CEDAR RAPIDS — Hannah Markham was equally effective in slugging and squeezing.
The junior catcher cracked a two-run home run in the first game, then bunted home the go-ahead run in the second as Class 5A seventh-ranked Cedar Rapids Jefferson swept Linn-Mar, 5-0 and 3-1, in a Mississippi Valley Conference softball doubleheader Tuesday night at Niemeyer Field.
“Honestly, the squeeze was more fun,” Markham said. “Bringing home somebody else, it’s more of a team accomplishment than an individual accomplishment.”
Jefferson (17-4 overall, 10-4 MVC) moved into sole possession of first place in the MVC Mississippi Division.
“That was two good wins for us,” J-Hawks Coach Brian Erbe said. “We’re a different team this year. We don’t have as much pop in the lineup, but we have more speed, and with that we can do a lot of different things.”
The second game was tied in the bottom of the fifth. An infield single by Kaylee Donner and a double by Erica Oler put runners at second and third with one out, then Markham laid down the bunt that sent Donner home.
One of the J-Hawks’ speedsters, Kelsey Palmer beat out an infield hit to score an insurance run.
Oler (12-1) took care of the rest, retiring the last 10 batters she faced.
The UNI recruit pitched both games and pitched them well. She allowed seven hits in 14 innings, striking out 13 and walking just one.
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“Her changeup was doing really well,” said Markham, who had as good a view of Oler as anyone. “She was still going strong at the end.”
Jefferson led the opener from start to finish, scoring once in the bottom of the first inning and busting it open with four runs in the second.
An error played a role in the big inning, then Markham went deep to left-center field for her third homer of the season.
Linn-Mar slipped to 8-10 overall, 8-6 in the MVC.
CEDAR RAPIDS JEFFERSON 5-3, LINN-MAR 0-1
At Niemeyer Field
Linn-Mar 000 000 0 — 0 4 2
C.R. Jefferson 104 000 x — 5 6 0
Katie Smith and Charli Patten. Erica Oler and Hannah Markham. W — Oler (11-2). L — Smith (NA). HR — CRJ: Markham (3).
Linn-Mar 001 000 0 — 1 3 2
C.R. Jefferson 010 020 x — 3 7 0
Katie Smith and Charli Patten. Erica Oler and Hannah Markham. W — Oler (12-2). L — Smith (NA).
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