Albia is the No. 7 ranked team in Class 3-A and Thursday evening they proved their ranking with a 16-4 thrashing of Knoxville on the Albia diamond. The Lady Dee bats proved to be lethal and they were also aided by nine walks and four Knoxville errors.
The game began on a very positive note for the Panthers as they went right after Albia’s ace pitcher, Jena Lawrence with three runs after two were out in the top of the first inning.
Maddy Findley got it started with a ringing double to the gap in left-center and Alex Griggs moved her up with a single to left. Ashlyn Finarty drove a ball through the middle to score Findley and a base hit down the first base line by Olivia Maasdam scored both Griggs and courtesy runner Jalen Nelson for a 3-0 Panther lead.
The worm turned quickly as the Lady Dees erupted for six runs in the bottom of the first on five hits, two Panther errors and a pair of walks.
Knoxville tried to answer in the top of the second when Emery Neer slapped an infield single and moved up on a base hit by Emma Dunkin and scored on a single by Findley. But that was all that the Panthers could muster.
The Albia machine was in high gear in the bottom of the second inning with seven runs on three hits, four walks and a hit batsman.
The Panthers were quiet in the top of the third and in the bottom of the inning the Lady Dees put a three spot on the board to close the game down by the 12-run mercy rule.
“Too many errors and mistakes,” Panther Coach Coy Hupfeld lamented. “The errors, the walks and the mental mistakes just gave them too many opportunities and you can’t do that against a good team. We will move on and try to learn from this.”
Findley led the Panthers with a double and a single while Neer, Dunkin, Griggs, Ashlyn Finarty, Reilly Finarty and Maasdam all chipped in with singles.
Knoxville hitting: Emery Neer 1-for-2, Emma Dunkin 1-for-2, Maddy Findley 2-for-2, Alex Griggs 1-for-2, A. Finarty 1-for-2, Olivia Maasdam 1-for-2, R. Finarty 1-for-2.
Knoxville RBI: Findley 1, A. Finarty 1, Maasdam 2.