Thursday, March 21, 2019
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Metro Sports Report

Striegel, Rooney deliver J-Hawk split

WATERLOO -- Drew Striegel found himself batting in a clutch situation for the fourth time in Jefferson's last five baseball games when he stepped into the batters box Monday night in the top of the seventh inning against Waterloo West.

For the second time he delivered, stroking a bases-loaded two-run single through West's drawn in infield.

And for the first time, the J-Hawks made it stand up.

Striegel's hit and Michael Rooney's seven strong innings on the mound sent Jefferson past West, 6-4, in the second game of a Mississippi Valley Conference doubleheader at Danny Vansyoc Memorial Field.

Waterloo West won the first game, 3-2, scoring the winning run on a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the seventh inning. That loss was Jefferson's fourth straight and all were by one run. It was the third consecutive walk-off loss.

"It shows we can play with anybody, but maybe we just kind of play to our opponents' level," said Striegel, whose grand slam against Xavier last Friday gave the J-Hawks a three-run lead in the top of the seventh inning. The Saints came back with four runs in the bottom of the seventh, and then won the second game with a hit in the bottom of the seventh. "It was nice knowing that we could go over to Xavier and they're at the top of the rankings and we could hang with them and almost give them a loss."


Stamping out cancer, 1 pitch at a time

MOUNT VERNON – Gary Stamp was scheduled to have a follow-up visit with his cancer specialists in Houston next month, but he’s put it off until September.

For one thing, he’s feeling so well that his doctors don’t see the need for him to make the trip right now.

For another, the appointment in mid-July comes smack in the middle of the state high school softball tournament.

Just three months ago, the 65-year-old area coaching legend was not sure he’d even be alive come tourney time, much less preparing a team to play in it as he’s been doing for for the past 42 years.

But there he was last Thursday night at the snazzy softball complex the Mustangs share with Cornell College, a bundle of energy as he prepped his girls for a home game with Marion.

“The last six weeks have been just phenomenal,” Stamp said as he took a short breather after hitting infield practice with the same sharp precision as always.

“I feel the best I’ve felt since last November. I feel really, really good.”


Greve starts and closes - in same game

Nate Greve has been a starting pitcher during his baseball career and he's been a relief pitcher during his career, but he'd never done both in the same game.

Until Saturday.

Greve helped the Linn-Mar Lions split with No.5 Kennedy on a rainy, sloppy day at the Linn-Mar field by doing double-duty on the mound in the nightcap.

The Cougars battered the Lions, 13-2, with a 15-hit attack in the first game, and Greve had the assignment of trying to quiet the Kennedy bats in Game 2.

He succeeded, he failed and he ultimately succeeded again as Linn-Mar captured the wild nightcap, 15-13.

Greve, a lefthanded sophomore, started the second game and had a no-hitter after three innings, but he walked three batters in the fourth inning and the Cougars plated five runs, ending his day on the mound. Or so it appeared.

"I told him at that time, I might bring you back to close the game," Linn-Mar Coach Chad Lechner related. "I need you to be mentally tough and ready to go. Stay loose."


Petersen strong, but errors cost J-Hawks

Jefferson junior southpaw ace Hannah Petersen once again did her thing in the pitching circle, allowing only three hits and no earned runs Saturday against Creston.

But her thing wasn't enough for the J-Hawks to avoid a 2-1 softball loss.

Class 4A No.4 Jefferson (23-5) had two untimely errors that allowed the Class 3A No.13 Panthers (21-4) to score both of their runs. That was all the run support needed for Creston pitcher Madison Frain, who matched Petersen's three-hitter.

The J-Hawks scored their only run on a double steal of second and home.

“We need to be more selective at the plate, we chase a lot (of pitches),” said Petersen, who had one of the J-Hawk hits. “We don’t get timely hits or walks, we just need to execute.”

The Panthers struck first in the third inning, when J-Hawk third baseman Hannah McInerney fielded a sacrifice bunt and threw it into right field. The error allowed Haley LeMasters, who had walked to lead off the inning, to score from first.

Jefferson tied the game in the fourth inning on a steal of home by junior Kailey Drake, who had singled to lead off the inning. She advanced to third when junior Kenna Fry and eighth grader Maddie Hanson were both hit by pitches.



Saints, Lions finish 3-0 in L-M tourney

The Xavier Saints defeated Center Point-Urbana and Monticello Saturday to finish with a 3-0 record in the Linn-Mar softball tournament.

Linn-Mar also finished with a 3--0 record in the tournament after beating Midland and Monticello.

Xavier eighth grader Erin Drahozal pitched a four-hitter in the 8-1 victory over Center Point-Urbana, allowing an unearned run.

Tyler Sampson hit a grand slam in the second inning against Center Point-Urbana. Lindsay Ireland went 2-for-3 with an RBI and Jenna Schulte was 2-for-4.

The Saints (21-7) defeated Monticello, 8-0, in their second game Saturday on a two-hitter by Jacey Wiebold. Kristen Winter hit a solo homer in the second inning and Schulte socked a two-run homer in the fifth. Abby Bedard was 2-for-3 with two RBIs and Sydney Galligan was 2-for-3.

Linn-Mar (11-19) beat Midland, 13-4, and Monticello, 8-2. Freshman Ellie Rizor hit home runs in each game. The Lions have won five straight games.

There was no championship game in the tournament.

Linn-Mar hosts Cedar Falls in a makeup doubleheader Monday night. Xavier travels to Linn-Mar for a doubleheader Tuesday starting at 5:30 p.m.


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