Photo by Jeff Yoder
Your Prep Sports
IOWA CITY – City High got back-to-back solid pitching performances from freshman Ayana Lindsey and Ella Cook in its showdown with top-ranked Cedar Rapids Kennedy.
The trouble for the Little Hawks was Kennedy boasts its own dynamic pitching duo and both were on top of their games on Tuesday.
Kaylin Kinney and Jayme Scheck combined to allow six hits as Class 5A No. 1 Kennedy swept No. 15 City High in a Mississippi Valley Conference cross-divisional doubleheader at City High.
Kinney allowed just four hits in a 3-0 win in the opener and Scheck struck out 12 in a two-hitter in the nightcap as Kennedy (20-3) improved to 16-0 in MVC play.
“That’s the best two pitchers we have seen all season,” City High coach Jeff Koenig said. “We knew coming in that those pitchers were going to be good and we were either going to be able to hit like we’ve been hitting or they were going to kind of control it and for the most part their pitchers controlled the game.”
Lindsey and Cook did their best to match the Kennedy combo holding a Cougar offense that entered averaging better than eight runs per game to eight total runs.
It wasn’t quite enough as Kennedy took advantage of two unearned runs in the opener and broke the nightcap open with two runs in each of the final two innings.
The two shutouts matched the total for City High through 25 games as the Little Hawks dropped to 16-11 on the season and 12-6 in MVC play.
“I thought my two pitchers pitched extremely well, they pitched as well as they have,” Koenig said. “If you would have told me they were going to give up three and five I would have said we could get two games.”
Lindsey pitched well in the opener.
Kennedy took an early lead with two unearned runs in the second inning when Lindsey couldn’t corral an Addison Parker comebacker with the bases loaded and Brooke Bormann bobbled an Ashley Winterowd ground ball.
“If you’d ask me with the bases loaded who do you want to get the ball I’d say put one right back to Ayana she will make that play every time,” Koenig said. “That ends up being a two-run inning but you are going to have those that’s part of the growth.
Kennedy added a run in the third when Izzy Wright doubled and scored on a Mary Krystofiak two-out RBI single.
That was enough for Kinney who allowed just four singles and didn’t allow more than one baserunner in an inning.
Kinney struck out seven and didn’t walk a batter while improving to 11-1 on the season.
It was more of the same in the nightcap.
Scheck retired the first 15 batters she faced and Kennedy took a 1-0 lead in the fourth when Kinney walked with one out and scored on a wild pitch.
Kennedy added two runs in the sixth and broke the game open in the seventh on a two-run single by sophomore catcher Abby Spore that followed an intentional pass to Kinney.
“Kaylin got walked and its happened before and it’s a big mental thing,” Spore said. “I want to get that hit for Kaylin. She pitched the first game, she did a great job and I know she wanted the chance to hit so that makes me want it so much more.”
Scheck allowed just two hits, singles by Brianna Bentler and Makayla Ribble in the sixth but worked out of trouble.
She caught Lindsey looking at strike three and got Cook to ground sharply to short to end the threat.
“We had the tying run at the plate and Ayana fouled off a hard one down the line and I was hoping she would find it but it just wasn’t our night hitting wise,” Koenig said. “You’re going to have those nights.”
Scheck returned the final five batters she faced after the one-out single by Ribble and struck out 12 while improving to 9-2.
Kinney and Scheck lowered their combined ERA to .56 with 14 shutout innings on Tuesday.
Despite the lack of run production Koenig liked what he was from his young team against the state’s number one ranked team.
“Tonight we were shut out by two very good pitchers last year we were shut out I think nine times to the tune of 74-0 this year we’ve been shut out 1-0, 1-0, 3-0, 5-0,” Koenig said. “It’s a different team, there is a lot more battle in these girls and we don’t have a senior in the bunch.”
Cedar Rapids Kennedy 021 000 0 – 3 9 1
City High 000 000 0 – 0 4 2
W – Kaylin Kinney L – Ayana Lindsey
2B – CRK: Kaylin Kinney, Izzy Wright
Cedar Rapids Kennedy 000 102 2 – 5 9 0
City High 000 000 0 – 0 2 0
W – Jayme Scheck L – Ella Cook
2B – CRK: Jayme Scheck