VENGEANCE IS OURS: Gilbert’s web gem lights fire under upset-minded Lynx

WEBSTER CITY – One single became two, two became three and three became four as Iowa Falls-Alden treated the first inning like batting practice Thursday evening at Lynx Field.

And then Webster City left fielder Molly Gilbert went and did what Molly Gilbert always seems to do – make a jaw-dropping defensive play – and it completely turned the tide.

A double play you had to see to believe got Webster City out of the first inning relatively unscathed and the Lynx responded to Gilbert’s theatrics by rallying back to knock off Iowa Falls-Alden, 5-3.

Already with two wins over the Lynx this season by a combined score of 25-3, the Cadets (20-8, 12-4 NCC) looked well on their way to another clinic early on. The four consecutive hits shoved two runs across and they had runners on second and third with only one out.

That’s when Maggie Ireland hit a towering fly ball that drifted foul down the left-field line. Rather than give up on the ball that looked destined to clear the fence, Gilbert sprinted over and found the yellow railing with her right hand. At the last moment she leaned just far enough across the fence to snag the ball for the second out.

The catch in itself would have been good enough, but Gilbert quickly whirled and rifled a near-perfect throw to the plate to double off Shanaya Schutt, who tagged from third and tried to score after the catch.

And just like that, WCHS (15-16, 11-4 NCC) had life.

“Molly’s play changed the entire mentality of the game,” WCHS head coach Jess Howard said. “She turned it around for us and got us excited offensively and the defense really changed after that, too.

“They were just coming up and unleashing it on us, so that was huge.”

Lynx pitcher Mikaleh McCoy took over from there. She allowed just one more hit the rest of the way while striking out five.

“Mikaleh pitched a great game on the mound,” Howard said. “She was moving the ball and hitting her spots and that kept their hitters off balance.”

WCHS tied the game at 2 in the second inning courtesy of a two-out rally. Kenady Highland ignited it with a base knock to left field and she eventually scored on the first of two RBI doubles by Hannah Myers.

Myers came to the dish on a pinch-hit single up the middle by Allie Flaws.

Cassidy Nerland and Myers both laced RBI doubles during the Lynx three-run fourth inning that put them in front for good.

WCHS put itself on the inside track to a runner-up league finish. The Lynx and Cadets are currently tied in the loss column; IF-A will play league champion and fourth-ranked (Class 2A) Fort Dodge St. Edmond this evening.