Western Dubuque stayed unbeaten with Mississippi Valley Conference sweeps of Cedar Falls and Cedar Rapids Xavier, followed by weekend wins over Keokuk and Bettendorf, improving to 8-0 on the year.
At Cedar Falls, Western Dubuque opened the month of June with an 8-1 win over the Tigers in game one and followed that with an equally impressive 16-7 victory in game two.
“We faced a good Cedar Falls team and needed to get up early. A big two-out double by Sydney Kennedy in the second inning got us out to a 3-0 lead,” said coach Rex Massey. “Sydney pitched another strong game to keep us ahead until the bats got going.”
Cedar Falls closed the gap to 3-1 in the fourth, but the Bobcats answered with three runs in the fifth and two more in the sixth to lead 8-1.
“Maddie Harris led off with a triple in the fifth to start a three-run inning and that gave us the cushion we needed,” Massey said. “We always want to answer when a team scores against us, so that was a big hit to get the inning started and build on our lead.”
Western Dubuque game one leaders: hitting — Harris 2-for-4 and one RBI, Sara Horsfield 2-for-4, Kennedy 1-for-4 and two RBIs, Abigail Kluesner 1-for-3 and one RBI, Meg Besler 1-for-4 and one RBI, Hallie Wilgenbusch 1-for-2, Audrey Biermann 1-for-4; runs scored — Emma Ernzen two, Horsfield, Harris, Besler, Biermann, Wilgenbusch and Isabel Ernzen one; double — Kennedy; triple — Harris; stolen bases — Horsfield, Biermann, Besler, Emma Ernzen, Wilgenbusch.
After the Bobcats jumped on Cedar Falls for six runs in the top of the first in game two, the Tigers kept things interesting with a five-spot of their own in the bottom of the inning. It was tied 7-7 after three innings, but a three-run fifth and a six-run sixth led to the 16-7 final.
“Both teams got off to an early start offensively. We had four hits with two outs in the first to go up 6-0, but Cedar Falls is a good hitting team and started with their first five hitters scoring in the bottom of the first,” said Massey. “We had four errors in the first two innings which we need to fix. Meredith Hoerner really settled down and pitched a great seven innings after the rough start. Most pitchers would have been flustered by our start defensively, but Meredith really battled and only gave up one hit in the last four innings.
“We still have a lot of things to improve on and the schedule is only going to get more difficult, but I love our attitude and effort so far.”
Western Dubuque game two leaders: hitting — Horsfield 4-for-4 and one RBI, Besler 3-for-4 and four RBIs, Wilgenbusch 3-for-5 and one RBI, Kennedy 2-for-5 and three RBIs, Maddie Heiderscheit 2-for-5 and two RBIs, Hailey Wulfehuhle 2-for-4 and one RBI, Biermann 2-for-3, Kluesner 1-for-4 and two RBIs, Harris 1-for-4 and one RBI, Aubrianna Jarding 1-for-1 and one RBI; runs scored — Horsfield and Besler three, Biermann, Heiderscheit and Wulfekuhle two, Kennedy, Kluesner, Harris and Wilgenbusch one; doubles — Heiderscheit, Horsfield, Besler, Kennedy, Wilgenbusch; home run — Besler; stolen bases — Heiderscheit, Besler.
A twin-bill at Farley Park saw the Bobcats rally for wins over Xavier in both games June 3.
In game one, after Xavier scored three in the top of the seventh inning to lead 5-3, Massey’s crew scored three of their own in the bottom of the frame to take a 6-5 win.
“Our seniors stayed very calm even when we were down two runs going into the bottom of the seventh,” Massey said. “Fortunately, we were at the top of the batting lineup that starts with three seniors. They all got on base and Abigail Kluesner got a clutch hit to tie the game.”
Western Dubuque game one leaders: Horsfield 2-for-3, Harris 1-for-3 and two RBIs, Kennedy 1-for-3, Biermann 1-for-4 and two RBIs, Wilgenbusch 1-for-3, Shelby Rice 1-for-3, Kluesner 1-for-4; runs scored — Horsfield two, Kennedy, Biermann, Erica Ernzen and Brooklyn Firzlaff one; doubles — Kennedy, Wilgenbusch.
Xavier jumped to a quick lead in game two, but with this Western Dubuque team, no lead is safe.
“We got down 4-0 in game two, but Meredith Hoerner always battles and gets better as the game goes along,” said Massey. “Sara Horsfield and Sydney Kennedy got big two-out hits to tie it up after two innings, and Isabel Ernzen got her first start at catcher due to injury. She did a great job stepping in and had a huge sacrifice bunt in the sixth inning.”
Hoerner went six innings for the win, allowing five runs on five hits, while Kennedy threw the seventh in relief to seal the deal.
“This was not our best performance, but I am extremely proud of our ability to never quit or feel like we are out of the game,” Massey said. “Meg Besler had another big game going 2-for-3 with a homer and two RBIs.”
Western Dubuque game two leaders: hitting — Horsfield 3-for-4 and one RBI, Kennedy 2-for-3 and three RBIs, Besler 2-for-3 and two RBIs, Kluesner 1-for-4 and two RBIs, Heiderscheit 1-for-2, Biermann 1-for-4: runs scored — Horsfield three, Biermann, Besler, Heiderscheit, Wilgenbusch and Wulfekuhle one; doubles — Kennedy two, Kluesner; stolen bases — Heiderscheit, Horsfield, Biermann, Wulfekuhle.
The Bobcats got a taste of the big time at the University of Iowa Softball Complex, June 5, and picked up wins over Keokuk (12-0), and Bettendorf (8-3).
“Against Keokuk, we jumped out to an early 5-0 lead in the first inning,” said Massey. “Meredith Hoerner had control of the game from the beginning and pitched a nice three-inning shutout.”
Western Dubuque leaders against Keokuk: hitting — Kennedy 2-for-3 and three RBIs, Wilgenbusch 1-for-1 and two RBIs, Horsfield 1-for-2, Heiderscheit 1-for-3 and four RBIs, Wulfekuhle 1-for-2 and two RBIs, Kluesner 2-for-2, Besler 1-for-2, Biermann 1-for-3, Erica Ernzen 1-for-1 and one RBI; runs scored — Horsfield, Kennedy, Kluesner and Besler two, Firzlaff, Biermann, Harris and Heiderscheit one; doubles — Kennedy, Wilgenbusch; home run — Kennedy.
Besler got things started on the right track against Bettendorf with a first-inning grand slam. Kennedy went the distance in the five-inning affair, allowing three runs on three hits.
Western Dubuque leaders against Bettendorf: hitting — Besler 2-for-3 and four RBIs, Rice 2-for-2, Horsfield 2-for-2, Kluesner 1-for-3 and two RBIs, Biermann 1-for-2 and one RBI, Kennedy 1-for-3 and one RBI; runs scored — Wulfekuhle two, Horsfield, Kennedy, Kluesner, Harris Besler and Rice one; double — Besler; home run — Besler.
“These were two good wins for us. Our seniors continue to lead us and keep us composed when something goes wrong,” said Massey. “We continue to try to win every inning and have a lot of faith in our pitchers to keep us in any game.”