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(Avoca) -- The AHSTW softball team likes where they are heading into the homestretch of their Western Iowa Conference slate.

The KMA 1A/2A No. 11 Lady Vikes sit at 9-6 and 7-2 in WIC action.

"We are feeling pretty good," Coach Trevor Gipple said. "We've had a tough schedule, and I feel like the conference is really good this year. We've had a few nights that haven't gone our way, but we are just trying to compete and focusing on growth."

AHSTW has wins over Tri-Center, Riverside, Treynor, Missouri Valley, Logan-Magnolia and Audubon in WIC play. They own non-conference wins over Thomas Jefferson and Clarinda. They played a salty non-conference schedule, which led to losses from Harlan, Lewis Central and Atlantic and a conference loss to Underwood,. Those four squads are a combined 40-11.

While the losses weren't ideal, Coach Gipple hopes his team can learn from them.

"We went to our game against Harlan just looking to compete and lost 2-0," he said. "More than anything, we've had a lot of mental growth. There have been some small wins as far as learning how to compete with those big schools."

The Lady Vikes have leaned heavily on three different pitchers this season -- eighth-grader Sienna Christian, junior Ally Meyers and senior Kailey Jones.

"I feel really blessed to have three kids that want to go out and work any night of the week," Gipple said.

Christian is 1-3 on the season with a 5.65 ERA, 23 strikeouts and 14 walks in 17 1/3 innings of action.

"She's got some good movement on her two-seam, goes out there and competes," Gipple said. "We are trying to work on her control. She's given up some walks, but she has set the bar for herself. I'm very proud of the kid."

Meyers, who did not have a start in 2020, holds claim to a 2-2 record, 2.13 ERA and 19 strikeouts through 26 1/3 innings.

"We threw her the first night against Audubon," Gipple said. "She struggled with control, but she's really cut down on her walks and spots really well."

Jones -- the squad's only senior -- has been their ace with a 1.58 ERA and 31 strikeouts in a team-high 35 1/3 innings. She's also taken on a massive leadership role.

"When she is in the circle, we are the best we can be," Gipple said. "I don't have to do a lot of work with her. She bears down and is a warrior."

Offensively, the Lady Vikes are hitting .310 as a squad, paced by Meyers' .391/.429/.413 line with seven RBIs and Natalie Hagadon, who has a team-high 16 RBIs while hitting .391. Christian, Jones, Graycen Partlow, Grace Porter, Rylie Knop, Darian Hansen, Loralei Wahling and Logan Akers have also stepped up for AHSTW.

"We have definitely grown from game one," Gipple said. "One through seven could go up at any time and hit a double or triple. They are all aggressive, and that's what we have worked on."

AHSTW started the second half of the WIC schedule on Thursday by avenging a win over Audubon, and continue on Friday with a home contest against Tri-Center, followed by three pivotal matchups next week with Riverside (Monday), Treynor (Tuesday) and Underwood (Thursday). 

"We take everything day-by-day," he said. "Every night is going to be a battle. We want to keep competing and believing in the system. The wins and losses will shake out however they want."

Click below to hear the full interview with Coach Gipple.

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