Elly Schuemann's grand slam lifts Linn-Mar over Iowa City West

Softball: Lions foil West's title bid with MVC split

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MARION — Elly Schuemann was an unlikely slugger. Linn-Mar was a worthy spoiler.

Schuemann’s first career home run was a game-winning grand slam in the bottom of the ninth inning, lifting the Lions past Class 5A fifth-ranked Iowa City West, 8-4, in the first game of a Mississippi Valley Conference softball doubleheader Tuesday night at Oak Ridge Middle School.

“It’s unbelievable,” said Schuemann, a sophomore first baseman. “I’ve never had this sort of feeling before, but it’s a great feeling.”

The Lions (26-14 overall, 17-9 MVC) rallied from a 4-0 deficit and spoiled West’s bid for a second straight MVC Valley Division championship. Cedar Rapids Kennedy won the title outright after sweeping Dubuque Senior on Tuesday.

After a wobbly start, Linn-Mar pitcher Morgan Braughton was masterful, blanking the Women of Troy (28-10, 21-3) for the final six innings and giving the Lions a chance to rally.

“I was just hitting my spots and trusting that the defense would help me out,” Braughton said. “The first inning was shaky, but we got through it.”

Linn-Mar still trailed 4-1 heading to the seventh, and had the bottom of its order up. Cassie Waller and Braughton ignited the rally with a pair of hits, then groundouts by Michaela Kennedy and Ariana Rolle cut the deficit to 4-3.

Ally Johnson walked, then scored all the way from first base when Elison Ollinger’s single was bobbled in the outfield.

Rolle and Ollinger singled in the ninth, then Christina Lincoln drew an intentional walk to load the bases with one out, setting the stage for Schuemann.

“I just wanted to get a base hit, maybe a sacrifice fly,” said Schuemann, who cleared the center-field fence.

The win was the 650th in the career of Linn-Mar Coach John Begley.

West claimed the nightcap, 7-3. Taylor Libby’s two-run double in the third inning put the Women of Troy in front, 4-3. Abby Henderson scattered four hits.

LINN-MAR 8-3, IOWA CITY WEST 4-7 (1st,9)

At Oak Ridge Middle School

Game 1

Iowa City West 202 000 000 — 4 8 5

Linn-Mar 001 000 304 — 8 11 2

Jessie Harder and Taylor Libby. Morgan Braughton and Christina Lincoln. W — Braughton (14-8). L — Harder (14-5). HR — LM: Elly Schuemann (1).

Game 2

Iowa City West 113 200 0 — 7 9 1

Linn-Mar 300 000 0 — 3 4 2

Abby Henderson and Taylor Libby. Katie Smith, Katie Andersen (3), Elison Ollinger (5) and Christina Lincoln. W — Henderson (12-4). L — Smith (4-1).

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

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