Slaney, Panthers prepare for WarriorsSlaney batting .373 on season
Even though the Panthers hope their playoff run is long and prosperous, senior catcher Tiana Slaney realizes tonight’s first round regional playoff game against Van Buren could be her last behind the plate for the Pekin softball team.
Much of what the Panthers (16-11) do on offense and defense runs through Slaney. She bats fourth in the lineup and is currently tied for second on the team in RBIs. When playing catcher, Slaney has worked with young pitchers all season and has cut down three runners trying to steal.
“There’s nothing better than being behind the plate because you’re involved in every single play,” Slaney said.
Freshman Ashlyn Zook and sophomore Courtney Comstock have pitched the most innings for the Panthers, and Slaney has been there to work with the youngsters all season. One of just two seniors on Pekin’s roster, Slaney has stuck with the program when others did not.
“Softball has always been my favorite sport,” Slaney said. “I enjoy being on a team and playing sports in general, so there was never any reason for me to stop.”
Coach Allison Glick is proud of the way Slaney has worked this season.
“[Tiana] knows the ins and outs of the game,” Glick said. “She has done a great job being a role model for the younger girls.”
Pekin will need Slaney’s help tonight when it takes on the Warriors (5-17). Sophomore Taylor Murguia, who has hit two home runs and has driven in 17 this season, will lead Van Buren. Seniors Kadie Meek and Abby Rider will also look to come through offensively and help the Warriors advance.
As for Pekin, sophomores Cassidy Tolle and Sloan Reighard will likely need to come through. Tolle leads Pekin in batting average (.385) and bats in the fifth spot. Batting in the three hole most of the season, Reighard leads Pekin in RBIs with 23. Junior third baseman and leadoff hitter Madelyn Baker has a .500 on-base percentage and will need to get on base in front of Pekin’s big hitters.
“It would be nice to get a lead early on,” Slaney said. “Then we can play our game instead of theirs.”
Class 2A Region 5 Games (7/8)
Van Buren @ Pekin
BGM @ Cardinal
Danville @ Columbus
Iowa Valley @ Jesup
Class 1A Playoffs- First Round (Monday Scores)
Clay Central-Everly 3, West Sioux 1
Harris-Lake Park 9, Trinity Christian 3
Laurens-Marathon 4, Storm Lake St. Mary’s 3
West Bend-Mallard 15, Graettinger Terrill/RA 3
North Iowa 14, Northwood-Kensett 4
Clarksville 10, Tripoli 0
Central Elkader 8, Starmont 4
Riceville 10, Postville 6
CAL 10, GMG 1
Colo-Nesco 6, SE Webster-Grand 4
Don Bosco 10, East Buchanan 0
Dunkerton 11, West Central 3
Winfield-Mount Union 4, IMS 3
Springville 3, Midland 1
Calamus-Wheatland 7, Easton Valley 6
Southeast Warren 4, Melcher-Dallas 1
Montezuma 7, Tri-County 3
Belle Plaine 12, English Valleys 2
HLV 14, Keota 4
Moravia 13, Mormon Trail 1
Lamoni 2, Moulton-Udell 0
Stanton 12, Nishnabotna 0
Fremont Hills 7, East Mills 1
Guthrie Center 9, Adair-Casey 0
CAM 16, Orient-Macksburg 4
Glidden-Ralston 8, Boyer Valley 3
Woodbine 3, Coon Rapids-Bayard 2
Kingsley-Piersen 9, River Valley 0
West Harrison 5, Whiting 4