Your Prep Sports
NORTH LIBERTY– The final scores in Liberty High’s doubleheader sweep of Mississippi Valley Conference Mississippi Division foe Cedar Rapids Prairie were identical.
The way Liberty High secured each of its 3-2 wins on Tuesday was almost as similar the scores themselves.
Class 5A eighth-ranked Liberty High got strong pitching performances from Kara Maiers and Kinsley Robertson and timely doubles from Kennedy Daugherty in both games while improving to 14-5 and 11-2 in MVC play with the sweep of Prairie (15-6, 12-4).
“That was two good games, they were fantastic games,” Liberty High coach Jeff Kelley said. “I feel a lot better on my side than (Cedar Rapids Prairie coach) Alisha (Frese) does on her side.”
Maiers struck out 12 in the opener as Liberty High used a Daugherty walk-off double in the bottom of the ninth to take its only lead of the game.
The game-winning double by Daugherty was her second of the game after the sophomore centerfielder led off the seventh with a double and scored the tying run on a Robertson RBI single.
“Coach just says in those situations to relax and see the ball,” Daugherty said. “He told us just to shorten up and get hits even if it’s not a big hit just get hits to keep it going.”
Prairie scored an unearned run in the fourth and was three outs away from closing out the opener when Daugherty lined the first pitch of the seventh inning down the left field line for a double.
Robertson followed with a single to left field that tied the game at one.
Prairie took the lead back in the top of the ninth on a two-out RBI single to left by Carlie Goddard but the Lightning answered again.
Ashlyn Geasland led off the bottom of the inning with a double and Haley Schroeder reached on an error before Daugherty lined a two-run double to the gap in left center.
“Coach told me to stay relaxed,” Daugherty said. “We had another game after the first one so there was nothing to lose.”
Liberty High rallied from an early deficit again in the nightcap.
Prairie scored a pair of unearned runs in the first inning but Liberty High answered with three runs in the third.
Daugherty had an RBI double to tie the score at 2-2 and Robertson had the go-ahead single that was part of a 3-for-3 game two at the plate for the junior pitcher.
“I knew that I just needed to do my part,” Robertson said of the RBI single. “We moved my runner around and that was a good way to get going and gave us some cushion for the rest of the game.”
After allowing a pair of unearned runs in the first Robertson didn’t let Prairie get much going.
Robertson struck out seven and allowed just four hits in the game-two win, allowing just four baserunners in the final six innings.
“She is getting ahead on the count and then she mixes it really well,” Kelly. “We were throwing drops and changes and even trying to throw a rises just to get the ball on a different plane.”
Robertson allowed a two-out hit to Goddard in the fourth and walked Jaiden Root but got Addi Beauregard swinging to end the inning.
Root led off the seventh with a single and represented the tying run at second but Robertson got Amaya Snyder swinging to end a 13-pitch at bat for the final out.
“My drop is working really well,” Robertson said. “I’m starting to have a good sequence going so I can start using my rise and changeup and throw them off in and out.”
CR Prairie 000 100 001 – 2 5 1
Liberty High 000 000 100 – 3 7 2
W – Kara Maiers W – Megan Steffens
2B – ICL: Kennedy Daugherty (2), Ashlyn Geasland. CRP: Alexis Barden.
CR Prairie 200 000 0 – 2 4 2
Liberty High 003 000 x – 3 8 2
W – Kinsley Robertson L – Dani Klees
2B – ICL: Kennedy Daugherty. CRP: Alexis Barden.
3B – ICL: Brynlee Slockett