Softball: Maddie Glade, Serena top Newark 3-1 in Little Ten rematch

Huskers’ junior pitcher allows 5 hits, no earned runs, strikes out 9

Serena starting pitcher Maddie Glade winds up with a pitch against Newark on Wednesday, May 1, 2024 at Serena High School.

SERENA – Confidence can be a fragile thing in sports, especially in a sport like softball, where failures can come more often than one would like.

Serena junior pitcher Maddie Glade, despite her team losing to Newark 24 hours earlier, showed confidence throughout Tuesday’s Little Ten Conference rematch.

Glade tossed a complete-game five-hitter, allowing no earned runs and two walks (one intentional) and striking out nine as the Huskers dealt the Norsemen their first LTC loss with a 3-1 victory.

“I think after [Monday’s] game, even though we lost [3-1], I think we were all excited and confident to play Newark again,” Glade said. “Newark has a really great team, but I also think our team is pretty good, as well. I think we all knew if we played the way we are capable, we could win today. It wasn’t a perfect game for us, but I feel it was one of the best games we’ve played this year.

“My curveball was way better today than [Monday], and the umpire was giving a little bit off the outside corner, which helped me. That pitch and that spot was what I was trying to go with for the most part. I also felt I was able to spot my pitches pretty well, and against Newark, you have to do that if you want to be successful.”

“We talk a lot about the mental game of pitching, it’s just as important as the physical part. [Maddie Glade] was in control of both sides these last two games and in turn this was the best couple games she’s had back-to-back in a while.”

—  Kelly Baker, Serena softball coach

Serena improved to 13-6 overall and 7-1 in the LTC, while Newark fell to 19-3, 9-1 and had a seven-game winning streak snapped.

“Maddie was locked in yesterday, and nothing changed today,” Serena coach Kelly Baker said. “We talk a lot about the mental game of pitching, it’s just as important as the physical part. She was in control of both sides these last two games, and in turn this was the best couple games she’s had back to back in a while. She just did a phenomenal job and really pitched with a ton of confidence.”

Newark grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first as Kodi Rizzo doubled to right-center, advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Dottie Wood and scored on a wild pitch.

Serena tied the game in the fourth when Lanee Cole punched a one-out single to left off Wood (4 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 K), went to third on a double down the left field line by Makayla McNally and scored on an infield error.

In the Newark sixth, Stephanie Snyder reached third with two outs after consecutive errors, but Glade retired the next batter with a ground ball back to herself.

In the Serena sixth, Glade singled to right to start the frame before courtesy runner Maddie Young moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Cali Edwards. Cassie Walsh lined an RBI single to right-center, and Brynley Glade followed with an opposite field double to left-center to plate Walsh and make it 3-1.

“Maddie got us started in the sixth, Cali put down a perfect sac bunt, and then Cassie and Brynley both came through with clutch hits,” Baker said. “It was great to see the bottom of the order do what they did. Hopefully, it’s a confidence booster for them moving forward this season.”

Newark’s leadoff batter in the seventh singled but was thrown out at second trying to turn it into a double. Then with two outs, Adelaide Johnson singled, but Maddie Glade was able to retire the final batter on a routine popout.

“My message to the girls after the game was that they gave themselves chances all the way until the end,” Newark coach Jon Wood said. “It’s a long season, and you are not going to be able to capitalize on every single chance you get. Sometimes things just don’t work out. A couple things go our way in the last couple innings and who knows.

“We had a couple of mistakes today that ended up hurting us, but I can’t fault the effort the girls gave. It was no less effort than they’ve given every game this season, but today we just came up a little short.”

Serena is scheduled to play Fieldcrest on Thursday, while Newark will be at Plano on Friday.

Have a Question about this article?