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No. 2 Carlisle sticks to script, handles Lynx

Wildcats spray 12 hits, run it up in 7th inning

WCHS catcher Kaitlynn Seeley (left) and first baseman Alayna Finucan (right) both come up empty in their diving attempts for a foul ball against Carlisle on Friday. DFJ photo/Troy Banning

WEBSTER CITY — The script never seems to change.

Each June, Webster City native Jim Flaws brings his powerhouse Carlisle softball program to Webster City for a game, sometimes two. Each June, the Wildcats put on a show. And each June, they celebrate their success with a trip to Leon’s Pizza afterwards.

You can seemingly set your clocks by it.

Friday’s latest encounter with Webster City was no different, as Flaws’ juggernaut program cruised to its 16th consecutive victory in the series over the past 13 years. Second-ranked (Class 4A) Carlisle scorched the ball early, went silent in the middle innings and then exploded again late for a 12-2 win over the Lynx.

“With their lineup, you don’t know where to put kids (defensively) because they’ve got speed and then a lot of their slappers have power,” WCHS head coach Jess Howard said. “So it’s hard to know where the defense should play and they got us a couple times in the first three innings and then in the last inning.”

WCHS pitcher Jenna Miller heads to first for the out after fielding a bunt against second-ranked (Class 4A) Carlisle on Friday. DFJ photo/Troy Banning

The final score was a bit deceiving, however. Carlisle (12-1) led 6-1 through six innings and on multiple occasions over those initial six frames WCHS (7-3) had its chances to pull within striking distance.

The Lynx had runners at second and third in the second inning and came up empty. Two more runners were aboard in the third when Carlisle pitcher Molly Hoekstra got a strikeout to end the threat. Two runners reached with no outs in the fifth and they stood at second and third with one out, but to no avail.

WCHS stranded eight base runners in all, six of them in scoring position.

“They were able to handle pressure situations and we didn’t execute as well as we needed to get runs in,” Howard said.

Hoekstra and Wildcats’ reliever Lexxi Link combined to strike out 12 batters. Hoekstra was her own worst enemy at times, which led to both WCHS runs. The lanky right-hander walked six and threw seven wild pitches around her nine strikeouts. She eventually handed the ball to Link in the fifth and then returned to the circle in the seventh.

DFJ photo/Troy Banning

The Lynx scored single runs in the fourth and seventh innings without needing a hit. Cynthia Whitehill walked in the fourth and then slowly circled the bases on three wild pitches. Alayna Finucan followed an identical path to the plate in the seventh.

WCHS pitcher Jenna Miller had no such control issues, but she was touched for 12 hits. Miller owned the middle innings, however, as she retired 13 consecutive batters until Carlisle unleashed a six-run flurry all with two outs in the seventh.

“If you look at those middle innings, they don’t put up zeroes very often,” Howard said. “So for us to be able to hold them when you have to worry one through nine, I think the girls did a great job and Jenna pitched really well. What we’ve got to build off of is how we handled them in those innings where they scored one or zero and go from there.”

A double to deep center field by Alyvia Dubois ignited the seventh-inning outburst by the Wildcats. They had three more hits in the frame and were aided by an error that extended things and led to five of the runs being unearned.

Carlisle did much of its damage with two outs throughout the game. Its first-inning run came on a two-out RBI double by Meredith Hoffman, and in the second the Wildcats received back-to-back RBI two-out singles from Kennedy Preston and Aubrey Furnal.

DFJ photo/Troy Banning

Furnal, Hoffman and Morgan Lose all rattled off two hits in the contest.

WCHS was limited to three hits — singles by Whitehill, Miller and Kelly Stoakes. Whitehill and Miller rapped back-to-back base knocks to right field in the second inning and Stoakes looped a base hit to left in the third. Stoakes sent a shot screaming for the gap in left-center in the seventh inning, but Wildcats’ outfielder Allyx Lee hopped on her horse and made a lunging catch to rob the WCHS freshman of at least a double.

Friday at Webster City

Carlisle 12, Webster City 2

Carlisle 123 000 6 — 12 12 1

DFJ photo/Troy Banning

Web City 000 100 1 — 2 3 3

Molly Hoekstra, Lexxi Link (5), Hoekstra (7) and Kennedy Preston. Jenna Miller and Kaitlynn Seeley. W — Hoekstra. L — Miller. Multiple hits — CAR: Aubrey Furnal, Meredith Hoffman, Morgan Lose. 2B — CAR: Hoffman (2), Alyvia Dubois. RBI — CAR: Lose (2), Kennady Prenosil (2), Preston, Furnal, Hoffman, Hoekstra, Link, Hannah Schurz.

LYNX SPLIT AT HOME: The Webster City softball team won early and lost late to walk away with a split at its own Lynx Invite on Saturday.

WCHS snuck by West Marshall, 2-1, in its early game, but couldn’t find the same close-game magic in a one-run loss to Martensdale-St. Marys, 6-5.

Kelly Stoakes picked up the win in the circle against the Trojans, as the freshman let her defense do the work during a two-hitter that featured just one strikeout. Stoakes also went 2 for 4 at the plate and scored the game’s first run in the first inning on a Leah Kasch RBI sac fly.

Kasch also belted a double, while Zoey Woodle, Taylor McKinney, Cynthia Whitehill and Atlanta Hopp all singled.

Renae Schaper had both of the hits for West Marshall (5-5), one of which was a double.

MSM (6-6) scored three runs in the third inning off WCHS (8-4) pitcher Jenna Miller to take the lead for good in the late game. The Lynx owned an 8-6 hits advantage.

Stoakes was again the offensive catalyst with a 3 for 4 showing and two RBIs.

Alley Odland, an eighth grader, drove in two Lynx runs in the second inning with a triple into the gap. Whitehill laced a double, Hopp lashed two singles, and Woodle had one base knock.

MSM touched Miller for three doubles.

Saturday at Webster City

Webster City 2, West Marshall 1

Webster City 100 100 0 — 2 7 1

West Marshall 000 000 1 — 1 2 1

Loran Nicholson and Karisa Blocker. Kelly Stoakes and Cynthia Whitehill. W — Stoakes. L — Nicholson. Multiple hits — WC: Stoakes; WM: Renae Schaper. 2B — WC: Leah Kasch; WM: Schaper. RBI — WC: Kasch.

Martensdale-St. Marys 6, Webster City 5

Webster City 020 102 0 — 5 8 3

Martensdale-St.Marys 013 110 x — 6 6 3

Jenna Miller and Kaitlynn Seeley, Cynthia Whitehill (4). Nikki Rudolf, Kaley Verwers (7) and Madeline Myer. W — Rudolf. L — Miller. S — Verwers. Multiple hits — WC: Kelly Stoakes (3), Atlanta Hopp; MSM: Kylie Keller. 2B — WC: Whitehill; MSM: Keller, Hannah Sweet, Jayda Gay. 3B — WC: Alley Odland. RBI — WC: Odland (2), Stoakes (2); MSM: Gay, Myer, Keller, Rudolf, Jackie Kleve.

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