No. 15 Lynx brush aside Gaels for 11th NCC win

Woodle and Finucan 3 hits each, Miller allows just 3 hits

FORT DODGE — It was supposed to be a tall and difficult hurdle to clear. Instead, the Webster City softball team made it look easy.

Three runs early, followed by an offensive onslaught late catapulted the 15th-ranked (Class 4A) Lynx towards a routine rout of Fort Dodge St. Edmond, 10-1, Monday evening at Rogers Park.

A two-run game when the two teams met in early June, North Central Conference leader WCHS (19-5, 11-1 NCC) jumped on Gaels’ pitcher Ella Vratny early and often, and never relented. Seven different Lynx players had at least one hit, four had multiple hits, and two — Zoey Woodle and Alayna Finucan — laced three each. Normally a small-ball standout, Woodle found the gap for a triple in the seventh inning.

“Up and down the order we had people doing what they needed to do for us,” WCHS head coach Jess Howard said. “Alayna did a good job at the bottom of the order after having a couple of games off and Zoey did a good job of getting bunts down and getting on, and then hitting for power late in the game.

“That’s what we want to see each time we take the field, and it’s good to see that improvement as the season has gone on.”

Finucan collected an RBI single in the second inning, part of a 3-0 WCHS advantage through three innings.

St. Edmond (12-11, 8-4 NCC) closed to within 3-1 in the fourth on a two-out solo home run by Jacque Oberg, but it was all WCHS the remainder of the way.

The Lynx rattled off seven runs and eight hits over the final three frames. A four-run fifth, keyed by RBI singles off the bats of Atlanta Hopp and Finucan, followed by a two-run base knock by Kelly Stoakes, put St. Edmond in the rearview mirror.

Jenna Miller, the Lynx starting pitcher, helped her own cause in the sixth with a two-RBI single, and Hopp collected her second RBI in the seventh on a sacrifice fly to center field.

Hopp and Leah Kasch combined for four hits in the win. Kasch, the league-leader in RBIs, had a double. Tatum Goings added a single.

St. Edmond managed just three hits off Miller, who continued to slice her way through the NCC with very few hiccups. The sophomore retired the first 11 batters she faced and finished with three strikeouts against just one walk.

WCHS will host Clarion-Goldfield-Dows (3-17, 2-11 NCC) this evening. The junior varsity game had been moved up to a 5 p.m. start, with the varsity scheduled for 6:30 p.m.

Get by the Cowgirls and that will likely set WCHS up to face third-ranked (3A) Humboldt (23-2, 9-1 NCC) in a winner-take-all game for the NCC crown on Friday. But Howard says thoughts of the Wildcats will have to wait.

“It’s still just a one game at a time situation,” she said. “We have to take care of Clarion and then we’ll move on to that game.”

Webster City 10, St. Edmond 1

Monday at Fort Dodge

Web City 111 042 1 — 10 12 2

St. Ed 000 100 0 — 1 3 4

Jenna Miller and Kaitlynn Seeley. Ella Vratny and Kacey Kruthoff. W — Miller. L — Vratny. Multiple hits — WC: Zoey Woodle (3), Alayna Finucan (3), Leah Kasch, Atlanta Hopp. 2B — WC: Kasch. 3B — WC: Woodle. HR — SE: Jacque Oberg. RBI — WC: Finucan (2), Miller (2), Hopp (2), Kelly Stoakes (2); SE: Oberg.