Prep Softball

Cedar Rapids Kennedy, Iowa City High split in MVC softball showdown

Mary Krystofiak puts Cougars in position to win the opener, then Little Hawks hit 5 homers in nightcap

IOWA CITY — Mary Krystofiak and Maddison LeClere had a heart-to-heart after last season.

The No. 3 pitcher on Cedar Rapids Kennedy’s staff (behind a pair of first-team all-staters), Krystofiak asked her coach if she should concentrate on another aspect of her game.

LeClere’s response?

“I told her I see her potential, I see the competitor she is,” LeClere said. “I told her, just keep throwing for me.”

Wednesday night, it became obvious that was a good call.

Krystofiak got the start in the opener of the Cougars’ Mississippi Valley Conference cross-divisional softball showdown with Iowa City High, and came through with five gutsy innings to lift Class 5A No. 4 Kennedy to a 2-1 win.

City High, ranked No. 2 in 5A, won the nightcap, 12-1 in five innings.

“I really tried to be aggressive, keep the ball away from them and mix it up,” Krystofiak said. “It was a good team win.”

Last offseason, LeClere thought she might be without Jayme Scheck — who made her first appearance Tuesday after undergoing hip surgery in January — for the entire summer. Wednesday, the Cougars (7-1) were without Kaylin Kinney, a University of Nebraska signee, who had a commitment with her club team.

They needed somebody to come through, and Krystofiak did all of that, holding the Little Hawks (6-2) to one run and five hits in five innings.

After Addy Alber homered in the top of the sixth to put the Cougars ahead, LeClere summoned Scheck, who nailed down the win.

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The dam broke in Game 2, though, with City High homering five times. Two of those — including a grand slam — came from Ayana Lindsey.

This was Lindsey’s night at the plate. Single, home run, double, strikeout, triple, grand slam, homer. Seven RBIs.

“For the last few games, I wasn’t batting too great,” Lindsey said. “I was overthinking. I was trying too hard. Tonight, I decided just to let the crap go and play.”

“She’d been a little frustrated,” City High Coach Jeff Koenig said. “She tried to do too much, and that’s OK.”

The Little Hawks broke a 1-1 tie in the nightcap with eight runs in the bottom of the second inning, all with two outs. Lindsey’s slam put City in front, 5-1.

Mya Dodge homered in the opener for Kennedy, her fourth homer in two days. Lindsey tied it with a long ball of her own before Alber hit the tiebreaker with one out in the sixth.

“We did what we needed to do tonight,” LeClere said. “To get a split without Kaylin, that’s an accomplishment.”

CEDAR RAPIDS KENNEDY 2-1, IOWA CITY HIGH 1-12 (2nd,5)

At City High

Game 1

C.R. Kennedy 001 001 0 — 2 8 1

Iowa City High 001 000 0 — 1 5 1

Mary Krystofiak, Jayme Scheck (6) and Abby Spore. Ayana Lindsey and Carey Koenig. W — Krystofiak (2-0). L — Lindsey (2-2). SV — Scheck (1). HR — CRK: Mya Dodge (5), Addy Alber (4), ICH: Lindsey (3).

Game 2

C.R. Kennedy 100 00 — 1 4 0

Iowa City High 180 3x — 12 12 0

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Alexis Wheatley, Topanga Beauregard (2) and Abby Spore. Ella Cook and Keli Potter. W — Cook (4-0). L — Wheatley (0-1). HR — CRK: Addie Parker (1), ICH: Ayana Lindsey 2 (5), Ella Cook (3), Potter (5), Sydney Fellows (1).

Comments: (319) 368-8857; jeff.linder@thegazette.com

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