IOWA CITY — No. 1 Durant used two powerhouse pitchers to sweep No. 8 Iowa City Regina in a battle of Class 2A and River Valley Conference softball powerhouses.
The Wildcats (24-2) beat the Regals (17-11) 4-0 in the first game, and 4-1 in the second game. The sweep puts Durant in the driver’s seat for the River Valley South title.
Durant pitcher Kamryn Meyer pitched a no-hitter in the first game, walking two and striking out 12.
Regina pitcher Katie Bracken struck out six batters during the first game, trying to keep up with Meyer.
Durant put up the first run of the game in the fifth inning after Paige Werthmann got on base after smacking the ball into shallow left field. A Jada Rock fly ball that was dropped allowed Werthmann to cross home plate.
Durant put the hurt on Regina in the sixth inning with three more runs. Back-to-back singles from Ruby Kappeler and Meyer were cashed in by Kylie Schult, who blasted a double to the left field fence.
Durant kicked off the second game by coming out hot in the first inning. Singles by Hannah Happ, Kyra Shult, and Kappeler followed by doubles by Mallory Warner and Paige Werthmann allowed Durant to light up the scoreboard early.
Regina eighth-grader Emma Nibaur started out pitching for the Regals but was relieved by Paisley Gardner after Durant scored quickly. Regina Coach Jake Koolbeck said that Nibaur did a good job for starting against the No. 1 team in Class 2A.
“She has a great mentality so she will be fine,” Koolbeck said. “She will be ready to get back after it tomorrow.”
The Regals struggled to get the bats going again, getting only three hits in the second game. Two of those hits belonged to Gardner.
“Paisley was great tonight,” Koolbeck said. “Paisley came in and did exactly what we needed. She got us out of the first and threw a great six innings.”
A single by Gardner drove in Carrigan O’Conner to score the Regals’ first and only run of the night.
Despite the back-to-back losses, Koolbeck maintained a positive outlook.
“We gave it our best, it’s just that their best was better than ours,” Koolbeck said. “Every game matters until it’s over. This one is over and we worry about what we have to do tomorrow to get ready for Washington.”
The Regals travel to Washington (Iowa) Tuesday, and to West Branch on Thursday for their final RVC doubleheader.