MARION — After suffering a hitting famine at the hands of Kara Maiers, the Linn-Mar Lions followed with a feast.
Maiers spun a 13-strikeout no-hitter to lift Iowa City Liberty to a 6-0 victory in the first game of an MVC Valley Division softball doubleheader Wednesday night at Oak Ridge Middle School.
Then, Linn-Mar’s bats awoke in the nightcap and the Lions salvaged a split, 9-4.
“I don’t think our approach changed as much as our attitude changed at the plate,” Lions Coach Lindsey Murray said. “We had more confidence.
“I challenged them a little bit. We’ve had a few losses, and we needed to come together.”
Maiers, a junior, was unfazed by a 30-minute rain delay before the start of the twinbill.
“I was able to warm up before it started pouring,” she said.
Then once the showers downgraded to sprinkles and action began, she dominated.
Relying on her riseball, and tossing in enough fastballs and changeups to keep batters off balance, Maiers silenced the Lions, whose four baserunners all were the result of walks.
“The riseball was definitely working,” Maiers said. “When I get one strike, I definitely start going to it quite a bit.”
Brylee Klostermann, who muddied her uniform extensively with a head-first slide at the beginning of the game, ignited Liberty (9-7, 5-3 MVC Valley) offensively with a 3-for-4 performance, including a home run. She scored three times.
Linn-Mar (7-5, 3-5) wouldn’t be denied all night, though. Down 2-0 after a half-inning, the Lions erupted for seven runs in the bottom of the second for a 9-2 advantage, then held on.
The onslaught began with an error and two walks with one out, then the hits started coming. Chelsea Buck had the big blow, a two-run double that put the Lions in front, 5-2.
IOWA CITY LIBERTY 6-4, LINN-MAR 0-9
At Oak Ridge Middle School
Iowa City Liberty 100 010 4 — 6 10 0
Linn-Mar 000 000 0 — 0 0 0
Kara Maiers and Tiffany Jones, Mischa Reiners (2). Madison Beard, Briley Berning (7) and Olivia Holm. W — Maiers (5-2). L — Beard (2-3). HR — ICL: Brylee Klosterman (3).
Iowa City Liberty 200 200 0 — 4 9 2
Linn-Mar 270 000 x — 9 8 0
Kinsley Robertson, Kennedy Daugherty (2) and Mischa Reiners. Hannah Gralund and Olivia Holm. W — Gralund (4-2). L — Robertson (2-4).
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