BACK-TO-BACK, JACK: WCHS softball goes yard to beat Garrigan

WEBSTER CITY – The Webster City softball team is never really out of a ball game. All it takes is one swing of the bat.

Or in this case, two swings of the bat.

Locked in a 1-1 tie in the sixth inning with Algona Bishop Garrigan last night at Lynx Field, WCHS celebrated back-to-back home runs by Maddie Anderson and Cassidy Nerland, and the long balls were the difference in its 3-1 North Central Conference victory.

The Lynx (14-13, 10-3 NCC) cranked 25 dingers a season ago, and they’ve started to find their power in recent games. The two last night gave them four home runs in their last three games and 10 on the season.

“I feel confident whether I’ve got my (No.) 9 hitter up or the top of the order up,” WCHS head coach Jess Howard said. “We’re confident we can score from anywhere.”

Hitting in the No. 5 slot, Anderson put WCHS ahead to stay when she took Golden Bears’ pitcher Kristin Condoleon out of the park in right-center. Condoleon then grooved a pitch to Nerland, and the eighth grader made her pay with a laser over the fence in left-center.

Nerland, a Northeast Hamilton student, now shares the Lynx home run lead with Kaylee Schnathorst; both have four.

“She does a great job and she’s gaining more confidence every single game,” Howard said of Nerland. “It comes off the bat hard usually every time she makes contact.”

WCHS finished with five hits. Anderson went 2-for-3 – she would have been 3-for-3 had Garrigan center fielder Kaitlyn Fogarty not robbed her on a diving grab in the second inning – and Schnathorst and Hannah Myers both added singles.

Johanna Vaske accounted for Garrigan’s lone run on a third-inning solo home run to right field. But Lynx junior hurler Mikaleh McCoy didn’t offer up much else; Garrigan (12-11, 8-5 NCC) finished with just four hits. McCoy fanned seven batters.

“Mikaleh wasn’t rattled by (the home run) and she came back and got them out,” Howard said. “We played solid defense all the way through the game and we were able to help (McCoy) out.”

WCHS tied the game at 1 in the fifth on a bases loaded walk handed out to Allie Flaws. The Lynx had runners at second and third with no outs, and then loaded them with just one out, but only managed the one run.