Gaels pounce early, hand Lynx league loss

Oberg a one-girl wrecking crew; Flaws and Miller three hits each for WCHS

WCHS second baseman Atlanta Hopp (right) fields a ground ball up the middle before throwing to first for the out against St. Edmond on Monday. DFJ photo/Troy Banning

WEBSTER CITY — Jacque Oberg was the star, but make no mistake about it, her supporting cast was no slouch either Monday night at Lynx Field.

Oberg, a Fort Dodge St. Edmond junior, left the yard in the fifth inning and drove in three runs, and the Gaels feasted on Webster City’s pitching to the tune of 11 hits in a 9-4 North Central Conference victory over the Lynx.

And that was the lasting image that WCHS head coach Jess Howard took away from the contest. Yes, her team could have played better, but the truth was the Lynx simply couldn’t keep up with the power and balance of St. Edmond (11-5, 6-1 NCC), which stayed just one game in the loss column behind league leader and third-ranked (Class 3A) Humboldt.

“They’ve got a complete lineup,” Howard said of the Gaels, who won the first meeting, 8-7, last month in Fort Dodge. “There isn’t really a batter that you can take it easy on. It was a they out-hit us night more than it was a defensive miscue night for us.”

Oberg went 2 for 4 at the dish. With her team already in command 4-1 in the fifth inning, she sent a Jenna Miller offering high and deep over the fence in right-center for her first homer of the season to push the Gaels’ cushion to 7-1. The blast bounced off the bleachers on the little league field.

Haley Flaws connects at the plate against St. Edmond on Monday. She went 3 for 4 for Webster City in a 9-4 loss to the Gaels. DFJ photo/Troy Banning

Kacey Kruthoff, Audrey Kolacia, Macey Mason and Rylee Kinney all smacked two hits for St. Edmond, which took command of the contest with three runs in the opening inning.

WCHS (7-7, 2-4 NCC) sprayed nine hits off Gaels’ hurler Ella Vratny, but the Lynx waited way too long for Howard’s liking to kick it in offensively. They touched Vratny for three seventh-inning runs, but by then it was too little, too late.

“We waited too long to start putting the bat on the ball,” Howard said. “It’s good that the girls still have that fight in the late innings, but we’ve got to continue to get better at hitting early instead of waiting until those late innings.”

Speedster Haley Flaws continued to be a dependable table setter at the top of the WCHS order; she cracked three hits in four plate appearances. Jenna Miller also went 3 for 4, while Taylor McKinney added a pair of singles. Leah Kasch was 1 for 3.

Atlanta Hopp plated a run in the second inning to close the Lynx deficit to 4-1.

DFJ photo/Troy Banning

Five straight WCHS batters reached base, all with two outs, in the seventh. Flaws, Zoey Woodle and McKinney all touched home plate and Kelly Stoakes had a RBI.

The Lynx were at Boone for a non-conference game last night. This evening, they’ll head to Humboldt to face the Wildcats. The festivities will begin at 5 p.m. with the completion of a suspended game from May, a contest that was tied at 1 in the bottom of the fifth with WCHS at the plate. The junior varsity game will follow, and the originally scheduled varsity match-up will round out the night.

St. Edmond 9, Webster City 4

Monday at Webster City

St. Ed 310 030 2 — 9 11 1

DFJ photo/Troy Banning

Web City 010 000 3 — 4 9 4

Ella Vratny and Kacey Kruthoff. Jenna Miller, Atlanta Hopp (6) and Kaitlynn Seeley. W — Vratny. L — Miller. 2B — SE: Vratny. Jacque Oberg. HR — SE: Oberg. Multiple hits — SE: Oberg, Kruthoff, Audrey Kolacia, Macey Mason, Rylee Kinney; WC: Miller (3), Haley Flaws (3), Taylor McKinney. RBI — SE: Oberg (3), Kruthoff; WC: Hopp, Kelly Stoakes.