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Skyler Stookey powers Coe softball to opening-game win in sweep over Cornell
Stookey had 5 total hits and 2 home runs in the Kohawks’ 27-hit performance for 11th straight win over Rams
MOUNT VERNON – Coe Coach Jake Koolbeck said Skyler Stookey can provide a spark with one swing of the bat.
The Kohawks’ senior ignited a virtual inferno with four of them in the opening game of a softball doubleheader against rival Cornell.
Stookey produced a career-best performance at the plate, going 4-for-4 with two home runs and five RBIs in Coe’s 12-4 victory in six innings over the Rams Tuesday at Van Metre Family Softball Field. The Kohawks earned a sweep with a 6-1 win in the nightcap for their 12th straight win against Cornell.
The Game 1 win gave Coe a 7-4 edge in the 2022-23 Bremner Cup Series between the two schools.
“I came out here and just wanted to get a win for the team,” Stookey said. “Got a big Bremner point there to take us into conference season. It was a team effort. Obviously, you can see we had 15 hits. You can’t overlook that. It was a good game.”
Stookey is in the heart of the batting order. She was an all-American Rivers Conference player and National Fastpitch Coaches Association all-region selection in 2021. Stookey is part of a strong group of upperclassmen, which has embraced leadership roles.
“She brings a great voice to our team,” Koolbeck said. “She has a lot of experience and knows what we want to do. She knows how to fire up her teammates and bring that energy for everybody.”
The early season had been filled with some inconsistency, posting three previous multi-hit games and four with multiple RBIs but a .217 batting average. Weekend games canceled due to snow allowed her to make some adjustments in preparation for the American Rivers Conference season. The work paid instant dividends.
“We had the weekend off,” the former Solon prep said. “I took some time to relax, rewind and think about what I had going into conference, the second season as we like to call it.”
The schedule has been hectic, taking trips to St. Louis and Arizona. The brief break allowed players to reset and recharge.
“We’ve talked about cleaning some stuff up and getting more comfortable in the box,” Koolbeck said. “We’ve had some ups and downs throughout the year. She’s really looked good, getting back to seeing good pitches, and taking her best swing. That’s what I want her to do.”
Stookey had bookend singles to left that sandwiched two home runs to straight away center. Her first blast made it 5-3 in the third. Stookey added a two-run, two-out shot after Bree Mengelsen’s two-run double. The Kohawks pulled away for a 9-4 lead.
The approach remained constant, even when pitchers gave her different looks. Stookey has three home runs in the last four games, giving her four total this season to go with 17 RBIs. Her five RBIs is her second-best total in a game and most since six against Wartburg on May 7, 2021.
“I just got up there and I knew I was a good hitter,” Stookey said. “I just trusted my eyes and barreled balls up hard.
“The first one I didn’t think as much, especially at 220 (foot fences). The second one felt pretty good.”
Coe produced 15 hits in the opener, including two apiece from Heather Boeckenstedt, Ruby Kappeler and Marisa Vodicka, who had a two-run double in the sixth and three RBIs.
In the nightcap, Coe pitcher Ellie Thurow (5-1) tossed a complete-game one-hitter, striking out 10. Keera Ball went 3-for-3 with two runs and an RBI to lead Coe’s 12-hit outing in Game 2. Boeckenstedt and Mangelsen added two hits each in the second game for the Kohawks (15-3).
“When teammates start to string together hits and the top gets us going in whatever way and we see runners on, with a little bit of our short game at times, it gets everybody a little more relaxed and comfortable at the plate,” Koolbeck said. “We go put good swings on balls.”
Erin Buck had the lone hit and scored the only Rams run in Game 2. Buck and Miranda Keith had two hits apiece and Peyton Souhrada had two RBIs in the opener for Cornell (4-6).