A little home cooking for Western Dubuque’s softball team led to a Mississippi Valley Conference win over Dubuque Senior, June 5, and a sweep of Iowa City West, June 6. Earlier in the week, the Bobcats dropped a pair to unbeaten Iowa City, City High in Farley, June 4, as the Bobcats now stand 6-6 in the MVC and 8-7 overall.

City High came to Farley as the fifth-ranked team in Class 5A, and certainly lived up to that billing with a 6-3 win in game one and a 10-4 victory in game two.

“With the schedule we play, there are nights you face a ranked opponent,” said Western Dubuque coach Rachael Neal. “These opponents require you to bring your ‘A’ game in all facets. We didn’t play the best defense and had only seven hits on the night.”

The Little Hawks jumped to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning, but the Bobcats came right back with a three-spot of their own in the bottom of the inning when Jenna Hoefler knocked home Amy Kane before Hallie Wilgenbusch plated Sydney Kennedy to make it 3-2. Kaci Wolf’s ground ball scored Hoefler and it was all square after an inning.

City High’s Ayana Lindsey pounded a two-run homer over the scoreboard in left field to give her team a 5-3 lead in the second, and that was all the offense City needed, as Lindsey retired 20 Western Dubuque hitters in a row in a two-hit gem.

Hoefler and Wilgenbusch had the only Western Dubuque hits, while Kennedy took the loss in the circle allowing six runs on five hits and striking out 10.

In game two, the Little Hawks slammed 15 hits to take a 10-1 lead. The Bobcats’ Emma Gile hit a three-run home run in the bottom of the sixth, but that was as close as it would get.

Wilgenbusch threw four innings and took the loss, allowing four runs on six hits, before yielding to Meredith Hoerner, who allowed six runs on nine hits in three innings. Gile’s home run was the bulk of the Bobcat offense, while Sara Horsfield, Kane, Kennedy and Wilgenbusch singled.

“City High’s offense really challenged our pitchers,” Neal added. “We learned a lot against the tough competition that will help us as we move forward.”

It was a two week break between game one and two of the twin bill with Dubuque Senior, but the Bobcats turned the tables on the Rams with a 6-4 win in a contest delayed from May 21.

Kennedy had a nice game in the circle, allowing four runs while giving up eight hits and striking out nine. The Bobcats took an early 2-0 lead in the first inning when Horsfield singled and scored on a ground ball by Wilgenbusch and Kane walked and scored on a single by Gile.

Western Dubuque scored two more in the third when Wilgenbusch and Gile singled and scored on Wolf’s double. Horsfield singled and scored on a triple by Kane in the fifth and Wolf reached on an error and scored on a double by Maddie Goodman in the fifth to end the Bobcat scoring.

Offensively, Horsfield was 3-for-4, Gile 2-for-3 with one RBI, Wolf 1-for-3 with two RBIs, Kane 1-for-2 with one RBI, and Wilgenbusch 1-for-4 with one RBI.

“We kept the pressure on offensively and came up with the plays we needed defensively,” Neal said.

In the final games of the week, the Bobcats took a twin bill from Iowa City West, winning a 12-10 slugfest in game one before taking a 4-2 win the second game.

After West took a 3-0 first inning lead in the opener, the Bobcats bounced back with three of their own in the second when Goodman singled, Jacie Walters plated her with a double, and Horsfield’s triple scored Walters. Kane then singled to score Horsfield, knotting things at 3-3.

Hoefler singled and scored in the third to give the Bobcats the lead, and Wilgenbusch tripled in Kennedy in the fifth, but three runs in the fifth and four more in the sixth put the Trojans in front 10-5 in the top of the sixth.

Western Dubuque answered with seven runs of its own in the bottom of the inning to regain the lead. Gile started things off with a single and Maddie Goodman moved Gile to third with a double. Kane then scored both with a two-out single and when Kennedy followed with a base hit of her own and Hoefler was hit by a pitch, the Bobcats were in business with the bases jammed. Wilgenbusch then delivered a run scoring single and Wolf cleared the bases with a three RBI double to make it 12-10.

Kennedy went all seven innings, surviving a bases loaded jam in the seventh, allowing 10 runs on 11 hits and striking out six for the win.

“Game one was a great comeback with a seven-run sixth,” said Neal. “Our bats really came alive.”

Every player in the lineup had a hit, as the Bobcats collected 18 in the game. Wilgenbusch was 3-for-4 with two RBIs, Goodman and Kennedy 3-for-4, Kane 2-for-4 with three RBIs, Gile 2-for-4 with one RBI, Hoefler 2-for-3, Wolf 1-for-3 with three RBIs, and Horsfield and Walters were 1-for-4 with one RBI.

Game two was more of a defensive battle, as Western Dubuque overcame a 2-0 first-inning deficit to take a 4-2 decision. Kane opened the Bobcat scoring when Kennedy’s double drove her home in the first and Gile scored in the second after walking, advancing on a Goodman base hit and coming home on a Walters ground ball.

Hoefler and Wilgenbusch singled and scored in the sixth, with Hoefler making it home on Wolf’s single and Gile stealing home when Wolf drew the attention of the West defense to seal the deal.

The Bobcats had six hits with Horsfield, Kennedy, Hoefler, Wilgenbusch, Wolf and Goodman reaching on singles.

Wilgenbusch went two innings and allowed two runs on two hits before Hoerner pitched the final five innings, allowing only one hit to get the win.

“We did a nice job of answering when they scored first and adding more runs late to ensure the victory,” concluded Neal. “We did a great job of handling adversity and working together as a team to win games.”