CEDAR RAPIDS — They’ve separated themselves from the rest of the Mississippi Valley Conference. And for now, Cedar Rapids Kennedy is the best of the best.
Courtesy runner Lizzy Dennis scored from first base on a wild play in the first game, Jayme Scheck got stronger as Game 2 progressed, and Class 5A fifth-ranked Kennedy swept No. 3 Iowa City High, 2-1 and 2-1, in an MVC softball doubleheader Tuesday night at Kennedy High School.
“This is going to help us a lot,” Scheck said as the Cougars improved to 11-1 overall, 10-0 in the MVC. “As you beat good teams, you’re going to get more confidence in yourselves.”
City High (12-2, 10-2) certainly qualifies as a good team. The Little Hawks were the last unbeaten standing in 5A.
“Like I told the team, we went toe to toe with them,” City Coach Jeff Koenig said. “On the pitching rubber, in the field, in the batter’s box, we were right there with them. We just couldn’t get the runners home from third base.”
In both games, the Cougars spotted City High the first run. And both times, the Cougars answered.
Abby Spore’s fourth-inning sacrifice fly got Kennedy even, 1-1, in the opener. Then the Cougars broke the tie in the sixth.
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After Kaylin Kinney was intentionally walked (one of the four times she was freely passed Tuesday) with two outs, Dennis was summoned to run. She stole second, then popped up and scored when the throw rolled to the fence.
City High has taken the lead in the top of the third on Carey Koenig’s RBI single.
The Little Hawks jumped in front in the nightcap on Sydney Fellows’ RBI single, but the Little Hawks pitched to Kinney in the bottom of the first, and she knocked a full-count pitch out of the park to tie it.
Alyssa Martin’s sacrifice fly in the third put Kennedy in front, and that was enough for Scheck, who allowed just one hit in the final five innings. She finished with 13 strikeouts.
“I think she gets a little nervous to start the game, but the longer she goes, the more she’s able to forget about it,” Kennedy Coach Maddison LeClere said.
Kennedy has another showdown Wednesday, a makeup doubleheader with archrival Cedar Rapids Jefferson.
CEDAR RAPIDS KENNEDY 2-2, IOWA CITY HIGH 1-1
At C.R. Kennedy
Iowa City High 001 000 0 — 1 3 3
C.R. Kennedy 000 101 x — 2 1 1
Ayana Lindsey and Carey Koenig. Kaylin Kinney and Abby Spore. W — Kinney (6-0). L — Lindsey (6-1).
Iowa City High 100 000 0 — 1 4 1
C.R. Kennedy 101 000 x — 2 5 1
Ella Cook and Jayden Young. Jayme Scheck and Abby Spore. W — Scheck (5-1). L — Cook (6-1). HR — CRK: Kaylin Kinney (5).
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