Hot Starts: Winfield’s Anderson, New London’s Catala Blaze Out of Gates

By: Nathan Bloechl — 

KILJ — The 2020 Iowa High School baseball and softball season is just a few days old but several KILJ-area athletes have put on a show already.

Let’s take a look at some hot starts to the 2020 season.


  • Winfield-Mount Union junior pitcher Madie Anderson
    • Anderson was one of the area’s best hurlers last year as a sophomore, registering 17 wins along with a microscopic 1.84 ERA. She’s been even better to start her junior season. Anderson has worked in all three games for the Wolves this season yielding just one run to Class 3A’s 2019 State Runner-Up (now #2 2A) Louisa-Muscatine. Anderson went toe-to-toe with area’s best arm in Hailey Sanders that night — Sanders a UNI recruit — while striking out nine. In 17 innings thus far, Anderson has allowed just five hits, three walks while amassing 26 strikeouts. That’s good.
  • Wapello junior Toni Bohlen
    • Bohlen hit .280 and drove in 17 runs last year as a sophomore and is on pace to shatter those marks this season. The junior is 6-for-11 to start her season and has already accounted for six runs batted in, tops in the Southeast Iowa Super Conference-North Division. If the Arrows want to get back to the state tournament, they’ll need Bohlen to keep up the exploits with the bat this season.
  • New London senior Layney Loyd
    • We all know by now how dangerous Loyd is at the plate — and in the case you forgot — the senior has demolished pitching in three games this season. Hitting .500, Loyd has two doubles, one home run and has plated six runs. The DMACC recruit has helped guide New London to a 2-1 start this season.
  • Danville junior Morgan Waste
    • Talk about a perfect start? Waste has yet to be retired in two games for Danville. A perfect 1.000 batting average, 1.000 on-base percentage and she already has slugged a home run. That is about as hot as you could be to start the year.


  • New London sophomore Josh Catala
    • Really you could pick any New London baseballer here — the Tigers have been ferocious out of the gates — but Catala has been outstanding. The sophomore is hitting .500 with five runs batted in and he’s scored four runs while walking twice. He’s also a perfect 2-for-2 stealing bases atop the Tiger lineup. He’s in for a big season.
  • Danville junior Grifen Molle
    • You may remember Molle from the 2020 State Wrestling Tournament, but here Molle has been pinning fools on the baseball diamond. Molle is hitting .857 through two games. EIGHT-FIFTY-SEVEN. That’s 6-for his first-7, to go along with two doubles and a run batted in. He’s also scored a team best three runs while swiping three bags. It doesn’t matter what sport for Molle, he just continues making things happen.
  • Mediapolis junior Tyler Samuel
    • Samuel got the ball on opening night for Rick Whitaker’s group and twirled an absolute gem, working 6.2 innings allowing just one hit, two walks while punching out nine in a 10-2 Bulldog win. That’s the kind of dominant performance you expect from your ace — and Mepo got it.
  • Mount Pleasant senior Clayton Lowery
    • Lowery, a Grandview commit, got his senior season off on a bang on Monday night, helping guide Mount Pleasant to an 8-5 victory over Fort Madison. Lowery drove in three runs while smacking a ringing triple in his first at-bat of 2020. In total, Lowery finished with three hits on the night, while flashing the leather multiple times defensively, proving he’s one of Southeast Iowa’s most feared two-way players.