KEOTA — Down 13-2 in the bottom of the sixth inning, Keota High School needed a couple runs to stay alive and avoid a mercy-rule loss in a South Iowa Cedar League softball game Friday.
No problem for Taylor Kindred, who wears No. 24 for Keota. With Jaime Schulte and Sky Weber on base, Kindred plated three runs with one swing of her bat. Kindred, batting in the No. 9 slot, laced a home run to straightaway center field for the Eagles.
“That was really fun to watch because she has been struggling this year with the confidence thing,” Keota head softball coach Dewey Purkeypile said. “It was a beautiful hit. That is something she is capable of doing all the time.”
Alas, the Eagles couldn’t score any more and the game ended after seven inngs with Iowa Valley securing the 13-6 win.
Kindred also had a single in the third inning when Keota scored its other three runs to get within 5-3. Kindred scored on Macie McDonald’s single. Katelyn Swantz added the second run on a double steal and McDonald scored on Makenzie Jackson’s double.
“No. 24 can definitely be a big hitter for us,” Purkeypile said. “It is a confidence thing and that is how it is for all of these girls. Once they see they can do it, they will get better.”
The Eagles, who have a 0-5 record, played a better game in the field Wednesday when they lost 2-0. at Sigourney (5-1). Although the Eagles saw a great defensive play Friday when Swantz, at shortstop, turned a double play with a tag of a runner and a throw to first to end the second inning.
“This was rough on us,” Coach Purkeypile said. “We can play much better than that. It’s as simple as that. It depends on which Eagles team comes out to play. We did a good job against Sigourney, especially our defense was good. Then we play like this and I have to figure it out, I guess. I just have to stay patient. We have to keep working with the girls.”
The Eagles have just two seniors with Schulte and catcher Addison Swanson and three juniors with Swantz, Weber and Alexis Purkeypile.
Purkeypile started in the circle but was lifted in the fifth for eighth-grader Madison Scott. Purkeypile returned to get the final out of the sixth and finished off the game.