116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CENTRAL CITY - When the softball regional pairings were announced last week, Lisbon Coach Bob Bunting knew his team had a tough road ahead.
Paired in Class 2A Region 5 with Alburnett, North Linn, Cascade and No. 4 Durant, among others, Bunting said the Lions' road to the state tournament would be very tough.
Yet after watching the Lions' performance on Thursday at Central City High School, it doesn't seem that Bunting has much to worry about.
No. 12 Lisbon (24-4, 16-0) swept Central City (26-6, 12-5) on the road 6-5 and 6-1, earning its 10th win over the last 11 games.
'They only had three losses coming in, so we couldn't afford to lose two,” Bunting said. 'We were hoping to split, and we did better than a split. It was big.”
The first game, though, wasn't easy. The Wildcats took their first lead of the night in the fifth inning of the first game, thanks to a pair of RBIs from Madison Tritle and Sydney Kramer, giving them a 5-4 lead.
Lisbon fired back in the top of the seventh. Chloe Woldruff drilled a shot to the center field wall to score a run, tying the game back up and forcing extra innings.
Finally in the ninth inning, Lisbon's Reegan Happel drove a hit down the third base line to bring in the winning run.
The second game, though, was much different. Lisbon mounted a big rally in the fifth inning, grabbing five runs with only one out to take a 5-1 lead. The Lions grabbed one more run off a single from freshman Samantha Bennett to give them a 6-1 lead. From there they never looked back, cruising to the five-run win.
The difference from game one to game two, Bunting and pitcher Skyler Sadler said, was their performance at the plate.
'We have a tendency to get under the ball too much,” Bunting said. 'We just finally got in the middle of the ball and got some muscle on it and hit the ball hard. So many times in the first part, (our hitting) was just lethargic.”
After those two quality wins for Lisbon, Sadler said she feels much more confident heading into the postseason. Now that they know they can pull out big wins, she said, it makes it easier to get ready for what's ahead.
'I think it helps us get prepared for what we have coming,” Sadler said. 'We were a little (worried about the bracket), but we're focused on what we have now and taking it one game at a time. But we believe in our team, so we can get it done.”
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