116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
ANAMOSA — Emily Watters was rolling. But then ...
“I wasn’t as focused in the sixth inning,” she said. “I was just throwing the ball in there.
“If I stay focused, I’m fine.”
Watters reclaimed her groove, and Class 3A sixth-ranked Anamosa held off Cedar Rapids Xavier, 5-3, in a non-conference softball game Monday night at Anamosa Middle School.
A sophomore who pitched only eight innings last year, Watters’ emergence has been one of the key stories in the area this season. Her 11 strikeouts Monday sent her season total to 143, in 71 innings.
“She’s a competitor,” Anamosa Coach Brad Holub said. “She probably prefers not to pitch, but when she’s in there, she’ll do whatever it takes.
“She’s a winner.”
So are the Raiders, who improved to 16-3, including 10-3 when Watters starts.
“When it’s our No. 1 against anybody else’s No. 1, we can play with anybody,” Holub said.
Watters reached base each of the four times she batted (three walks and a single), and Grace Lubben knocked in a pair of runs with a fourth-inning single.
That sent Lubben’s RBI total to 34, which ranks sixth in the state.
“One of our big things is attitude and effort,” said Lubben, one of three seniors on the roster. “We’ve got to stay hyped. When our energy level is up, the other team’s level drops.”
Anamosa scored an unearned run in the bottom of the first inning, then added two more in the third. Dilynn Van Meter’s sacrifice fly got the Raiders on the board, then a double steal and a wild pitch helped them extend the margin to 3-0.
Lubben’s hit capped a two-out rally in the fourth inning. Watters started the action with a walk, then Chloe Breitbach followed with a bunt single.
Xavier (5-12) didn’t go down quietly. After five innings that consisted of one hit and 10 strikeouts, the Saints rallied in the sixth. Kya Loffswold and Grace Zaugg singled, then Duanne Coyle doubled them both home.
Coyle scored on Kennedy Oleson’s groundout to make it 5-3, but Watters regained focus — and command — retiring the final six batters she faced.
Lubben recorded two of Anamosa’s eight hits and is hitting .545 this season.
“We’re pretty strong at the top of the order,” Holub said. “The bottom is a work in progress.”
ANAMOSA 5, CEDAR RAPIDS XAVIER 3
C.R. Xavier 000 003 0 -- 3 4 3
Anamosa 102 200 x -- 5 8 0
Mary Morrow, Kennedy Oleson (5) and Grace Zaugg. Emily Watters and Lexi Bright. W -- Watters (10-3). L -- Morrow (2-5).