116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
MOUNT VERNON — Jenna Sprague pitched effectively and efficiently, like she had places to go, things to do.
Which she did.
Before a beat-the-storm evening drive to Central Iowa to catch up with her golf teammates, Sprague pitched Class 3A second-ranked Mount Vernon to a 4-0 victory over 1A No. 3 Lisbon in a high school softball battle between the neighboring squads Wednesday night at the Van Metre Family Softball Field.
“I think my ball was moving a lot and I had decent speed,” said Sprague (2-0), who retired the first 12 batters she faced, striking out 11 and walking none in a spiffy two-hit shutout.
The junior pitcher also provided some insurance at the plate, a two-run, two-out double in the bottom of the fifth inning.
“I didn’t feel like a 2-0 lead was enough,” Sprague said. “It feels good to have more.”
Sprague and the combined Lisbon-Mount Vernon golf team will compete at the Class 3A state golf tournament Thursday and Friday.
Wednesday’s matchup was more than a border battle between the Southeast Linn County twin cities. It was a contest between two teams that were state runners-up in their respective classes last year. Both have sky-high aspirations this summer.
“We like to play Coach (Bob) Bunting and Lisbon,” Mustangs Coach Robin Brand said. “That’s a quality team.”
That’s two quality teams that will get better once they get a rhythm. Both teams have been limited in time with all of their players due to spring sports.
“We’ve had so many kids involved with track; we’ve been limited in what we could do,” said Bunting, who is beginning his 53rd season at Lisbon (0-1).
Asked if Mount Vernon (3-0) was the best team the Lions would face this year, Bunting nodded, “By far.”
If so, Bunting had to have seen a lot that he liked. All four of Mount Vernon’s runs were unearned.
Maia Bentley reached on a two-out error in the bottom of the first, then Addison Gookin followed with an inside-the-park home run to right field.
It stayed 2-0 until the fifth. Kenna Rollinger reached on an error to lead it off, Nadia Telecky was hit by a pitch with two outs, then Sprague came through.
Gookin had two of the Mustangs’ three hits.
Ella Clark (fifth-inning single) and Kali Nelson (seventh-inning double) accounted for Lisbon’s offense.
Mount Vernon 4, Lisbon 0
AT MOUNT VERNON
Lisbon 000 000 0 — 0 2 3
Mount Vernon 200 020 x — 4 3 0
Ryleigh Allgood and Blair Baltes. Jenna Sprague and Kenna Rollinger. WP — Sprague (2-0). LP — Allgood (0-1). HR — MV: Addison Gookin (1).