MARION — The “hitting-is-contagious” statement is tired, but in this case, true.
“Every time somebody gets the bats going, everybody else follows along,” Elly Schuemann said after Class 5A 11th-ranked Linn-Mar swept Iowa City West, 6-1 and 11-4, in a Mississippi Valley Conference softball doubleheader Thursday night at Oak Ridge Middle School. “If our bats are on, our bats are on.”
Schuemann enjoyed a 6-for-9 night, scoring four runs and driving in four more as the Lions improved to 4-0 overall, 4-0 in the MVC. Linn-Mar is clicking along with a healthy 7.3 runs and 10.3 hits per game.
“And I think we’re just going to get better when (Ariana Rolle) is back at the top of our order,” Lions Coach John Begley said.
Rolle aggravated a hamstring injury at the state track and field meet last week, and did not run the bases Thursday. She did run down a couple fly balls in center field, though.
The first game was tied, 1-1, before the Lions broke it open with two runs in the bottom of the fifth inning and three more in the sixth.
Kennedy Rentschler and Schuemann opened the fifth inning with back-to-back doubles to break the tie, then an error made it 3-1. Schuemann hit a two-run double in the sixth, then Rae Van Milligan followed with an RBI single.
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“Seeing the pitches has really helped me,” Schuemann said. “I definitely think it’s a focus thing. If you don’t go to the plate with focus, you’re not going to do well.
“I just try to focus on the pitcher, myself and the ball.”
Linn-Mar built a 9-0 lead after four innings of the nightcap before West (0-4, 0-4) got on the board late.
“We got kind of sloppy at the end,” Begley said. “(The top of the sixth, when Linn-Mar committed two errors) was our first bad inning of the season.”
Rentschler added five hits in the twinbill. Pitcher Katie Smith (3-0) scattered four hits in the opener, inducing 15 ground-ball outs.
LINN-MAR 6-11, IOWA CITY WEST 1-4
At Oak Ridge Middle School
Iowa City West 000 100 0 — 1 4 1
Linn-Mar 100 023 x — 6 11 1
Eva Burbridge and Rylee Goodfellow. Katie Smith and Charli Patten. W — Smith (3-0). L — Burbridge (0-2). HR — LM: Ally Johnson (1).
Iowa City West 000 022 0 — 4 6 2
Linn-Mar 301 502 x — 11 12 2
Kylie Heisdorffer and Jaclyn Bakken. Madison Beard, Briley Berning (6) and Patten. W — Beard (1-0). L — Heisdorffer (0-2).
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