Prep Softball

Sweep might lift Cedar Rapids Kennedy softball to No. 1

Cougars handle Linn-Mar, 6-1 and 5-0

Cedar Rapids Kennedy’s Jayme Scheck struck out 11 batters in the second game of a softball sweep of Linn-Mar on Tuesday. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)
Cedar Rapids Kennedy’s Jayme Scheck struck out 11 batters in the second game of a softball sweep of Linn-Mar on Tuesday. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — The throne awaits, probably.

Kaylin Kinney and Jayme Scheck spun a pair of four-hitters, and Class 5A third-ranked Cedar Rapids Kennedy swept No. 11 Linn-Mar, 6-1 and 5-0, in a Mississippi Valley Conference softball doubleheader Tuesday night at Kennedy High School.

That’s third-ranked Kennedy ... for now. The top two teams in the preseason ratings (Pleasant Valley and Indianola) both have suffered defeats, and the Cougars are the likely heir apparent to the No. 1 spot.

“It’s whatever,” Cougars Coach Maddison LeClere said after her team marched to 6-0 overall, 6-0 in the MVC. “I don’t look at it that much. But I know it means something to our program.”

Kinney (3-0), a sophomore who has committed to the University of Nebraska, fanned eight and didn’t walk a batter. She did hit Linn-Mar leadoff hitter Ally Johnson to start the game, creating major concern in the Lions’ camp.

Johnson left the game, then exited the facility for an X-ray that revealed a bone bruise in her left arm. It could have been far worse; the UNI recruit could be back by Thursday.

“I’d rather lose two games tonight and have her back than the other way around,” Lions Coach John Begley said. “She’s a franchise player.”

Linn-Mar (4-2, 4-2) failed to capitalize after getting the first two batters aboard, then the Cougars scored three runs in the bottom of the first to take command.

A two-run home run by Natalie Blank made it 5-0 in the fourth.

Scheck (3-0), a freshman, struck out 11 in the nightcap.

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“She’s good,” Begley said. “With as much movement as she puts on the ball, you never know where it’s going to go.”

And the Cougars were assisted greatly by six Linn-Mar errors, four in a three-run third inning.

Only one of Kennedy’s runs in Game 2 was earned.

LeClere has spent the first two weeks of the season toying with the lineup.

“It’s still very, very early,” she said. “We’ve got to find the right combination.” 

CEDAR RAPIDS KENNEDY 6-5, LINN-MAR 1-0

At C.R. Kennedy

Game 1

Linn-Mar 000 001 0 — 1 4 1

C.R. Kennedy 300 201 x — 6 6 1

Katie Smith, Madison Beard (5) and Charli Patten. Kaylin Kinney and Abby Spore. W — Kinney (3-0). L — Smith (3-1). HR — CRK: Natalie Blank (1).

Game 2

Linn-Mar 000 000 0 — 0 4 6

C.R. Kennedy 003 110 x — 5 5 0

Katie Smith, Madison Beard (5), Briley Berning (6) and Charli Patten. Jayme Scheck and Abby Spore. W — Scheck (3-0). L — Smith (3-2).

l Comments: (319) 368-8857; jeff.linder@thegazette.com

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