CGD presents no problems

Stoakes and Woodle a combined 6 for 6, 6 runs scored in runaway

WCHS freshman Alayna Finucan slaps the ball into play to jump on base during the Lynx 13-1, 4-inning rout of Clarion-Goldfield-Dows Wednesday evening at Lynx Field. DFJ photo/Tracy Runneberg

WEBSTER CITY — The 15th-ranked (Class 4A) Webster City softball team has come too far, accomplished too much, to overlook anybody.

With a winner-take-all showdown for the North Central Conference title against third-ranked (3A) Humboldt on the horizon, it would have been easy, maybe even somewhat expected, for WCHS to overlook Clarion-Goldfield-Dows Wednesday night at Lynx Field.

Yeah, that didn’t happen. Not for one moment.

Nos. 1 and 2 batters Kelly Stoakes and Zoey Woodle combined to go 6 for 6 with six runs scored and two RBIs, as they led a 13-1, 4-inning thumping of the Cowgirls. It was the Lynx fourth consecutive victory and 12th in their last 13 games. More importantly, it kept them at the top of the league standings with only the Wildcats left standing in the way.

“Defensively we had a few miscues, but other than that we handled the pressure and played well,” WCHS head coach Jess Howard said. “Taking a big win into (tonight against Humboldt) will be huge for us in terms of confidence.”

WCHS catcher Kaitlynn Seeley awaits the relay throw as the Cowgirls’ Courtney Harle (13) scores her team’s only run of the game. At 20-5 overall and 12-1 in the NCC, 15th-ranked (4A) WCHS will be at No. 3 (3A) Humboldt this evening to decide who will win the North Central Conference championship. DFJ photo/Tracy Runneberg

WCHS (20-5, 12-1 NCC) rocked three Cowgirl pitchers for 11 hits. While Stoakes and Woodle had the majority of them, five others also got into the act. Jenna Miller joined Woodle with a double, while Taylor McKinney, Atlanta Hopp, Tatum Goings and Alayna Finucan all singled.

Hopp collected a game-high three RBIs, two of them coming on a second-inning single that was part of a four-run frame to extend the Lynx lead to 8-1. McKinney drove in two runs, while Stoakes, Woodle, Miller and Goings all had one RBI.

WCHS scored multiple runs in all four of its at bats. The game ended following consecutive hits by Finucan, Stoakes and Woodle. With just one out, Woodle raced home from third on a wild pitch to give the Lynx the 12-run lead they needed to end the contest three innings early.

Miller was again the winner inside the pitcher’s circle. The sophomore right-hander allowed just two hits and struck out four.

Which brings the story to tonight’s 7:30 p.m. contest. Humboldt (25-2, 11-1 NCC) will be out to claim its fourth consecutive league title, while WCHS will attempt to grab the trophy for the first time since 2013.

Webster City’s Tatum Goings attempts to put down a bunt during a 13-1, 4-inning romp over CGD Wednesday evening at Lynx Field. DFJ photo/Tracy Runneberg

“Not everybody gets the opportunity to play in games like this and this is only going to help them as they approach life,” Howard said of her players. “There are always pressure situations and you’ve got to produce, and that’s what we’re going to do (tonight).”

Humboldt handed WCHS its only loss since early June just nine days ago, 5-3. Wildcats’ pitcher Ellie Jacobson, who picked up career win No. 100 against Iowa Falls-Alden on Wednesday, allowed just three hits, but the few defensive lapses the Lynx had made the difference.

Howard says WCHS can’t have those miscues in the rematch.

“They’re going to hit the ball and they’re going to bunt the ball, but we’ve got to make sure that we execute every time we’re given the opportunity to get an out,” she said.

There’s no doubt that Humboldt will step onto its home dirt as the favorite, but Howard says her team has the confidence that it can end the Wildcats’ run atop the conference.

“We look at it as this is our game. We’re going to go out there and play Lynx softball and hope it’s enough to come out on top,” Howard said. “This is what we’ve been working for and this is what we want.”

While WCHS will wrap up its league season this evening, Humboldt will have one game remaining on its docket. The Wildcats will host Clear Lake, the only NCC team to own a win over them this season, on Monday.

Webster City 13, CGD 1 (4)

Wednesday at Webster City

CGD 100 0 — 1 2 2

Web City 442 3 — 13 11 2

Gabby Hackley, Brooke Askelsen (2), Alaina Friesleben (3) and Kendall Lienemann. Jenna Miller and Kaitlynn Seeley. W — Miller. L — Hackley. Multiple hits — WC: Kelly Stoakes (3), Zoey Woodle (3). 2B — WC: Woodle, Miller. RBI — WC: Atlanta (3), Taylor McKinney (2), Stoakes, Woodle, Miller, Tatum Goings.