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Bettendorf's Allison Folin slides into second base ahead of the tag by Assumption's Nicole Yoder during the first game of a doubleheader Tuesday night.

JEFF COOK, Quad-City Times

We're less than two weeks into the high school baseball and softball season. Some teams have just played a couple of games due to inclement weather.

Still, there already have been a few things to catch this reporter's eye.


MAC race is going to be a brawl: If the first night of league play proved anything, the MAC softball race is wide open. Assumption and Bettendorf split. West handled Pleasant Valley 6-1 in the opener, but the Spartans led the second game when Mother Nature interfered.

Most project it to be those four teams, but don't overlook Burlington (7-1) and Muscatine (2-0). The Grayhounds picked up two impressive wins over North Scott on Tuesday, and the Muskies have a balanced lineup with plenty of speed.

Unlike the past few years when it has been one or two programs to dominate, it wouldn't surprise me to see four, maybe five teams, in the mix come the last week of June.

"I think you're going to see a lot of the teams at the top beat up on each other," Assumption coach Ron Ferrill said.

Calamus-Wheatland is explosive: The Warriors can score in bunches.

Cal-Wheat had a 21-run second inning Tuesday night against Easton Valley and is averaging almost 12 runs a game in its 5-0 start.

Freshman Grace Elvert is hitting at almost a .700 clip. Sophomore Charlie Hamilton has smacked four homers, tied for the state lead. Junior Katie Banowetz has driven in nine and has an ERA below 0.45.

Notice a trend? None of them are seniors. Cal-Wheat has only two seniors in its lineup with Jaelyn Diercks and Bailey Moellenbeck.

The Warriors, coming off a 20-win season, are ranked seventh in Class 1A. The next several weeks will be interesting to see how this team fares against the likes of Northeast, Durant and Central City, all ranked teams.

Louisa-Muscatine is on the rise: The first three wins of the season might not have grabbed your attention — Mediapolis, Lone Tree and Fort Madison.

However, the latest victory for the Falcons requires us to take a closer look. Louisa-Muscatine (4-0) staved off Class 2A second-ranked Durant 2-1 in 10 innings Tuesday night.

The Falcons are trending upward. They won only one game three years ago, 10 in 2014 and 16 last season. Louisa-Muscatine has a talented freshman class, including six who were in the opening day lineup.


Reifert is Mr. No-No: According to the Iowa High School Athletic Association, Wilton's Evan Reifert is the first pitcher to start the season with consecutive no-hitters. The junior no-hit West Branch and Tipton, and picked up a 4-1 victory over sixth-ranked Monticello on Tuesday.

In Reifert's first three starts, he is 3-0 with 30 strikeouts, six walks and two hits allowed in 17 innings. You add him with Quad-City Times Male Athlete of the Year recipient Javin Drake, the Beavers have a potent 1-2 punch with their rotation.

Class 2A third-ranked Wilton (8-0) faces ninth-ranked Northeast on Thursday.

Power surge: Clinton's baseball team has connected for three home runs already in seven games. The significance? Coach Kevin Cunningham's program hit only two each of the past two seasons.

Since Cody Collender ripped nine homers for the River Kings on their state semifinal squad three years ago, they have lacked a power threat.

Tyler Mulholland, Johnny Sullivan and Makai Hart each have gone deep so far for Clinton, which has 12 extra-base hits in the first six games.

Impressive pitching performances: In addition to Reifert and Drake, there have been several other notable pitching performances so far.

Missouri recruit Ian Bedell struck out 12 in six shutout innings for Davenport Central last week in a 1-0 victory over Pleasant Valley.

Muscatine's Nathan Holliday threw a five-hit shutout against Cedar Rapids Washington last week.

Assumption's Connor Lindaman tossed a six-inning no-hitter versus Mount Pleasant last week.


Contact Matt Coss at 563-383-2288 or You can follow him on Twitter @mattcoss78 for updates on high school baseball and softball.


Sports Editor

Prep sports editor, with emphasis on covering the Mississippi Athletic Conference and Iowa area high schools. I've been in sports journalism for 17 years, the last five at the Quad-City Times.