IOWA CITY — In the span of two days, a divisional championship for the Iowa City High softball team has gone from a goal to an inevitability.
Ayana Lindsey hit three of City High’s five home runs, and the Class 5A fifth-ranked Little Hawks swept No. 11 Cedar Rapids Prairie, 12-2 and 6-2, in a Mississippi Valley Conference doubleheader Wednesday night at City High.
“That’s the first goal; it’s been a long time since we did it,” City Coach Jeff Koenig.
City’s last MVC divisional banner was hung in 1998. This team is sure to be crowned in the Mississippi Division; the sweep sent the Little Hawks to 25-6 overall, 20-2 in the league. Second-place Prairie, which has lost four straight league games in the past two days, is 18-9 and 13-7.
The Little Hawks’ 25 wins are their most since Iowa shifted to a 40-game regular-season maximum, and the 38 home runs this season (second most in the state, behind Camanche’s 50) also are a school record.
Lindsey has 13 of them.
“I go up there looking for my pitch, middle-in,” the sophomore said. “I see it, time it up and try to hit it as hard as I can.”
That’s the Little Hawks’ motto: Elevate and Celebrate.
“It’s hard to string together three or four hits to score a run,” Koenig said. “We’d rather put together a single, a walk and a three-run bomb.”
City High exploded in the first inning of both games.
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In the opener, Lindsey started it with a solo shot. Then after three straight walks and an error made it 2-0, No. 8 hitter Makayla Ribble mashed a grand slam to cap a six-run inning.
City added four runs in the second inning (led off by another Lindsey homer) and eventually ended it in five innings.
Alexis Barden put Prairie up 1-0 in Game 2 with a leadoff home run, then City answered with five tallies in the bottom of the frame.
Keli Potter and Brooke Bormann notched RBI singles, then Alexa Fredericks delivered a three-run homer to put City in front 5-1.
Lindsey homered again in the fourth inning, then Jensyn Jones went deep for Prairie.
IOWA CITY HIGH 12-6, CEDAR RAPIDS PRAIRIE 2-2 (1st, 5)
At Iowa City High
C.R. Prairie 000 20 — 2 4 3
Iowa City High 641 01 — 12 7 1
Payton Akers and Jensyn Jones. Ayana Lindsey and Carey Koenig. W — Lindsey (12-3). L — Akers (9-3). HR — ICH: Lindsey 2 (12), Makayla Ribble (4).
C.R. Prairie 100 000 1 — 2 4 0
Iowa City High 500 100 x — 6 7 1
Riley Sauser and Jensyn Jones. Ella Cook and Jayden Young. W — Cook (10-3). L — Sauser (7-3). HR — CRP: Alexis Barden (4), Jones (2); ICH: Alexa Fredericks (2), Ayana Lindsey (13).
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