(Martensdale) – Martensdale-St. The Marys softball is another Pride of Iowa Conference program which is a great combination for a trip to Fort Dodge and the state tournament.
The Blue Devils (16-3 overall, 10-1 Pride of Iowa) emerged as the state challenger hoping to make his 10th trip to the state championship and his first since 2018.
“The girls were playing really well,” coach Emily Wood told KMA Sports. “They have come up in a lot of tough games, and they are a really young team. We have had some ups and downs during the year, but we put the positives out of the losses and are ready to play post-season.”
While Southeast Warren and Wayne brought back plenty of talent from teams that finished in the top four in last year’s Class 1A class, Coach Wood’s team took wins over both.
“Our first game against South East Warren (it was when we knew we had something special),” Wood said. “Maybe it was our first real test. We put a run on the board in the first, tied it up in the sixth, but we took care of the business in the seventh. That showed me a lot of poise, and they were able to overcome those challenges.”
The Martensdale-St. Mary’s menu is a mix of young and old. There are three major contributors to Angelina Furness, Jackie Kleve and Anna Parrott, but the rest of the roster is made up almost entirely of freshmen and sophomores.
“The seniors really take these lowlies under their wing and teach them what high school softball is,” Wood said. “A lot of these freshmen didn’t have experience in a college game before this year, but the seniors were in the regional finals and they know what it’s like to play at a high level. They really push these young girls to get there.”
Among the sophomores, shooters Campbell German and Hadley Pearson, who have combined for 97 out of 110 rounds this season. The German has 1.31 ERA and 101 strokes against just six walks in 59 runs. Pearson threw 38 innings and came down to a 1.84 ERA, landed 32 strikes and walked only seven times.
“They (Campbell and Hadley) have been doing an exceptional job,” said coach Wood. “Campbell is able to get a lot of hits and keep scores low in those tough games. When you’re on the hill, everyone feels confident.”
The Blue Devils averaged .34 as a team this season, led by sophomore Brinley’s German batting streak of .420/.438/.551. Parrott (.418/ .452/ .618), Cliff (.361/ .414/ .557), and freshmen Ellie Baker (.349/ .404/ .372) and Sidney Beers (.340/ .389/ .440) And Campbell German (.306/.353/.484) also hits over .300.
“Anna Parrott has moved to third base and is able to collapse on the big hit,” Wood said. “Jackie Cliff has been an outstanding leader at the center, Eli Baker has gone wild whenever there’s a big moment, and the Sydney Bears have had tremendous growth in the catcher since the start of the season in the confidence they’ve shown.”
The Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union will be giving up their Class 1A regional pairs. There should be a lot of interest in where the trio represent the state-ranked POI teams – No. 5 Southeast Warren, No. 8 Martensdale-St. Maryse and No. 10 Wayne – due. Regardless of the confrontations, Coach Wood hopes to continue to see the growth of her team as the season moves into its more vibrant part.
“When they are in their game, I don’t think there is any defeat for this team,” she said. “They’re going to have to stay focused on the whole match and not let a bad turn turn into any more. Our biggest struggle is when we make a mistake, it’s kind of a vehicle. We kind of panic, but we need to work through that. This team is really special, and it’s It’s really exciting being young because they’re going to be special for a few more years.”
Martensdale-St. Marys returned to work Thursday at home against Mount Ayr before a trip to East Union Friday night. Hear more with Coach Wood in the full KMA Sports interview below.