WEBSTER CITY - Jess Howard's softball coaching philosophy is simple: Step on the opponents' throat early and don't let up.
It seems to be working.
Howard looked on with approval last night at Lynx Field, as her Webster City ball club ripped Algona for five runs in the first and second innings, and the Lynx never looked back on their way to a 7-0 win - their sixth straight in the North Central Conference.
DFJ photo by Troy Banning
Webster City junior pitcher Kaitlyn Biere fires towards the plate during the second inning against Algona last night at Lynx Field. She allowed just two hits and the Lynx rolled to their sixth straight conference victory, 7-0.
"If you can get up right away, that gets the other team tense, so that's something I'm stressing to the girls," Howard said. "We just have to keep that up and continue to be aggressive early."
WCHS (6-6, 6-2 NCC) pushed two more runs across in the fourth against Algona pitcher Sara Steinman. The Lynx finished with 10 hits, including two each from Tiffany Constable, Kenady Highland and Allie Flaws.
Constable lashed a pair of doubles, the first coming in the opening inning to left-center field that brought Kaylee Schnathorst around from second with the game's first run. Schnathorst opened the frame with a bunt single, and she stole second on the next pitch.
Algona000 000 0-0 2 3
Webster City230 200 x-7 10 0
Sara Steinman and Justine Yeoman. Kaitlyn Biere and Kaylee Schnathorst. W-Biere. L-Steinman. 2B-WC: Tiffany Constable (2), Mikaleh McCoy. RBI-WC: Constable (2), McCoy (2), Allie Flaws (2).
Mikaleh McCoy roped her own double - she went the other way to right-center - two batters later to score Constable to give the Lynx a 2-0 edge.
Highland, Abbey Fuhs and Flaws all contributed second-inning base hits to help increase the lead to 5-0. Flaws hit a bouncer between first and second that reached the outfield grass for a two-run single.
Just the first-inning production was enough for WCHS junior right-hander Kaitlyn Biere, who notched her third shutout of the season. Algona (2-6, 1-5 NCC) was unable to catch up to her fastball for much of the night, and the end result was a 13-strikeout performance for the three-time first-team all-conference pitcher.
"She's throwing hard and teams can't catch up to it right now," Howard said of Biere. "Her inside fastball is really hard to get around on."
Jenni Zeller and Abigail Stecker accounted for the Bulldogs' only two hits - both singles.
WCHS will be in search of a seventh consecutive league win tonight against Hampton-Dumont. The first pitch from Hampton is set for 7:30 p.m.