Your Prep Sports
IOWA CITY – With the graduation of a talented senior class that included a trio of all-state selections it is easy to focus on what is gone from City High’s state tournament team from a year ago.
This season’s City High bunch continued to show on Tuesday night they are not a group to be taken lightly.
City High rallied past Cedar Rapids Prairie 7-6 with a five-run sixth inning in the opener of a Mississippi Valley Conference doubleheader in Iowa City and completed the sweep by pounding 17 hits in a 14-6 win in the nightcap for its first MVC sweep since June 7.
“I think a lot of people thought that City High was going to be kind of a joke,” City High senior Sydney McCleary said. “We lost four division I recruits so we were kind of nervous but the energy and attitude that this team brings this year is amazing.”
McCleary and eighth grader Molly Carlson hit back-to-back homers during a 17-hit outburst in game two as City High improved to 12-14 on the season and 10-10 in MVC play with the sweep in a doubleheader that was twice delayed by lightning and rain and took more than six and a half hours to complete.
Cedar Rapids Prairie dropped to 15-11 and 11-7.
“We had either swept by a lot of teams and then we started splitting so tonight was the first time in a while we had swept a team,” Carlson said. “It felt really good.”
Tuesday was the first sweep for City High since the Little Hawks took a pair from Western Dubuque earlier this month and stopped a stretch of back-to-back conference doubleheader splits.
“Tonight we challenged them because it’s been win one lose one, win one lose one and we just haven’t quite put the whole thing together,” City High coach Jeff Koenig said. “We said we are a better team than that we just had to figure out how to finish and tonight we finished. We finished two games tonight.”
City High became a state tournament regular over the past several seasons led by the core group of now departed seniors Ayana Lindsey, Ella Cook and Carey Koenig.
This season some of the Little Hawks new to the lineup have showed what they are capable of as City High has continued its string of recent success.
Carlson had the go-ahead RBI single in the opener to cap a five-run City High sixth inning that started with a single by senior Georgia Kimm.
Avy Lindsey and Makayla Ribble had back-to-back two-run doubles to tie the game and Carlson came up with a two-out single up the middle to give City High its first lead of the lightning-delayed opener.
“I knew I couldn’t swing for the fence because I just had to get a ball in play,” Carlson said. “I tried to get a ball up the middle and get the run in.”
City High starter Kylie Cronk issued a two-out walk in the top of the seventh but got Piper Johnson to pop out to first to end the game.
“Coach always says that great teams find a way to come back and win games,” McCleary said. “That just showed that I think we are a good team this year and we can be a great team when we scored five runs at the end to win that.”
City High carried the momentum from the game-one win over to the nightcap.
Carlson had a two-run single in a three-run City High first and Lindsey had an RBI single in the second as the Little Hawks took a 4-1 lead.
City High broke the game open with an eight-run third inning that featured six two-out hits including the back-to-back home runs by McCleary and Carlson.
“I think that big hitting spree was all with two outs,” McCleary said. “The energy goes up and then everyone starts hitting and it’s a lot more fun when everyone is hitting.”
Seven different City High players had a hit in the nightcap and six different Little Hawks had multiple hits in the win.
“Good teams start to find ways to win two,” Koenig said. “We found a way to win that first one and then we came out and just continued to hit the ball and we got the second one.”
CR Prairie 210 003 0 – 6 7 0
City High 100 015 x – 7 12 3
W – Kylie Cronk L – Dani Klees
2B – ICH: Sydney McCleary, Avy Lindsey, Makayla Ribble. CRP: Jade Hynek
HR – CRP: Riley Goddard
CR Prairie 012 111 0 – 6 11 3
City High 318 020 x – 14 17 0
W – Lance Grulke-Mangrich L – Tatum Goerdt
2B – ICH: Elyse Rios, Avy Lindsey, Molly Carlson. CRP: Jade Hynek, Jaiden Root
HR – ICH: Sydney McCleary, Molly Carlson. CRP: Jensyn Jones, Riley Goddard, Rylee Newhard