COMING OF AGE: Stoakes shines at Classic

WCHS?8th grader hits walk-off single, dinger to help Lynx win twice at home

Kelly Stoakes, just an eighth grader, went 4 for 8 at the plate with a home run and four RBI at the Lynx Classic on Saturday. DFJ photo/Troy Banning

WEBSTER CITY — In just a short amount of time, Kelly Stoakes has become as dependable as anyone that head coach Jess Howard has in her Webster City softball lineup.

The eight-grade left-handed stick can hit line drives to all parts of the park and as she showed on Saturday, she can came through in the clutch and showcase some power, too.

Stoakes was the star of the Lynx Classic, as she smacked a walk-off RBI single in a 4-3 comeback win over West Marshall and then, on her very next at bat, belted a two-run home run — the first of her budding career — to right-center field to set the tone in a 5-2 triumph over ninth-ranked (Class 1A) Martensdale St. Marys.

“She’s producing runs for us and she’s also getting on base,” Howard said of Stoakes, who moved up to the clean-up spot in the order when Cassie Nerland was lost to an ankle injury more than a week ago. “She did a good job (on Saturday) of putting the ball in play and even if she didn’t get on, she was hitting the ball hard to spots.”

Stoakes went 1 for 4 against West Marshall and was electric with three hits in four plate appearances and three RBI against MSM.

Coming off a six-inning loss to third-ranked (4A) Carlisle on Friday, the day was exactly what WCHS (7-6) needed to get back on track.

“The Carlisle game looked a lot different than what it was in terms of what we gained from it,” Howard said. “You’re not going to find a team that hits better than Carlisle and we were able to make some good plays.”

WCHS cranked out nine hits against West Marshall. Atlanta Hopp, who went 2 for 3, roasted a second-inning RBI double and Leah Kasch followed with a run-scoring single.

The Lynx trailed 3-2 entering the seventh, but six straight batters reached base. Taylor McKinney tied the game with a RBI base hit and Stoakes put it away with a RBI line-drive single to left-center.

Jenna Miller got the win in the circle, as she limited West Marshall to seven hits. She struck out three.

Hopp limited MSM to just two hits and held it scoreless over the final four innings en route to the win.

Zoey Woodle went 2 for 4 at the dish with a double and RBI. Leah Kasch added two hits and Miller connected for one.

WCHS broke a 2-2 tie with a three-spot in the sixth frame.

Webster City 4, West Marshall 3

Saturday at Webster City

W. Marsh 000 012 0 — 3 7 0

Web City 020 000 2 — 4 9 0

Loran Nicholson and Karisa Blocker. Jenna Miller and Kaitlynn Seeley. W — Miller. L — Nicholson. 2B — WM: Renae Schaper; WC: Atlanta Hopp. Multiple hits — WM: Schaper, Celilia Christensen; WC: Hopp, Zoey Woodle. RBI — WM: Blocker, Kayla Cripps, Grace Porter; WC: Hopp, Leah Kasch, Taylor McKinney, Kelly Stoakes.

Webster City 5, Mart St. Marys 2

Saturday at Webster City

MSM 011 000 0 — 2 2 2

Web City 200 003 x — 5 8 3

Nikki Rudolf, Jackie Kleve (5) and Brinley White. Atlanta Hopp and Cynthia Whitehill. W — Hopp. L — Kleve. 2B — MSM: Jayda Gay; WC: Zoey Woodle. HR — WC: Kelly Stoakes. Multiple hits — WC: Stoakes (3), Woodle, Leah Kasch. RBI — WC: Stoakes (3), Woodle.