MOUNT VERNON — When a softball team has a host of talented seniors and strong pitching, it is going to win a bunch of games.
The Coe Kohawks have nearly won them all.
“Everyone has pretty much been playing a role on the team,” Coe senior infielder Haley Jones said after the eighth-ranked Kohawks swept Cornell, 12-5 and 11-3, in a college softball doubleheader on Thursday at the Mount Vernon Softball Complex. “Whether they are pitching, hitting, playing defense, running. Even in the dugout, all the cheering that has been going on and then we just get work done on the field, in the box and in the pitching circle.”
Jones — a leadoff batter who leads the Kohawks in nearly every hitting category — had two hits and drove in five runs in Game 1 as former Cedar Rapids Jefferson prep Alyssa Olson (9-0, 0.98 earned run average, 93 strikeouts) struck out five batters and remained unbeaten in the pitching circle despite allowing five earned runs.
Coe senior Madi Miller — who played high school ball at Iowa City West — collected three hits, including her first home run of the season, in Game 1.
Senior Allie O’Brien and Cedar Rapids Kennedy graduate Megan Weber both homered in the nightcap as Center-Point Urbana alum Bailey Smith (6-1, 1.43) struck out seven in the five-inning contest.
Coe (16-1) opened the season at the Fastpitch Dreams Spring Classic in Myrtle Beach, S.C., and won 13 games in seven days without a defeat. This is its best season start since the 2012 team began 17-1.
“I’m very happy about the start, obviously, but we’ve got a really tough road ahead,” fifth-year Coe Coach Diane Meyer said. “We’ll be tested this weekend, for sure.”
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Coe will travel to St. Louis this weekend for four games, including two against fourth-ranked Illinois Wesleyan.
“We’re continuing to get better,” Meyer said. “We have literally had two practices outside, so when you don’t get to be out here working and practicing … it is just a little bit tougher.”
Junior Kim Rose had a two-run home run and a two-run double for Cornell (6-6).
AT MOUNT VERNON SOFTBALL COMPLEX
No. 8 Coe 12-11, Cornell 5-3 (2nd, 5)
Coe 031 413 0—12
Cornell 002 201 0—5
WP — Alyssa Olson (9-0). LP — Haley Harmon (3-1). HR — Cornell: Kim Rose (1); Coe: Madi Miller (1).
Coe 250 13—11
Cornell 300 00—3
WP — Bailey Smith (6-1). LP — Lily Dahlstrom (1-2). HR — Coe: Allie O’Brien (2), Megan Weber (2).
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