THE K QUEEN
Bargfrede strikes out school-record 20 batters
CLARION — The bounces weren’t going Webster City’s way early on, so Delainey Bargfrede joked that she would simply not let Clarion-Goldfield/Dows hit the ball on Monday night.
The humor turned into reality, as Bargfrede struck out a school-record 20 batters and tossed a three-hitter in a 5-0 victory over the Cowgirls (4-17 overall, 1-12 North Central Conference).
“I remember after one play, I joked about not letting the batters hit the ball, so there weren’t any more opportunities for tough calls,” Bargfrede said. “I always tend to keep a mental note of how many strikeouts I have each game. So when I got to about 11, I realized that I had a pretty good shot at going for the record.”
The Lynx (16-10, 11-0) stayed unbeaten in their chase for their second straight league title. The win over the Cowgirls was the 20th straight NCC victory.
“Delainey was terrific again in the circle,” said WCHS head coach Brad VanDeer. “She had great command and seemed to get better as the game went on. She takes a lot of pride in being able to command her pitches, and she had them all working again.
“(Catcher) Kelly (Stoakes) and Delainey are a great combo with really good chemistry.”
Bargfrede (16-5) allowed all three hits in the first two innings, with two coming in the opening frame. After that the sophomore hurler was untouchable.
At one point, she fanned 11 straight batters, setting the side down in order via K three straight innings and four on the night.
“After about the fourth inning, whenever I would walk back in the dugout, they would come up to me and say how close I was,” Bargfrede said. “I think (her teammates) were even more excited than I was when I got the strikeout to secure the record. I wasn’t thinking about the record, I focused on each batter and would go pitch by pitch.
“Knowing I had the support of my team behind me, I knew that as long as I played to the best of my abilities, so would they.”
Thirteen of Bargfrede’s 20 strikeouts were on three pitches.
Bargfrede broke a 41-year record that was held by Krista Mahan, who had 17 Ks against St. Edmond on June 5, 1981.
The victory kept the Lynx in control of their own destiny with three conference games left.
“There truly is no better feeling than celebrating a win with my team, and beating the record just made it a little bit better,” Bargfrede said. “As a team we have been going one game at a time, with the overall goal in mind of winning the (NCC) again.
“Everyone on the team wants to win and is willing to put in the work to make that possible. We know what we are capable of as a team and plan on giving our all for the rest of the season in hopes of securing that conference championship for the second time in a row. There’s no other team that I’d rather be playing with…these girls have worked so hard, and I know that together we will play great for the remainder of the season.”
Webster City travels to St. Edmond on Wednesday, heads to Humboldt on Friday and will finish at home on Saturday against Iowa Falls-Alden.
“As far as the conference race goes, we don’t focus on it,” VanDeer said. “We can’t control what the other teams are doing each night. If there is a race and we are in front, that is great, but the bigger thing for us is each game we want to perform at our best.
“And to this point we have done a pretty good job of that and we will continue to bring that mentality.”
The Lynx lineup helped Bargfrede at the plate with 11 hits, including five for extra bases. Alayna Finucan, Bonnie Nohrenberg, Ava Peterson and Livia Kasch all had two hits. Peterson had two doubles, Kasch and Nohrenberg had one each. Finucan recorded a triple.
Peterson drove in two runs, while Nohrenberg and Kasch each had an RBI.
WEBSTER CITY 5, CLARION-GOLDFIELD/DOWS 0
Webster City 000 021 2 — 5 10 1
C-G/D 000 000 0 — 0 3 2
WP–Delainey Bargfrede (16-5), 7IP, 3H, 0ER, 0BB, 20SO; 2B–WC: Bonnie Nohrenberg, Ava Peterson (2), Livia Kasch; 3B–WC: Alayna Finucan.