116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS — The blowout, not surprisingly, was followed by a letdown.
“Sometimes you have that,” Iowa City High softball coach Jeff Koenig said. “I challenged them.”
Challenge accepted. Comeback completed.
Class 5A sixth-ranked City High tallied five runs in the top of the seventh inning to top No. 12 Cedar Rapids Jefferson, 7-4, in the second game of a Mississippi Valley Conference doubleheader Thursday night at Larry Niemeyer Field.
The Little Hawks swamped the J-Hawks in a five-inning opener, 17-0.
“This is what a championship team has to figure out, how to put stuff together when your backs are against the wall,” Koenig said.
Down 4-2 heading into their last at-bat, the Little Hawks (5-1 overall, 5-1 MVC) got their first six batters on base in the top of the seventh.
Georgia Kimm singled. Ayana Lindsey walked. Lianna Hull tapped an infield single to load the bases.
Carey Koenig walked to bring the Little Hawks within 4-3, then Cook and Cynthia Hull reached on infield errors, and City High had a 5-4 lead.
Makayla Ribble poked a one-out single to plate two runs, and the comeback was complete.
“We’ve showed a lot of growth since last year,” said Cook, who was 5 of 8 in the twinbill and drove in five runs. “Last year, sometimes it was home run or bust. Now we can square up balls, and we don’t have to hit home runs to score.”
The Little Hawks scored 24 times Thursday without leaving the yard once.
Jefferson (5-4, 4-4) helped them out, committing 11 errors, eight in the first game. Afterward, the J-Hawks stuck around for a lengthy defensive practice.
City’s senior trio of Cook, Lindsey and Koenig is its veteran nucleus, but its rookies can hit, too. Lianna Hull and Avy Lindsey combined for nine hits Thursday.
“They’ve really stepped up,” Cook said. “This was a big-time game, and they proved that they can handle the pressure.”
The Little Hawks batted around twice in the first game, scoring seven times (on six hits) in the third inning, then tacking on nine runs in the fifth.
IOWA CITY HIGH 17-7, CEDAR RAPIDS JEFFERSON 0-4 (1st, 5)
At C.R. Jefferson
Iowa City High 107 09 — 17 15 0
C.R. Jefferson 000 00 — 0 2 8
Ayana Lindsey and Carey Koenig. Olivia Young, Savanah Edmonds (5) and Rhiana Barney. W — Lindsey (2-1) . L — Young (3-2).
Iowa City High 100 001 5 — 7 11 2
C.R. Jefferson 003 001 0 — 4 4 3
Ella Cook and Carey Koenig. Shandi Rulli and Rhiana Briney. W — Cook (3-0). L — Rulli (2-1).