116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Alexis Barden still is a gaps hitter.
Now, some of those gaps are over the fence.
With more muscle and more patience, Barden has developed into a true slugger in her senior season at Cedar Rapids Prairie. You can find her among the state leaders in numerous offensive categories.
“I don’t think she realizes what she’s doing,” Prairie Coach Alisha Frese said. “Others are amazed, but I don’t think she has said one word about her hitting.”
Before Tuesday’s home doubleheader against Cedar Rapids Washington, the Kirkwood Community College recruit was No. 1 statewide (all classes) in home runs (seven) and total bases (47). She was third in slugging percentage (1.382) and fifth in runs (21).
“I try not to pay attention to it,” Barden said. “I don’t want it to get too much in my head.
“When I step in the box, I try really hard to stay relaxed, to be a disciplined hitter. I’ve been more patient, and I think it’s starting to pay off.”
As a junior, Barden hit .500 with 19 doubles, three home runs and 27 RBIs. Her season ended early due to a labrum tear in her right shoulder.
“I was diving in one of our games, I landed on my arm and it popped out,” she said.
Frese said Barden’s arm “isn’t quite 100-percent yet,” and is trying to protect it by controlling the number of long throws she makes. Barden is playing some first and second base along with shortstop.
She suffered a similar injury in her left shoulder as a freshman.
After Tuesday’s sweep of Washington, the Class 5A 12th-ranked Hawks are 8-4 overall (7-1 Mississippi Valley Conference). Barden owns a .618 batting average (21 of 34).
“She’s a tough out. She’s seeing the ball right now,” Frese said.
Jensyn Jones has six home runs of her own, and Prairie leads the state with 17 as a team.
Goodwin’s arm, Moore’s bat lift Sigourney
Carly Goodwin kept Sigourney in the game, then Josephine Moore went out and won it.
Moore’s solo home run in the bottom of the 12th inning — her fourth of the season — lifted Sigourney to a 1-0 South Iowa Cedar League win over Colfax-Mingo on Monday.
A freshman, Moore was behind the plate for all of Goodwin’s 25 strikeouts.
Goodwin (7-2) allowed only two hits and didn’t walk a batter. She lowered her ERA to 0.26 and has struck out 119 batters (against four walks) in 54 innings.
Sigourney is 7-3.
West Liberty claims RVC South showdown
Sailor Hall’s two-run home run highlighted a tie-breaking three-run tally in the top of the sixth inning, and West Liberty moved into sole possession of the River Valley Conference South Division lead with a 4-1 win Monday at Iowa City Regina.
Hall also picked up the pitching win, scattering seven hits and striking out seven.
The Comets (5-3, 4-0 RVC) have won four straight games and hold a one-game lead over the Regals (5-4, 3-1) in the South.
They meet again June 17 at West Liberty.