WALKED OFF: Cadets bump off Lynx on 7th inning dinger

Miller on her game in circle, McKinney drives in lone run

WCHS shortstop Taylor McKinney holds up her glove after making a circus catch in shallow center field in front of teammate Zoey Woodle against Iowa Falls-Alden on Wednesday. The Lynx fell to the Cadets, 2-1. DFJ photo/Troy Banning

IOWA FALLS — Jess Howard called Iowa Falls-Alden junior Noelle Katschke a ticking time bomb. It wasn’t a matter of if, but more likely when.

The when came in the seventh inning. And the result was a celebration on the Cadets side of the field.

Katschke sent the first pitch of the seventh inning from WCHS freshman hurler Jenna Miller on a ride that didn’t end until it was well over the fence in center field for a walk-off home run Wednesday night. Her seventh blast of the season gave the Cadets a 2-1 North CentralConference victory.

“She could have done it in the third inning,” Howard, the Lynx head coach, said. “She’s a good hitter.”

Katschke doesn’t necessarily hit for average — she sits at .235 on the season — but she has plenty of power. It was her second dinger against WCHS (14-13, 5-7 NCC) this season.

WCHS second baseman Atlanta Hopp camps out under a pop-up against Iowa Falls-Alden on Wednesday. DFJ photo/Troy Banning

That it came down to one swing in the bottom of the seventh inning was frustrating enough, as the Lynx squandered one scoring chance after another. They out-hit IF-A (11-18, 5-8 NCC) 6-4 and put runners in scoring position in four of the first six innings, but had nothing to show for it.

“Offensively we have to do a better job of executing,” Howard said. “We had a couple good days where we were very offensively strong, but we came out a little dull (on Wednesday). One through nine, we’ve got to be able to get runners in when we get them to second and third.”

WCHS stranded nine runners in all. Its best opportunity for a breakthrough in the scoreless contest came in the fourth inning when it loaded the bases with no outs, but Cadets’ pitcher Elise Osman buckled down and struck out back-to-back batters and then got Faith Anderson to bounce out to shortstop.

The Lynx put two runners aboard in the sixth as well.

IF-A had its own troubles getting to Miller, who put together one of her best performances of the season. Miller retired 11 straight batters during one stretch in the middle innings and surrendered just two hits through five frames.

WCHS freshman Leah Kasch takes a big lead off second base during Wednesday’s game against Iowa Falls-Alden in Iowa Falls. Kasch bashed a double off the fence for one of the Lynx six hits in the contest. DFJ photo/Troy Banning

Miller finished with five strikeouts without a walk.

“She did a great job of hitting her spots,” Howard said of Miller. “We just have to do a better job offensively of backing her up.”

IF-A jumped on the board with an unearned run in the bottom of the sixth on a two-out RBI double into the gap by Alex Cearley. WCHS had two opportunities to get out of the jam unscathed before Cearley went the other way with a line shot.

The Lynx drew even in the top of the seventh, as Taylor McKinney came through with her second base hit of the night — a two-out liner to the left side that she was able to beat out as Haley Flaws raced home from third.

Kelly Stoakes and Leah Kasch both belted doubles for WCHS, while Flaws and Miller added singles. Kasch’s blast in the second inning smacked off the middle of the fence in right field.

WCHS freshman Faith Anderson stretches for first base as the throw beats her by a half-step against Iowa Falls-Alden on Wednesday. DFJ photo/Troy Banning

Flaws also stole her 31st and 32nd bases of the season.

Osman picked up the win in the circle for the Cadets. She fanned seven and walked just two, one of them an intentional free pass to Kasch in the fourth inning.

WCHS will be back on the road tonight for a league contest against Algona at 7:30 p.m.

Lynx softball blasts Cowgirls and Eagles by combined score of 25-3, improves to 16-13

WEBSTER CITY — Now that’s more like it.

DFJ photo/Troy Banning

Less than 24 hours after struggling at the plate in a 2-1 loss to Iowa Falls-Alden, the Webster City softball team brought the big lumber to Lynx Field on Thursday.

The Lynx shelled out 24 hits and manhandled a pair of opponents. They opened in the afternoon with a 12-0, four-inning romp over Clarion-Goldfield-Dows in a rescheduled contest, and then returned in the evening and thumped Eagle Grove, 13-3 in five innings.

Jenna Miller, a freshman, twirled a perfect game in the circle against the Cowgirls, as she retired all 12 batters, two by strikeout.

Cynthia Whitehill blasted two solo home runs in the third and fourth innings, and Leah Kasch joined the long ball party with a two-run dinger in the fourth. Whitehill finished 3 for 3, Kasch 2 for 3 with three RBIs.

Also for WCHS (16-13, 6-7 NCC), Haley Flaws, Zoey Woodle and Kelly Stoakes all lashed two hits against CGD (3-14, 0-11 NCC). Stoakes found the gap for a double and drove in two runs.

Woodle, Miller and Taylor McKinney all roped two hits against Eagle Grove (7-21), as the Lynx put up multiple runs in four of their five at bats. Miller spanked a pair of doubles; McKinney put up a triple and plated two runs.

Flaws continued to climb the Class 3A stolen bases leaderboard with four more in the nightcap. She now has 36 on the season, the second-most in the class.

WCHS will close out the regular season at Algona this evening.

IF-Alden 2, Webster City 1

Wednesday at Iowa Falls

Web City 000 000 1 — 1 6 1

IF-Alden 000 001 1 — 2 4 2

Jenna Miller and Kaitlynn Seeley. Elise Osman and Noelle Katschke. W — Osman. L — Miller. 2B — WC: Kelly Stoakes, Leah Kasch; IF-A: Alex Cearley. HR — IF-A: Katschke. Multiple hits — WC: Taylor McKinney. RBI — WC: McKinney; IF-A: Cearley, Katschke.

Webster City 12, CGD 0 (4)

Thursday at Webster City

CGD 000 0 — 0 0 4

Webster City 323 4 — 12 14 0

Gabby Hackley, Alaina Frieselben (3) and Kendall Lienamann. Jenna Miller and Kaitlynn Seeley. W — Miller. L — Hackley. 2B — WC: Kelly Stoakes. HR — WC: Cynthia Whitehill (2), Leah Kasch. Multiple hits — WC: Whitehill (3), Stoakes, Kasch, Haley Flaws, Zoey Woodle. RBI — WC: Kasch (3), Whitehill (2), Stoakes (2), Taylor McKinney.

Webster City 13, Eagle Grove 3 (5)

Thursday at Webster City

Eagle Grove 000 03 — 3 5 0

Webster City 242 05 — 13 10 1

Hannah Beecher and Jozey Gump. Atlanta Hopp and Kaitlynn Seeley. W — Hopp. L — Beecher. 2B — EG: Kenzie Crail; WC: Jenna Miller (2). 3B — WC: Taylor McKinney. Multiple hits — WC: McKinney, Miller, Zoey Woodle. RBI — EG: Laine Morgan, Sadie Stuhr; WC: McKinney (2), Woodle, Miller, Haley Flaws, Kelly Stoakes.