116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
IOWA CITY — The Linn-Mar Lions sent an emphatic message to the Mississippi Valley Conference in the first week of the softball season:
Don't sleep on us.
'I think we're overlooked,' Ally Johnson said. 'We've been overlooked the last two years.
'I don't know if people think we can hit.'
Thursday night, they hit a ton, rapping out 29 hits and sweeping Class 5A 15th-ranked Iowa City West, 17-9 and 4-3, in an MVC double-header at West High School.
The Lions (4-0 overall, 4-0 MVC) have scored 52 runs in their first four games.
Katie Smith earned the pitching win in both contests. She started the opener and got more run support than anyone could hope for, then pitched 2 1/3 scoreless innings in relief in Game 2.
'Her changeup is awesome,' Johnson said. 'She pitches to us in practice and gets girls to strike out.'
Linn-Mar broke a 3-3 tie in the top of the sixth, when Caitlyn Nuehring singled home Christina Lincoln with two outs.
West (0-3, 0-3) had rallied from an early 3-0 deficit and got even on Brooke Goodman's RBI single in the bottom of the fifth.
The first game was a 2-hour, 32-minute affair that featured 26 runs, 30 hits and 55 baserunners (Linn-Mar had 31, West 24).
All nine hitters had at least one hit for the Lions in the opener. The first three hitters — Johnson, Ariana Rolle and Elly Schuemann — collected three hits apiece.
Linn-Mar scored in every inning — two runs in the first, one in the second, two each in the third and fourth, five in the fifth, two in the sixth and three in the seventh.
Schuemann hit a two-run homer in the first inning, and Johnson nailed the American flag just over the center-field fence for a three-run shot in the fifth that made it 10-4.
'I walked in the dugout and they said, 'You hit the flag,'' Johnson said. 'I said, 'Sorry, my bad.'
'All of us are hitting the ball right now. All of us have confidence — confidence in ourselves and confidence in each other that they'll hit the right pitch.'
It looked like more of the same early in Game 2. The Lions went up 3-0 in the top of the first on an RBI double by Elison Ollinger and a two-run single by Lincoln.
West pitcher Kylie Heisdorffer slowed them there, though enabling West to get back in it.
LINN-MAR 17-4, IOWA CITY WEST 9-3
At Iowa City West
Linn-Mar 212 252 3 — 17 19 5
Iowa City West 200 212 2 — 9 11 2
Katie Smith and Christina Lincoln. Abby Henderson, Lauren Upchurch (3), Henderson (5), Kayli Baldwin (6) and Kaitlyn Fangmann. W — Smith. L — Henderson. HR — LM: Elly Schuemann, Ally Johnson.
Linn-Mar 300 001 0 — 4 10 1
Iowa City West 002 010 0 — 3 6 1
Morgan Braughton, Katie Smith (5) and Christina Lincoln. Kylie Heisdorffer and Kaitlyn Fangmann. W — Smith. L — Heisdorffer.
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