116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
MARION — The Linn-Mar Lions have a dream, and they’re not afraid to share it.
“Fort Dodge,” Coach Lindsey Murray said, without any coaxing. “We want to get there. Now, how can we handle pressure? It’s my job to keep us grounded.”
The state tournament is more than a month away. A sharp rise in competition level is inevitable.
So far, the Class 5A eighth-ranked Lions’ ledger looks like this:
Three games. Three wins by knockout.
Linn-Mar’s first deficit of the season was a brief one. The Lions banged out 12 hits and feasted on seven Marion errors in a 14-2 four-inning softball rout Friday night at the Les Hipple Athletic Complex.
This was going to be a dangerous team, anyway. Add University of Iowa recruit Anna Streff — who had played club ball only previously to this season — to the mix, and that boosts the hopes for this veteran squad even more.
“She fits in well with us,” said outfielder Hannah Gralund, who was 3-for-3 Friday. “She’s a great fielder, she gives us another bat in the lineup and she gives us another bubbly personality. We have a lot of those.”
Streff batted leadoff and played shortstop Friday.
Linn-Mar (3-0) has outscored its opposition by a 46-2 count in its three games, and none of those have gone the distance.
Marion (0-4) took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the first inning on Jazlyn Grosskreutz’s two-run home run, then the wheels came off defensively for the Wolves.
The Lions capitalized on four Marion errors in the second inning and scored four unearned runs to take the lead for good. They added four more unearned tallies in the third, highlighted by Caelynn Obleton’s two-run homer.
In the fourth, Linn-Mar collected six hits, scored five times and ended it via the 12-run rule.
The Lions swiped seven bases Friday, sending their early-season total to 28.
“We have lots of speed,” Gralund said. “Our goal is to get on base and steal bases.”
Linn-Mar began to pick up momentum midway through last season, embarking on a 14-game win streak. The Lions lost a one-run heartbreaker to Cedar Rapids Prairie in the regional semifinals.
“Last year, we fell short,” Gralund said. “This year, hopefully it’s our year. If we continue to hold each other accountable, we can have a lot of success.”
Linn-Mar 14, Marion 2 (4 innings)
Linn-Mar 144 5 — 14 12 1
Marion 200 0 — 2 3 7
Jordyn Beck and Madi Wells. Haley Slaymaker and Peyton Johnson. W — Beck (2-0). L — Slaymaker (0-3). HR — LM: Caelynn Obleton (1), MAR: Jazlyn Grosskreutz (1).