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Dallas Center-Grimes’ Johansen hits four home runs, Gray adds one more

This week saw the end of the winning streak for the Mustangs, but within those games, a number of stars kept the lights on. (Note: June 16-24 games)

Baseball (27-2)

The magic number was 18: After racking up seven wins this past week and running to 18 straight wins, the wheels finally fell off the ground Monday at Indianola (20-9), where the Mustangs took a 5-0 game lost.

Entering the game, DCG still held the No. 2 ranking in Class 4A, while the Indians received an honorable mention in the June 24 poll. While that could shake up the rankings next week, it doesn’t immediately change the outlook in Little Hawkeye thanks to the games before it.

With wins against Pella Christian (2x), Pella and Norwalk (2x) in the past week, the Mustangs improved to 11-1 in league play compared to third-place Indianola’s 10-5 mark. Pella is currently second at 13-4.

Notably against Pella, Taitn Gray hit his league-leading 11th home run in the first inning to take a 1–0 lead. And with freshman Brady Smith giving up just two hits in six innings with six strikeouts, that was all the Mustangs needed for a 1-0 win over the Dutch on June 19.

The Mustangs further separated themselves in the conference with a doubleheader sweep, defeating Norwalk (11-13) by scores of 12-9 and 4-1. While Game 2 featured a strong defensive effort, scoring just one run on nine hits, led by seven outs from catcher Ryley Palm, Game 1 was a wave at the plate.

Dayne Mauk and Keaton Fenn both recorded two doubles, with Mauk driving in three runs while Fenn crossed the plate twice.

Softball (24-5)

The winning streak ended after 15 straight games for the Mustangs, making the race for the conference title even more exciting.

After posting three wins without a point allowed against Pella Christian (twice including a forfeit) and Pella in the two previous games, the Mustangs played host to No. 2 Norwalk.

Having previously defeated the Warriors on the road, the No. 6 Mustangs appeared to have the advantage, both in the upcoming poll and in the conference standings, following a 3-2 victory after scoring go-ahead points in the sixth collection. That was capped by Aubrey Johansen’s third home run of the year.

But the nightcap was taken 9-7 by the Warriors, leaving both teams tied at 13-2 in the conference standings.

Immediately following that loss, the Mustangs spent two days at the Linn-Mar tournament and went 3-1 with wins against 2A’s No. 3 Northeast (2-1 score), 4A’s No. 3 Fort Doge (9-1) and Linn-Mar while losing to 5A’s No. 4 Pleasant Valley (8-7). Johansen rose to the plate and added three more home runs to her stat line after going to the yard twice against Valley, who homered four times.