116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS — What do you see, when you see Lily Knutson?
“I don’t see an eighth-grader,” Addy Alber said. “She looks a lot older.”
How about it, Coach?
“With that riseball, I see a young Jayme Scheck,” Maddison LeClere said.
Knutson helped keep alive Cedar Rapids Kennedy’s bid for a seventh consecutive Mississippi Valley Conference divisional softball championship, pitching a three-hit, 12-strikeout shutout as the Cougars managed a doubleheader split with Class 5A 13th-ranked Dubuque Hempstead on Tuesday at Kennedy High School.
Hempstead (17-3 overall, 15-3 MVC) claimed the first game, 8-6; Kennedy (17-9, 15-5) won the nightcap, 4-0. The split keeps the Cougars two games behind the Mustangs (in the loss column) in the Valley Division race.
Kennedy has 10 league games remaining, Hempstead eight.
Whether the Cougars catch Hempstead or not, Kennedy’s pitching future is just fine. LeClere’s comparison of Knutson to Scheck — now at Drake University — is testament to that.
Knutson doesn’t talk like an eighth-grader, either.
“It just kind of felt like everything was working tonight,” she said. “I’ve been playing a lot of high-competitive softball for a few years. I was really just hitting spots. But there’s always a high bar to get better.”
Knutson didn’t allow a hit in the final four innings.
She got all the support she needed in the third inning. Alber got the Cougars on the board with an RBI single, then Keaton Gerber followed with a three-run home run.
“This was definitely a good game to break out,” Alber said after a 4-for-7 twinbill. “I was making good, solid contact.”
Alber and Alexis Wheatley homered in the first game, but the Cougars were playing from behind the whole way.
“I’m really happy with our fight in the first game,” LeClere said. “We just ran out of time. It didn’t fall our way.”
Alber was behind the plate for Knutson’s gem.
“She has really good movement,” Alber said after Knutson ran her record to 10-2. “That’s all you can ask for, especially for somebody so young.”
Mady Pint, Lydia Ettema and Lauren Hefel each drove in two runs for Hempstead in Game 1.
Dubuque Hempstead 8-0, Cedar Rapids Kennedy 6-4
AT C.R. KENNEDY
Dubuque Hempstead 102 012 2 — 8 9 1
C.R. Kennedy 000 302 1 — 6 4 0
Peyton Paulsen, Memphis Gibson (6) and Chandler Houselog. Ella Brown and Lilea Prahm. W — Paulsen (8-0). L — Brown (7-6). SV — Gibson (1). HR — DH: Mady Pint (5); CRK: Alexis Wheatley (1), Addy Alber (3).
Dubuque Hempstead 000 000 0 — 0 3 0
C.R. Kennedy 004 000 x — 4 7 1
Lydia Ettema and Jadyn Glab. Lily Knutson and Addy Alber. W — Knutson (10-2). L — Ettema (7-2). HR — CRK: Keaton Gerber (2).