COUNCIL BLUFFS — Don Wittstruck knew the answer. But he asked anyway.
“Can I have that inning back?”
No such luck, Glenwood softball coach Tim Stanton told his Council Bluffs Lewis Central counterpart. Especially not when it makes all the difference in keeping the Rams' season going at least one more game.
A perfect storm of hits and errors turned into a nine-run third inning for Iowa Class 4-A No. 14 Glenwood, which held on to eliminate Lewis Central 9-5 in a regional opener Thursday at Lewis Central. It was the most runs the Titans allowed in a single frame all season.
“It just all fell into place,” Stanton said. “The kids that needed to bunt bunted. Then we're advancing (runners) and our gap hitters are coming up.
“Tonight in that one inning, everything you build that order for just worked.”
The reward is a Saturday tilt at No. 13 Harlan Community (24-7) in a regional semifinal at 7 p.m. The Rams (27-10) were the only squad to take a game from the Hawkeye Ten Conference champs during the league season, winning 2-0 and losing 5-0 during a June 18 doubleheader.
Five hits and five errors in the fateful third were more than Glenwood could have asked for Thursday. Fourteen batters came to the plate, highlighted by two-run doubles from Myranda Starner and Jacey Embray.
Lewis Central, meanwhile, saw four fielders commit errors that directly allowed three more runners to come home.
Glenwood junior Lisa Nebel did her part in the circle to limit a potent L.C. offense. Senior Allie Martinez, an Iowa Western recruit, got her for a home run in the fourth inning and added an RBI single as part of a four-run Titans fifth. Molly Cunard drove in two with a double and Steffi Cunard singled home another.
But it wasn't nearly enough to undo the damage already done.
“Once you start hitting, it's pretty contagious,” Nebel said. “We get on base somehow — and it's not always a hit either. I don't know exactly how that happened. I'm actually super surprised, but I couldn't be happier.”
All nine hitters in Glenwood's batting order scored a run Thursday.
“We lost a lot of power in our lineup,” Stanton said. “But we replaced it with speed and just found our groove. It's been a lot of fun.”
Glenwood (27-10) ........................... 009 000 0—9 7 0
CB Lewis Central (25-12) ........................... 000 140 0—5 9 5
W: Lisa Nebel, 27-9. L: Morgan Means, 17-7. 2B: G, Myranda Starner, Jacey Embray. CBLC, Molly Cunard. HR: CBLC, Allie Martinez.