeck to the wayside, as junior hurler Amy Russell tossed a two-hitter and Colfax-Mingo moved on to Monday's Class 1A Region 6 final with a 6-0 shutout of the Rebels on Friday night.

Article Photos

Gladbrook-Reinbeck second baseman Sadie Cahalan snares a pop-up in the first inning of the Rebels’ eventual 6-0 loss to Colfax-Mingo in the Class 1A regional semifinals in Conrad.
Photo by Ross Thede

Russell struck out nine, walked two and allowed a pair of harmless singles as Colfax-Mingo (25-9) won its seventh straight and will travel to face No. 4 Martensdale-St. Marys (31-6) with a state berth on the line.

Gladbrook-Reinbeck (7-18) used the revenge factor to drive itself into the regional semifinals for the first time since 2004, beating GMG and No. 13 AGWSR after losing to both during the regular season. But the big stage seemed bigger than the Rebels could cope with, and a punchless effort fell well short of a third win in a row.

"This is what they're capable of and this is where I wanted to get them to build this program," said Rebels head coach Paula Kelley, "and we have to start stairstepping and this is the perfect way to end. If it had to end, this is a perfect way to end and start building for next year and for future sports for G-R girls. I want them to go higher in everything.

"We played [Colfax-Mingo] tough, better than I think anybody expected us to as well. They all have it in them and they showed it, I'm so very proud of them."

Marissa Berendes and Hayley Weber accounted for the Rebels' only hits against Russell. Megan Swanson, who reached base on a fielder's choice in the sixth inning, was the only Gladbrook-Reinbeck baserunner to advance as far as second.

Weber, one of three seniors, broke up Russell's no-hitter with her bloop single in the fourth.

"We knew that their pitching was tough, and boy she was really good," Kelley said. "She moved the ball around really well and they could hit the ball. We knew that coming in.

"We just didn't come up with the key plays and they did."

Colfax-Mingo leadoff batter Ries Wilson set the tone with her nine-pitch at-bat to start the game, finally hammering a grounder that Weber was unable to glove at shortstop. After Wilson stole second, another hard-hit ball up the middle followed from Russell to give the TigerHawks a 1-0 lead.

Four more hits in the top of the second sparked a two-run inning for C-M, making it 3-0, and single unearned runs in the third and fourth gave the TigerHawks their 5-0 advantage. Gladbrook-Reinbeck committed four errors behind senior right-hander Madison White, who went the distance in the circle. White surrendered nine hits and two earned runs, walking one while striking out seven in the season-ending defeat.

"Tonight I could feel the nerves just because of the atmosphere and some of them have never been in a bigger game like this," Kelley said, "and of course we're so young that a lot of those younger kids did break down with some nerves.

"What a great experience for those younger kids to build for next year, but I don't think it's hit some of them yet how big this one was."

Kelley was the Rebels' head coach the last time they advanced this far in 2004. A loss to South Hamilton ended that run.

"When you're coming from a program that doesn't win, you get used to losing and kids just don't understand what it means to want to win and that drive to win and that hate to lose, and that's what I want them to get that feeling of," Kelley added. "They've been proving that here in the last week that we can be better and I want them to continue that growth and then share that so our programs can be better. Our boys' programs are successful and the girls are happy for that, but I want them to be happy for themselves with their own programs.

"When we first combined G-R the girls programs were strong. I want that back, I want that back for all the kids."

Wilson and Chelsea Russell both had two hits, including a double, while Amy Russell finished 2-for-3 at the plate with a run and an RBI for Colfax-Mingo. The TigerHawks also played error-free behind their pitcher in advancing to within a game of state.


All three Gladbrook-Reinbeck seniors - White, Weber and catcher Jordan LaBarge - were eighth-graders when the Rebels last achieved double-digit wins. Weber was the starting shortstop while White and LaBarge were sparsly used pitchers in 2012, when Brian Thompson's G-R squad finished 10-17. The Rebels' last winning season preceded that group in 2011, going 18-13.



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