NCC Clubbing: Schnathorst’s bat, Biere’s arm lead Lynx to rout
WEBSTER CITY – Kaylee Schnathorst wasn’t concerned with getting another at bat to take a stab at the cycle. It was all about getting a win in the books yesterday evening at Lynx Field.
The junior lead-off hitter was perhaps the biggest reason why Webster City was able to accomplish just that in its North Central Conference opener against Clear Lake.
Schnathorst went 3-for-3 with a single, triple, home run, three runs scored and four runs batted in at the top of the order to carry WCHS to a 13-0, 3-inning pasting of the Lions. The Lynx (1-1, 1-0 NCC) needed just 50 minutes to collect their first victory of the season.
“(The cycle) doesn’t matter at all, I was just trying to get to the next base,” Schnathorst said. “This was good for the team because we came together as a team and everybody got the bat on the ball. Now we all have that confidence as a team.”
Five players accounted for the Lynx eight hits off Clear Lake (0-2, 0-1 NCC) right-hander Sara Barlow, and eight girls touched the dish. They showed off the entire offensive arsenal; they hit for power with three extra-base knocks, they were patient with three walks, and they were a perfect 8-for-8 on stolen bases.
So, yeah, it was a quality performance.
“It was good to see the girls disciplined at the plate,” WCHS head coach Jess Howard said, “and it was good to see them understand how important it is to come out strong right away.”
Schnathorst ignited an eight-run first inning with a bunt single, and she sent a rocket to center that one-hopped into the fence later in the frame that resulted in an RBI triple.
WCHS collected five of its hits in the first. Mikaleh McCoy lined a single to center and Allie Flaws had the oh-so rare two-RBI infield single at the bottom of the lineup. The freshman used her speed to beat out a grounder on the infield and two runs came to the plate as Clear Lake attempted to throw her out at first.
McCoy started the second-inning fury with an RBI base hit to left field. Hannah Myers drove in a run on a groundout and then Kenady Highland added to the Lions’ woes with a double to left field.
Two batters later it was Schnathorst’s turn to deliver the dagger – a three-run shot that was over the left-field fence in a heartbeat.
The unleashed offense made the job of Lynx pitcher Kaitlyn Biere quite easy, but in truth she didn’t need much help.
Biere was perfect through three innings. She faced the minimum nine Lion batters and struck out six. However, the senior righty wasn’t ready to take credit for a perfect game.
“No, it doesn’t count,” Biere said. “I’d rather it be a full seven-inning game than be perfect, but I’ll take it.”
Biere and catcher Maddie Anderson found a groove with their pitch selection midway through the first inning, as they baffled the Lions by sprinkling in off-speed pitches.
WCHS will take a step up in competition tonight when it heads east to face No. 8-ranked (Class 3A) and defending conference champion Iowa Falls-Alden at 7:30 p.m. The Lynx hope to unseat the Cadets at the top of the league this year and they know there isn’t a single game they can overlook.
“It’s a bigger deal,” Schnathorst said of the conference games. “We really need to focus like this every night and not slip up.”