Your Prep Sports
IOWA CITY – The West High softball complex seems to bring out the best in Brylee Klosterman no matter what team she represents.
Liberty High’s all-state senior centerfielder, who played for West High in eighth and ninth-grade, belted two solo home runs in the first game and reached base three times in the second game as the Lightning crushed West High in a doubleheader by scores of 13-3 and 13-2 on Tuesday at West High.
Both games were stopped after six innings due to the 10-run mercy rule as Liberty evened its record to 4-4 on the season.
Both of Klosterman’s home runs sailed over the right field fence and near a sign with her name on it as a former West High all-state player. Kloseterman is one of nine former Women of Troy who have their name posted on the outfield fence as all-state selections.
“I didn’t really notice it went over my name, but it’s always great coming back where I started my whole journey and everything,” Klosterman said. ‘I have a lot of memories here, and I have a lot of memories with this team.
“So it’s just very sweet being back here.”
Klosterman said she no longer feels awkward playing against her former school and her former teammates, many of whom she still considers friends.
“I’m beyond that,” Klosterman said. “Everyone has to move on at one point or another.”
Klosertman hardly was a solo act offense as Liberty for combined 26 hits in the two games, including 15 in the second game.
Junior first baseman Miranda Jones, who bats second in the lineup behind Klosterman, smacked a pair of two-run home runs over the left field fence in the second game, and each time with Klosterman on base.
“It’s really nice, I kind of love it because maybe I won’t be walked as much,” Klosterman said.
Jones said it’s something special batting behind Klosterman, but also a challenge from trying to match the high standard.
“It’s hard to go behind her, honestly,” Jones said. “You can’t even put it into words. She’s hard to live up to.”
Sophomore Haley Napoli provided a spark for Liberty in the first game with a two-run triple, while junior Kara Maiers went the distance on the mound and allowed just three hits and finished with nine strikeouts.
Sophomore Kinsley Robertson also scattered three hits in the second game while going the distance.
Both Liberty pitchers benefitted from solid defensive play as Liberty committed just one error in the entire doubleheader.
The Lightning also started quickly on offense, scoring seven runs in the first inning of the first game on six hits.
Liberty also scored at least one run in each of the six innings in the second game, including five in the top of the sixth.
Klosterman, who has signed a letter of intent with the Iowa softball team, has always had a deep passion and appreciation for softball, but even more so now after her senior season was in danger of being cancelled due to the Covid-19 global pandemic.
“I tried to stay as hopeful as I could,” Klosterman said. “At times, the season at the beginning didn’t really seem real. I was like, ‘oh, it’s weird that it’s happening. But I always tried to keep my hopes up. But I also didn’t want to get my hopes up too much.”
Liberty High 721 003 – 13 11 0
West High 110 001 – 3 3 2
Kara Maiers and Tiffany Jones; Eva Burbidge and Rylee Goodfellow.
HR – ICL: Brylee Klosterman (2)
Liberty High 212 215 – 13 15 1
West High 101 000 – 2 3 3
Kinsley Robertson and Mischa Reiners; Tamiah Teran, Kiahna Hill (2) Eva Burbidge (4) and Goodfellow.
HR – ICL: Miranda Jones (2)
3B – Tiffany Jones (L)