116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS — So, Briona Charipar ... tell us a little about that big, clutch hit to break it open.
“I know my teammates had confidence in me, and I was trying to hit the ball hard,” she said. “It was probably a little outside.
“To be honest, I don’t remember.”
That’s OK. This doubleheader was kind of a blur anyway.
Charipar’s three-run double highlighted a six-run eruption in the bottom of the sixth inning, and Class 4A eighth-ranked Cedar Rapids Xavier salvaged a Mississippi Valley Conference softball twinbill split, 8-3, Tuesday night at Mount Mercy University’s Busse Field.
Cedar Rapids Jefferson captured the first game, 10-4.
The two games took 4 hours, 40 minutes to play, and the teams combined for 71 baserunners.
Jefferson (5-2, 4-2 MVC) was on the brink of a sweep, leading the nightcap, 3-2.
“That’s always the goal, to win both games, one at a time,” Jefferson Coach Mike Kuba said. “Unfortunately, it just wasn’t in the cards for us. We knew (Xavier) would come out ready for the second game.”
The Saints (3-2, 3-1) opened the bottom of the sixth with a pair of walks and a bunt single. Grace Zaugg tied the game with a ground ball in which everybody was safe, then Duanna Coyle plated the go-ahead run when she was hit by a pitch.
Charipar sent a 1-0 pitch into the gap in right-center field to score three more.
“I’ve got to hand it to our pitchers,” Charipar said. “They work their butts off and push us to do better. And our coaches had us prepared.”
Jefferson rolled in the opener, scoring five times in the first inning and twice in the second. The J-Hawks led 8-0 through 3 1/2 innings before coasting home.
The top of the J-Hawks’ order was extremely potent. Taylor Robinson was 6 for 8 throughout the evening, and Kelsey Palmer reached base eight of nine times she batted.
Despite missing an opportunity for the sweep, major progress is evident with the J-Hawks, who are coming off back-to-back losing seasons.
“We have five seniors that are carrying a big load for us, and our younger players are stepping into their roles,” Kuba said.
CEDAR RAPIDS JEFFERSON 10-3, CEDAR RAPIDS XAVIER 4-8
At Mount Mercy University
C.R. Jefferson 520 100 2 — 10 13 1
C.R. Xavier 000 201 1 — 4 7 3
Olivia Young and Rhiana Barney. Mary Morrow, Riley Jonker (7) and Grace Zaugg. W — Young (3-1). L — Morrow (2-1).
C.R. Jefferson 101 100 0 — 3 8 0
C.R. Xavier 020 006 x — 8 10 1
Shandi Rulli, Morgan Hewitt (4), Olivia Young (6) and Rhiana Briney. Kennedy Oleson and Grace Zaugg. W — Oleson (1-1). L — Hewitt (0-1).