WILLIAMSBURG — Aubray Walters provides the speed at the top of the lineup.
Jill Holub is a quintessential cleanup hitter.
Both were at their best when their team needed a spark in the second game of Monday’s season-opening softball doubleheader.
Walters was one of four Williamsburg players to draw a walk in the bottom of the fourth inning, then Holub had the signature hit, a two-run bloop single that punctuated a seven-run rally. That led the Class 3A third-ranked Raiders to a Wamac Conference twinbill sweep, 8-3 and 14-6, at Jim Turner Field.
A pair of seniors, Walters and Holub have been key pieces as Williamsburg (2-0 overall, 2-0 Wamac) has made a steady climb the past four seasons. Walters reached base six times in nine plate appearances (four singles and two walks) and scored twice in each game.
Holub hit a two-run home run in the opener (she had 11 last year) and drove in three runs in the nightcap.
Williamsburg trailed 5-3 in the second game after surrendering four unearned runs in the top of the third inning. It was all square at 5-5 — and the bases were loaded — by the time Holub came to the plate.
After cracking a bomb, foul, down the left-field line, Holub went the opposite was to put the Raiders in front for good.
Monday’s softball and baseball action was the first in Iowa high school sports in more than three months. Spring sports (track and field, soccer, tennis and golf) were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Summer sports were originally suspended, then on May 20, Gov. Kim Reynolds, the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union and and the Iowa High School Athletic Association gave the go-ahead to open practice June 1.
Benton Coach Eric Stenberg also is an emergency-room doctor. In mid-May, he sent a letter — with a detailed list of recommendations — to state officials, and many of those were part of the guidelines the IGHSAU and IHSAA put into effect.
“I think, with appropriate precautions ... that softball and baseball can be done in a safe manner,” Stenberg said in an interview with The Gazette shortly before summer sports were green-lighted. It’s something we can pull off.”
Social distancing has been one universal recommendation, and most folks respected that Monday. Fans surrounded the field, some in the bleachers, some in lawn chairs beyond the outfield fence. Mask-wearers were few.
WILLIAMSBURG 8-14, BENTON COMMUNITY 3-6
Benton Community 100 200 0 — 3 6 2
Williamsburg 104 210 x — 8 7 2
Katelyn Buscher, Hope Moore (6) and Brielle Hogan. Peyton Driscoll and Carly Campbell. W — Driscoll (1-0). L — Buscher (0-1). HR — W: Jill Holub (1).
Benton Community 004 110 0 — 6 11 1
Williamsburg 120 731 x — 14 15 3
Jessa DeMoss, Hope Moore (4) and Gabby McKee. Jayden Kennebeck, Peyton Driscoll (5) and Carly Campbell. W — Kennebeck (1-0). L — DeMoss (0-1). SV — Driscoll (1).
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