TROY MILLS — Marv Porter has a spy in Walker, and the spy has a good story about Jill Smith.
“There’s a coach over there, and he told me he went by (Smith’s) house the other night and she was hitting balls off the tee in the dark,” Porter said.
Practice makes productive.
Smith sent her state-leading RBI total to 20, driving in three more runs Thursday as Class 2A second-ranked North Linn swept 1A No. 2 Lisbon 10-3 and 9-1 in a Tri-Rivers Conference softball doubleheader at North Linn High School.
That’s right, 20 RBIs in 11 games this season for Smith, a freshman.
“I was so nervous up there last year as an eighth-grader,” she said. “I’ve got more confidence now.
“We all just go up there with all we’ve got. When we see a good pitch, we go after it.”
North Linn improved to 10-1 overall, 6-0 in the Tri-Rivers. The Lynx have won 30 straight league games dating back to late in the 2017 season.
“We’ve got power, we’ve got pitching, we’ve got speed,” said Porter, in his second year as the Lynx’s head coach. “What else do you really need?”
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The Lynx also have incentive after getting their hearts broken by Iowa City Regina in the regional finals last year.
“That has stuck with us, for sure,” Smith said.
North Linn struck for four runs in the bottom of the first inning in Game 1, with Natalie Gallery’s bloop single driving in two runs.
Lisbon (4-2, 4-2) rallied to within 6-3 on back-to-back singles by Reegan Happel and Peyton Robinson in the fifth inning, but North Linn answered with four tallies in the bottom of the sixth, highlighted by Smith’s two-run double.
The nightcap was close for a while, then the Lynx scored four times in the third inning and four more in the fourth to bust it open. Grace Flanagan was 3-for-4 in Game 2 with a two-run home run and a triple.
Abby Flanagan (6-0) was the winning pitcher in both games.
NORTH LINN 10-9, LISBON 3-1
At Troy Mills
Lisbon 001 020 0 — 3 9 4
North Linn 400 204 x — 10 11 0
Skylar Sadler and Reegan Happel. Abby Flanagan and Grace Flanagan. W — A. Flanagan (5-0). L — Sadler (3-1).
Lisbon 000 010 0 — 1 7 1
North Linn 014 400 x — 9 12 1
Sam Schrantz, Emily Butteris (4) and Reegan Happel. Abby Flanagan, Ellie Flanagan (5) and Grace Flanagan. W — A. Flanagan (6-0). L — Schrantz (1-1). SV — E. Flanagan (1). HR — NL: G. Flanagan (2).
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