Photo by Jeff Yoder
Your Prep Sports
IOWA CITY – A doubleheader sweep of cross-town rival West High on Tuesday had City High on a high.
Back-to-back losses at Davenport North 24 hours later and a 5-3 setback to Cedar Rapids Xavier in the opener of a Mississippi Valley Conference doubleheader Thursday put the Little Hawks in a hole.
City High didn’t waste any time digging out of that hole.
Class 5A No. 10 City High scored four runs in the first inning and never trailed on its way to a 9-6 win over 4A seventh-ranked Xavier in the nightcap of an MVC twinbill at City High.
City High snapped a three-game losing skid with the game-two win and improved to 12-5 on the season and 10-2 in MVC play.
“I told them between games champions find a way to win,” City High coach Jeff Koenig said. “I said if you want to take that next step, and they’ve told me they want to take that next step, if they want to do that champions find a way to make this right tonight and they came out and did it.”
City High had five hits and batted around in its four-run first inning that proved to be the difference in the nightcap.
Carey Koenig had an RBI double and Keli Potter and Alexa Fredericks each drove in runs with singles as City High took its first lead of the doubleheader.
“Our goal was to jump on them early and we did that,” Fredericks said. “We got four runs in the first inning and that gave us the momentum and the confidence to keep it going.”
City High hadn’t lost back-to-back games all season before being swept in a non-conference doubleheader on Wednesday by Davenport North.
The losing skid reached three after the Little Hawks stranded 10 baserunners in a 5-3 loss in the opener to Xavier (8-7, 7-5).
City High had seven hits in game one but went 2-for-13 with runners in scoring position.
“We had hits that came up at the wrong times,” City High junior Bentler said. “I think we had good at bats it just didn’t come together.”
City High reversed that trend early in the nightcap.
Back-to-back doubles by Ella Cook and Koenig put City High up 1-0 just three batters into the game.
A two-out RBI single by Fredericks put City High up 4-0.
“We just wanted to string together hits,” Fredericks said. “Last night and the first game we were hitting we just couldn’t get timely hits.”
Bentler and Fredericks helped put the game out of reach with two-out, two-run singles.
Fredericks ripped a single to left with two out in the third inning to put City High up 7-2.
Bentler did the same in the fourth inning when she served a two-out single into shallow right center on a 3-2 pitch.
The hit by Bentler was her third of the doubleheader and put City High up 9-2.
“We were upset about the losses but we knew we would get back on track,” Bentler said. “We were able to catch back on.”
The early lead was enough for City High starter Ella Cook.
Cook allowed four runs in the fifth but worked out of jams in both the sixth and seventh to secure the win.
The freshman improved to 5-2 allowing six runs on nine hits and also had two hits and scored a run.
“When she can keep the ball down a little and we get ground balls we throw a really nice defense out there and we make plays,” Koenig said. “Her job is to make them swing at her pitch and let her defense do the work for her and we made a lot of plays for her tonight.”
Every City High player had a hit in the nightcap led by Potter and Fredericks with two each.
Fredericks drove in three runs while Bentler had two RBI and Potter scored three runs.
“It was kids up and down the lineup that did it,” Koenig said. “I have the complete 100 percent confidence that any kid can step up there at any time and get that key hit for us. I completely believe in every single one of them.”
CR Xavier 100 310 0 – 5 11 2
City High 100 101 0 – 3 7 1
W – Maria Steffen L – Ayana Lindsey
2B – ICH: Brianna Bentler (2); CRX: Cam Kauffman, Charlotte Richards
CR Xavier 011 040 0 – 6 9 0
City High 403 200 x – 9 12 0
W – Ella Cook L – Kennedy Oleson
2B – ICH: Ella Cook, Carey Koenig, Makayla Ribble; CRX: Maria Steffen, Keera Bell, Hannah Williams (2)
HR – CRX: Jenae Marshall