City High Close But Can't Break Through Against No. 5 Cedar Rapids Kennedy

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Photo by Jeff Yoder | photo gallery

Ryan Murken

Your Prep Sports

CEDAR RAPIDS – City High outhit Cedar Rapids Kennedy, played solid defense and got a pair of stellar pitching performances in a showdown of Mississippi Valley Conference divisional leaders.

About the only thing Class 5A third-ranked City High didn’t get on Tuesday was a win.

Fifth-ranked Cedar Rapids Kennedy overcame an early 1-0 deficit and won both games of a MVC doubleheader 2-1 on a cool and sometimes rainy night in Cedar Rapids.

“I thought we went toe-to-toe on the rubber with them, I thought we went toe-to-toe in the field and I thought we went toe-to-toe in the batters box,” City High coach Jeff Koenig said. “We just had a couple of times we just left runners at third and couldn’t get that base hit and you are going to have nights like that.”

City High (12-2, 10-2 MVC) finished with a 7-5 edge in hits over the Cougars thanks to strong outings from Ayana Lindsey and Ella Cook.

It wasn’t quite enough to knock off Kennedy (11-1, 10-0) which has won 19 consecutive regular season MVC games dating back to last season and outscored City High by a combined score of 17-1 in a doubleheader sweeps the past two seasons.  

“I think we proved to ourselves a little bit,” Koenig said. “The last few years Kennedy has pretty much had their way with us and I think we went toe-to-toe with one of the best teams in the state. They are clearly solid.”

City High scored first in each game but both times Kennedy had an answer.

The Little Hawks took a 1-0 lead in the third inning of the opening when Ayana Lindsey ripped a one-out single to left, stole second and third and scored on a Carey Koenig RBI single.

Kennedy got even on an Abby Spore RBI single in the fourth and took the lead on an odd play in the sixth.

Kaylin Kinney was intentionally walked with two outs and pinch runner Lizzy Dennis stole second and scored when the throw rolled all the way to the fence.

“I think we played really well there are just a few little things that we need to work on,” Lindsey said. “We are right there we know we can do it.”

Lindsey (6-1) was the hard luck loser in the opener, allowing a pair of unearned runs on just one hit while striking out nine and walking two (both intentionally passes to Kinney).

“I’ve been working on a few new pitches and just finishing outs and keeping the ball on the ground,” Lindsey said. “I just want to let our defense work behind me.”

Ella Cook nearly matched Lindsey in game two, allowing just two runs on four hits while walking three.

“I talked to her and Cary about what pitches were working and I tried to replicate that,” Cook said. “I thought we had a good plan.”

Cook gave City High a 1-0 lead in the first inning of the nightcap when she reached on an infield hit with one out and scored on a Sydney Fellows RBI single.

City High would muster just two more hits, a second-inning single by Alexa Fredericks and a sixth-inning double by Fellows off of Kennedy starter Jayme Scheck who spun her own gem, striking out 13 in a complete game win.

“It stinks because we felt like we were playing all three aspects of the game really well we just left a lot of runners in scoring position we just couldn’t push them across,” Cook said. “We are right there and we will get back to work and hopefully win or next six games this week.”

City High intentionally walked Kinney in four of her six plate appearances on Tuesday.

The last time the Little Hawks didn’t give the junior a free pass she tied the score at 1-1 with a solo shot to left center in the first inning of game two.

“I saw Ayana pitch to her and get Kaylin Kinney out and I tried to pitch to her and it didn’t go my way,” Cook said. “But I wanted to go after her.”

Cook allowed just one more run, coming in the third when Sam Scheck walked and scored on an Alyssa Martin sac fly but that was enough for Jayme Scheck who stranded runners in scoring position four times.

City High had its best chance to tie the game in the sixth when Fellows led off with a double that missed clearing the right field fence by a few feet.

Scheck got the next three hitters to strikeout, ground out and pop-up to end the innings.

“We just couldn’t quite find that one base hit that we’ve been getting this year but I didn’t think we put our heads down,” Koenig said. “We didn’t fold up when we could have when some things happened. I never thought we did that and I’m proud of how the girls responded.”

Game 1

City High                                001  000  0  –  1  3  2

Cedar Rapids Kennedy        000  100  x  –  2  1  1

W – Kaylin Kinney                 L – Ayana Lindsey

Game 2

City High                               100  000  0  –  1  4  1

Cedar Rapids Kennedy        101  000  x  –  2  4  1

W – Jayme Scheck                  L – Ella Cook

2B – ICH: Sydney Fellows. CRK: Addie Parker

HR – CRK: Kaylin Kinney

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