116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
MARION — Down a run. Bases loaded. Last inning.
'There weren't any outs,' Erica Oler said. 'So there wasn't any pressure.'
Wait. No pressure?
'No pressure,' she insisted.
Oler provided the lethal blow, a three-run double in the top of the seventh inning that gave Class 5A second-ranked Cedar Rapids Jefferson a 6-4 win — and a double-header sweep — in Mississippi Valley Conference softball action Tuesday night against Linn-Mar at Oak Ridge Middle School.
Jefferson (20-3 overall) remained unscathed in 14 MVC decisions.
'They had us beat,' J-Hawks Coach Brian Erbe said. 'But good for these guys. They didn't give up.
'It's an old adage, and I'm sure you've heard it 100 times ... hitting is contagious.'
Power hitting was contagious for the J-Hawks in the opener. Lindsey Culver hit two home runs, and Kennedy Dighton and Oler added a long ball apiece as Jefferson cruised, 9-2.
This used to be a doubles-and-triples park. But they moved the outfield fences in 25 feet — it's 200 feet all around now — and with a strong southerly wind, it was a power hitter's paradise Tuesday.
Jefferson leads the state with 33 home runs this season.
'We do a lot of hitting drills every day,' Oler said.
Linn-Mar (11-8, 11-3) was poised to earn a split. A three-run fourth inning put the Lions in front 4-1, and it was still 4-2 entering the top of the seventh, when the wheels fell off.
After Liv Erickson and Culver opened the inning with back-to-back singles, the Lions made two straight errors to make it 4-3 and set the stage for Oler.
But hey, no pressure, right?
Jefferson shortstop Avery Guy is among the state's best in batting average and on-base percentage. She raised those rates to .621 and .711, respectively, in a 6-for-9 performance in which she reached base eight times in 10 plate appearances.
CEDAR RAPIDS JEFFERSON 9-6, LINN-MAR 2-4
At Oak Ridge Middle School
C.R. Jefferson 000 413 1 — 9 12 2
Linn-Mar 101 000 0 — 2 4 2
Erica Oler and Hannah Markham. Katie Smith, Morgan Braughton (5) and Christina Lincoln, Caitlyn Nuehring (7). W — Oler (8-3). L — Smith (7-5). HR — CRJ: Lindsey Culver 2 (8), Kennedy Dighton (8), Oler (4).
C.R. Jefferson 100 010 4 — 6 12 0
Linn-Mar 100 300 0 — 4 12 2
Emily Oler and Hannah Markham. Katie Smith and Christina Lincoln. W — Oler (11-0). L — Smith (7-6).
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