116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
NORTH LIBERTY — Kara Maiers is an elite pitcher that is going to mow down most opponents.
Iowa City High’s bats aren’t going to stay quiet for an extended period of time.
That’s what we learned from Tuesday’s Mississippi Valley Conference softball doubleheader split at Liberty High School. And both teams are more than worthy of their preseason Class 5A top-10 ranking.
“I wish we could have played them a couple of weeks later,” City Coach Jeff Koenig said. “I think we’re both going to be more solid than we are now.”
Maiers, a senior who was virtually untouchable during the second half of last season, scattered four hits in Liberty’s 2-1 victory in Game 1. She struck out 11 and walked three.
“I think Kara would agree that she probably wasn’t as sharp as she would like to be,” Liberty Coach Jeff Kelley said. “But in a couple of situations when they were really threatening, she made the key pitch to get out of it.”
That included a key spot in the bottom of the fifth inning. Fifth-ranked City High (1-1, 1-1 MVC) had a run in and the bases loaded with one out before Maiers ended the threat with a strikeout and a popout.
She retired the final five batters she faced to nail down the win.
No. 8 Liberty (1-1, 1-1) scored both of its runs in the bottom of the second inning, on an RBI single from Ashlyn Geasland and a sacrifice fly by Kylie Hamers.
But City High wouldn’t be silenced all night. Ayana Lindsey opened the nightcap with a triple, and the Little Hawks scored three runs in the first inning, five in the third and seven in the sixth to end it early, 15-4.
Each of City’s first five hitters knocked in at least one run. Lindsey, Carey Koenig, Ella Cook and Avy Lindsey each reached base four times.
In many cases, a doubleheader split would cause a hollow feeling, but both coaches were upbeat afterward.
“I think we’re going to be OK,” Kelley said. “We used two different lineups, and we’ll probably do that for the first 2-3 weeks. I’ve got to see what we’ve got.”
Koenig said, “I liked what I saw. Our hitting was more timely in the second game. And both of our pitchers gave us a chance to win.”
IOWA CITY LIBERTY 2-4, IOWA CITY HIGH 1-15 (2nd, 6)
At North Liberty
Iowa City High 000 010 0 — 1 4 1
Iowa City Liberty 020 000 x — 2 7 1
Ayana Lindsey and Carey Koenig. Kara Maiers and Mischa Reiners. W — Maiers (1-0). L — Lindsey (0-1).
Iowa City High 305 007 — 15 11 3
Iowa City Liberty 200 200 — 4 7 2
Ella Cook and Carey Koenig. Kinsley Robertson, Kennedy Daugherty (3), Kylie Hamers (6) and Olivia Davenport. W — Cook (1-0). L — Robertson (0-1).