116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
The record didn’t show it, but Bre Sells saw it.
Cedar Rapids Washington had gone the distance — a full seven innings — in five softball games this season. Compared to the last two seasons, that was a giant step forward.
Then came Tuesday.
Abby Jones hit a grand slam in the first inning, eighth-grader Zoey Jones scattered six hits, striking out six and walking none, and Washington ended a long, ugly losing streak with a 9-5 win over Dubuque Wahlert in the first game of a Mississippi Valley Conference doubleheader at Dubuque.
“The ride home was really exciting. The girls were pumped up,” said Sells, in her fourth season as head coach. “It’s been a long time coming.”
A really long time.
The victory ended an 88-game losing streak. Washington’s previous win was June 15, 2019, against Crestwood.
Then came 17 straight losses to end the 2019 season. The Warriors were 0-16 in 2020, 0-40 in 2021.
Washington dropped the first 15 games this season, but was more competitive at times. The Warriors led Iowa City West for a good portion of a game last week before the Trojans rallied.
“I knew we were going to win at some point this season,” Sells said. “This losing streak was going to fall.
“It’s been a three-year drought, but the amount of support we’ve gotten from the parents, the school, the community ... it’s overwhelming.
“The next two or three weeks, there are going to be some great opportunities for us. I think we can finish strong.”
Wahlert won the second game 16-5, but it didn’t diminish the joy on the ride home.
Zoey Jones was 4-for-4 at the plate Tuesday and upped her batting average to .353.
Washington’s roster contains just one senior (Aly Dye) and two juniors (Janaya Dobbs and Abby Jones).
The Warriors (1-16 overall, 1-13 MVC) are at Cedar Rapids Xavier on Thursday.
1 vs. 2 (maybe), Thursday at Troy Mills
The area matchup of the week — and one of the most highly-awaited encounters of the summer — is a Tri-Rivers Conference doubleheader Thursday at Troy Mills.
North Linn (16-2 overall, 12-0 Tri-Rivers) is No. 1 in Class 1A prior to Thursday’s rankings reshuffle; Lisbon (19-2, 13-1) is No. 2.
First pitch is 5 p.m.
Last year’s 2A state champion, North Linn has been idle since a 1-2 weekend at the Dennis Johnson Invitational at Eldridge. Lisbon’s 18-game win streak came to an end Tuesday at the hands of Springville before the Lions salvaged the nightcap.
Five different Lynx have scored at least 20 runs this season. Jill Smith (.480) has three runs and 26 RBIs.
Leadoff hitter Peyton Robinson is hitting .475 with 27 runs for the Lions.
Both teams feature a junior all-state pitcher — Ellie Flanagan is 10-2 with a 1.06 ERA and 94 strikeouts for North Linn; Lisbon counters with Ryleigh Allgood (13-1, 0.42, 101 K’s).
Heavyweights among the West Delaware field
Bracketed weekend tournaments are a rarity now (replaced by “classics”).
The West Delaware Hawk Tournament lives on, though ... a 15-team, two-day event at Manchester.
Headliners include defending state champions Davenport Assumption and North Linn, along with Linn-Mar and Clear Creek Amana.
Action begins at 9 a.m. Friday. The championship game is scheduled for 5:45 p.m. Saturday.