’Cats purr at plate: No. 5 Carlisle blasts 13 hits, torches Lynx

WEBSTER CITY – Kaitlyn Biere doesn’t get shelled when she takes up residence inside the pitcher’s circle, it just doesn’t happen.

Well, it doesn’t occur very often anyway. All bets are off when fifth-ranked (Class 4A) Carlisle steps onto the field.

Biere, Webster City’s four-time all-state senior pitcher, was tagged for 13 hits and seven earned runs in a humbling 12-2, 6-inning loss to the Wildcats on Friday at Lynx Field.

“Up and down the lineup they’re a good hitting team and they were able to hit the gaps (Friday night),” WCHS head coach Jess Howard said. “They know how to hit under pressure and they are good with two strikes. They’ve just got a solid team.”

Carlisle (11-3) – which outscored three foes 34-2 in three wins on Friday and Saturday – is renowned for its hitting under Hall of Fame coach Jim Flaws, a Webster City native. That was apparent Friday when the Wildcats spotted WCHS an early 2-0 lead before exploding for all of their runs in the third, fifth and sixth innings.

“I like Webster City. They’re a good team and they’re going to win a lot of games, but we hit the ball well,” Flaws said. “This is probably the best we’ve ever hit (Biere).”

Carlisle sent 10 girls to the plate in its five-run, six-hit third inning. Payton Mercer lined a double off the right-field fence to drive in two runs, and Abby Davis and Haddie Hupke added RBI singles.

The Wildcats tacked on four more runs in the fifth to take a commanding 9-2 lead and then laced four more hits en route to three runs in the sixth.

Biere did everything she could to get Carlisle out of its comfort zone. But the Wildcats simply didn’t bite on anything outside the strike zone and they refused to swing at her change-up unless there were two strikes.

It’s that type of discipline that has defined Flaws’ teams over the years.

“We put a lot of time in (on hitting),” Flaws said. “Before we leave we have 150 swings in and every day it’s something different. That’s helped us a lot.”

Davis went 4-for-4 with three runs scored out of the five hole. Hupke and Katie Berg both finished 2-for-3 with two RBIs.

WCHS did all of its damage in the first inning before going silent.

Kaylee Schnathorst led off with a base hit to left off her cousin, Carlisle freshman pitcher Gabby Schnathorst. Two batters later, Biere went upstairs for an 0-2 offering from the Wildcat rookie and sent a rocket over the fence in left-center for a two-run home run to put the Lynx in front, 2-0.

But Gabby Schnathorst was in control the remainder of the way, as she finished with eight strikeouts. WCHS had only two other base runners on walks issued to Allie Flaws and Maddie Anderson in the third and fourth innings.

“Our pitcher made a mistake on a riseball to Biere, but that’s a young pitcher,” Flaws said. “After that she settled in and really did a good job.”

Howard agreed.

“She wasn’t a fast pitcher by any means, but she was able to get us up on our front leg, and when that happens you’re going to lose your power.”

Lynx win 2 of 3 at home tourney

WEBSTER CITY – At some point teams are simply going to quit pitching to Kaitlyn Biere.

But until that time, the WCHS senior is going to continue to send balls into orbit.

Biere hit two more home runs on Saturday during the Lynx Invitational; she has six on the season, which is currently tied for second in the state regardless of class.

“I’m hoping it continues,” WCHS head coach Jess Howard said. “I think it’s showing her and a lot of the girls on the team what happens when you get in the weight room in the offseason.

“She likes to run her own bases and this is the only way I’ll let her do it.”

Biere bashed a two-run home run and a solo shot in her first two at bats in a 4-3 victory over Des Moines Hoover in the final game of the day.

The game was tied at 3 in the bottom of the seventh when another WCHS player got into the long bomb act. Maddie Anderson sent the first pitch of the inning from Taylor Blackford over the fence in center for a walk-off home run.

The Lynx opened the day by beating South Hardin, 5-0. They scored three runs in the first inning and tacked on single runs in the fourth and fifth. Mikaleh McCoy plated two runs, while Biere and Allie Flaws both drove in one.

Howard opted to keep her cards close to the vest against North Central Conference rival Iowa Falls-Alden and the end result was a 13-2 Cadets victory. Biere stayed out of the pitcher’s circle and Anderson took the game off from behind the plate.

No. 8-ranked (Class 3A) IF-A scored 12 runs over the final four innings.

“The girls played pretty well for the most part,” Howard said. “In the Iowa Falls game we had a little bit of a lapse on defense, but in the other two games we did a better job.”

WCHS (9-4), IF-A (7-3) and Hoover (5-9) all went 2-1 on the day; South Hardin (3-5) finished 0-3.