Kennedy pounds Xavier with 29 runs in doubleheader sweep

Third-ranked Cougars surpass 30-win mark

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The Cedar Rapids Kennedy Cougars once again showed why they rank among the state’s top teams.

The No. 3 Cougars swept Cedar Rapids Xavier 11-3 and 18-7 behind big bats and strong pitching.

The wins, Kennedy’s 30th and 31st of the year, were emblematic of the Cougars’ dominant season. Every one of Kennedy’s batters made it on base in the first game, and eight of the nine Cougars in the lineup recorded a hit. All nine Cougars recorded a hit in the second game.

Peyton Baskerville led Kennedy in the first game with a 4-for-4 performance at the plate and 3 RBIs. Her line made up a third of the Kennedy hits in the first game, as the Cougars’ bats up and down the lineup were on display.

“That’s the best part about this team, we’re balanced, 1 though 9,” Kennedy Coach Dan Gratz said. “That’s just a testament to them, they’re driving strikes, and anytime they put the ball over the plate, we’re going to drive it.”

And drive it they did. Center fielder Tianna Drahn reached base five times with four hits and a walk and scored three times. Five Cougars had an RBI and six of the nine scored runs.

Baskerville said the outing showed confidence in the Cougars’ depth and ability to stick with pitches.

“I was really confident going up to the plate,” she said. “I had a plan and I stuck with it and just hit them.”

Kennedy nearly enacted the 10-run rule on the Saints. Leading 11-1 in the top of the fifth, the Cougars could have ended the game with a scoreless frame from Xavier. Instead, the Saints mustered their biggest threat of either game.

Jamie Feltes launched a home run over the center field wall to open the inning for the Saints, and after a ground out by Stephanie Wehr, Kailee Becker hit a one-run single to score Hannah Williams.

Xavier loaded the bases on Becker’s single, a double by Olivia Richards, and a Hannah Helms walk but could not score.

Charlotte Richards flew out to center field, and Katie Langholz lined out to second to end the Xavier threat.

“I’m just thinking, on the next pitch I know my defense is behind me to back me up,” Kennedy pitcher Jenna Schwartzhoff said. “I believe in them, and I believe in myself, and that’s what makes us successful.”

In the second game, Kennedy scored nine runs on nine hits in the top of the seventh and totaled 23 total hits.

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