GAP CLOSED: Bargfrede, Lynx give No. 4 Carlisle a scare
Wildcats win 24th straight in series despite being out-hit; Kasch cranks 2-run HR in loss
WEBSTER CITY — Delainey Bargfrede found herself smack-dab in the belly of the beast Friday night, and she never blinked.
Freshmen pitchers are supposed to be intimidated by Class 4A power Carlisle, its always formidable offense and its Hall of Fame head coach Jim Flaws, and yet Bargfrede thrived from inside the circle at Lynx Field. And she gave her Webster City team its best chance to topple the Wildcats in a long, long … long time.
But fourth-ranked Carlisle, the 2020 4A runner-up, is a state tournament mainstay for a reason. It’s good.
Every. Single. Season.
The Wildcats took what they could get off Bargfrede — five singles, to be exact — and made the most of them to sneak past WCHS, 3-2. It was Carlisle’s 24th consecutive victory in the series and the Lynx best chance to prevail since they last handed the Wildcats a loss way back in 2001.
There were two ways that WCHS head coach Jess Howard looked at the setback afterward. The positive is that her club was right there against a Top-5 team with a chance to pull off the upset. The flip side is that without five defensive miscues, the Lynx probably do pull off the stunner.
“(Staying close) was good for us to see, but we have to execute and we have to clean up some mental and physical mistakes,” Howard said. “We got to see that we can compete, but we’ve got to turn that mentality from competing to winning. We have to know that we can win going into the game.”
Carlisle (14-4) took advantage of the errors to score all three of its runs, two in the third and one in the fourth — a span in which WCHS (10-5) made four of its defensive mistakes. An Aubrey Furnal ground ball evened the contest at 2 in the third, and the go-ahead run in the third came on a two-out error.
Bargfrede never buckled though. Even after giving up the lead, she surrendered just one hit over the final three innings, and she finished with three strikeouts and two walks.
“Typically your pitcher controls the game, but (Carlisle) tries to take the control from your pitcher,” Howard said. “But she did a good job of keeping the game at her pace. She did a good job of handling that pressure and making her presence felt on the mound.”
The rookie showed her unflappable side in the second when a single and error put runners on second and third with no outs. But Bargfrede got the Wildcats’ Lexxi Link to fly out on the infield, and she got out of the jam on a double play off a popped-up bunt.
“She kept her ball on the outside of the plate and didn’t give them a lot to hit, and she made sure she moved the ball and changed her speeds,” Howard said.
The defensive gem energized WCHS, as it got the bats rolling in the bottom of the second to take a 2-0 lead. Jenna Miller opened the frame with an infield single, and several pitches later Livia Kasch took a low offering over the plate from Addesyn Abel and deposited it over the fence in left-center for a two-run home run, the first dinger of her career.
WCHS out-hit Carlisle, 6-5, with four of the knocks coming in the second. Bargfrede roped one of her two singles and Bonnie Nohrenberg added a single into left.
Bargfrede’s second single, a liner into left, put the potential tying run on base in the seventh. Pinch-runner Cloe Savitski moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Adeline Tesdahl, but that was as far as it went before Carlisle was able to close it out.
“A lot of our younger girls are seeing that they can hit the ball at the varsity level,” Howard said. “For those freshmen and sophomores to take that into (this) week is going to be huge for us.”
Leah Kasch also had a base hit for WCHS. Link was the only Carlisle player with multiple hits.
Abel struck out five en route to the complete-game win.
WCHS will be back at home this evening to take on North Central Conference rival Iowa Falls-Alden at 7:30 p.m. The Lynx won the first meeting, 5-1, back on May 26 in Iowa Falls.
LYNX SPLIT AT HOME TOURNEY: After dropping a 6-2 contest to 10th-ranked (Class 1A) Martensdale St. Mary’s in the opening of its own Lynx Invite on Saturday, the Webster City softball team rebounded to topple West Marshall, 7-4, to finish the day at 1-1.
Courtesy of a solo home run from Jayda Gay, MSM took control from the first inning and never trailed. It built the lead to 6-0 in the fifth before WCHS (10-5) was able to get on the board with two runs in the sixth.
The Lynx finished with four hits in the contest, keyed by a 2 for 3 performance from Leah Kasch. Delainey Bargfrede and Alayna Finucan both had one hit, while Jenna Miller drove in one run.
Miller suffered the loss in the circle after surrendering eight hits. She struck out six.
Bargfrede earned the win over West Marshall, as the freshman fanned 11 batters. She also went 2 for 3 at the dish, and delivered what turned out to be the winning hit in the third inning — a two-RBI double that pushed WCHS in front 4-3.
West Marshall jumped on the Lynx with a three-run first frame, highlighted by a two-run dinger from Keatan Pfantz. WCHS responded with one run in the second, three in the third and three more in the sixth.
The Lynx rattled off 10 hits in the contest. Livia Kasch joined Bargfrede with a pair of knocks, one of which was a double, and she drove in two runs. Kelly Stoakes laced two singles, Miller had an RBI double, and Finucan, Adeline Tesdahl and Bonnie Nohrenberg all singled.
Carlisle 3, WCHS 2
Friday at Webster City
Carlisle 002 100 0 — 3 5 0
WCHS 020 000 0 — 2 6 5
Addesyn Abel and Ashliah Hyde. Delainey Bargfrede and Kelly Stoakes. W — Abel. L — Bargfrede. Multiple hits — CAR: Lexxi Link; WC: Bargfrede. HR — WC: Livia Kasch. RBI — CAR: Aubrey Furnal; WC: Li. Kasch (2).