116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
VAN HORNE — Jordon Pilcher talks about playing a complete game, all game.
“We really focus on putting all the pieces together, all three parts of the game,” the first-year softball coach at Benton Community said. “Hitting, pitching, defense ... we need all three parts for 14 innings on a night like this.”
The Bobcats had all three parts for 14 innings Thursday against an elite team, and have a doubleheader split to show for it.
Gabby McKee hit the game-winning single in the bottom of the seventh, pushing Class 4A 14th-ranked Benton past 1A No. 1 North Linn, 3-2, in the first game of a non-conference twinbill at Zittergruen Field.
The Lynx earned a split, 1-0, behind a combined shutout from Kylie Munson and Ellie Flanagan.
Benton (19-10) has been a busy bunch lately, playing 17 games in the last 13 days. The Bobcats have won 13 of them.
“We’re having a lot of fun,” McKee said. “I love the environment this year.”
North Linn (24-6) took a 2-1 lead in the top of the seventh inning on Jenna Lemley’s RBI single. But the Bobcats had a winning answer.
Hope Moore and Emma Townsley both reached on bunts, then Hannah Greiner tied the game with an RBI single. McKee won it one out later.
“It was definitely stressful,” McKee said. “I got a pitch mid-thigh high and outside, and I was able to take it the other way.”
North Linn got the single tally of Game 2 in the top of the fifth inning; Jill Smith’s grounder knocked home courtesy runner Peyton McMahon.
Munson (10-1) and Flanagan made it stand up.
“Kylie had the right mix to get their slappers out, but the meat of their order started to hit her, so we went with an increase of speed at the end,” Lynx Coach Chad Spore said.
North Linn won the 2A state title last year, but the Lynx bats have been relatively quiet lately.
“We have a few kids who are pressing a little, but we’re going to keep staying positive, and we’re going to work through it,” Spore said.
Benton Community 3-0, North Linn 2-1
AT VAN HORNE
North Linn 100 000 1 — 2 5 2
Benton Community 000 010 2 — 3 8 2
One out when winning run scored
Ellie Flanagan and Jenna Lemley. Jessa DeMoss and Ana Glawe. W — DeMoss (9-5). L — Flanagan (14-5).
North Linn 000 010 0 — 1 7 0
Benton Community 000 000 0 — 0 6 1
Kylie Munson, Ellie Flanagan (6) and Jenna Lemley. Hope Moore, Hannah Greiner (6) and Ana Glawe. W — Munson (10-1). L — Moore (4-4). SV — Flanagan (2).