Your Prep Sports
IOWA CITY – Over the course of her prep career Emma Nibaur has grown accustomed to dealing with the pressure that comes with the pitcher position.
This season as the lone senior on a Regina roster filled with underclassmen Nibaur is quickly learning to deal with another type of pressure.
“Not only are you in the circle every pitch and controlling the game but it puts a little more pressure on being a senior leader that people are looking up to,” Nibaur said. “It’s pressure but I am excited to pass on what I know about the game to the younger girls.”
Nibaur relishes her role as a senior leader for Class 2A eighth-ranked Regina which improved to 2-1 on the season with a 11-1, six-inning win over West Branch in a River Valley Conference South Division contest on Tuesday in Iowa City.
The senior standout struck out seven in three hitless innings as Regina remained unbeaten in league play.
“Everyone talks about the senior leader, but even more being the only senior, it’s a huge role,” Nibaur said. “I know there are younger players looking up to me.”
Nibaur and junior catcher Courtney Kessler are returning all-staters from a Regina team that finished fifth at the 2A state tournament last season.
Kessler and Nibaur are also two of only three upperclassmen on a Regina roster with four freshmen and sophomores and an eighth grader.
“We have a lot of new players but I think we improve every game,” Kessler said. “We’ve improved every time we are on the field including our practices.”
Nibaur helped Regina get rolling early on Tuesday in its win over West Branch (0-4).
The senior right-hander struck out the side in the top of the first and drew a walk and scored a run as part of a four-run Regal first inning.
Kessler and junior Jillian Panther had RBI singles in the first inning.
“Getting an early lead was really nice,” Nibaur said. “It definitely relieved a lot of pressure off me and I can focus on my hitting and not stress so much.”
Regina led 5-1 after five innings before ending the game via the 10-run rule with six runs in the bottom of the sixth.
Sophomore Avery Kies had two of her three singles in the game in the six-run sixth that ended the game.
Kies joined Kessler and sophomore shortstop Gabby Sueppel as Regals with at least two hits on Tuesday.
Suepper went 2-for-4 with two RBI while Kessler was 2-for-3 with an RBI and two runs scored.
Alli Clark drove in two runs and Nibaur had a hit and scored twice.
“We are putting in so much work making sure our defense is moving to the right places and our hitting is really coming together,” Nibaur said. “So far we are really excited to see what we can do this season.”
West Branch 000 100 – 1 3 4
Regina 410 006 – 11 11 1
W – Emma Nibaur L – Hannah Schiele
2B – WB: Lanie Meyer.