Home runs propel Eagles to victory
Published: Thursday, April 12, 2012
Updated: Thursday, April 12, 2012 12:04
After starting the season at No. 14 in the national preseason poll, the softball team at Kirkwood Community College has climbed to No. 4 with a 30-5 record overall and 10-2 in the ICCAC midway through the season. The Eagles are tied with Iowa Central Community College for first place in the conference.
The Eagles have won 17 of their last 19 games, including two wins against Southeastern Community College at home on April 9.
The Eagles got ahead early with solid hitting in the first game. Southeastern got on the scoreboard with home runs in the second and fourth innings to keep the game close.
Kirkwood played tough on defense down the stretch and held Southeastern off, 7-4. Sophomore pitcher Catie Flaucher ended the game with a strikeout for the win.
In the second game Kirkwood got on the scoreboard first in the bottom of the third inning. A double from sophomore Jenny Nelson brought base-runner Alene Carter home for a Kirkwood score.
Southeastern tied the game, 1-1, going into the fifth inning. With one runner on, Kirkwood freshman Kayla Tatge pounded a home run over the fence in left field to put the Eagles up. Kirkwood scored again to go up 4-1 to start the sixth inning.
The first six batters for Southeastern got on base in the top of the sixth inning. Southeastern had scored five runs and went ahead, 4-6, by the time the third out for Kirkwood was recorded.
Kirkwood got two runners on the bases to start the bottom of the sixth. Nelson hit one deep into to centerfield that sailed over the fence by just a few inches.
The three-run home run was just a few inches enough to put Kirkwood back on top of the scoreboard, 7-6. Sophomore Caitlin Fishback hit another three-run home run for Kirkwood in the sixth as the Eagles won by the final score, 10-6. Freshman Kelsie Campbell earned the win as pitcher.
In a loss against Iowa Central on April 2 at home, the score was tied, 0-0, until the top of the fourth inning. With the bases loaded and one out, Kirkwood pitcher Flaucher struck the Iowa Central batter, forcing a walk and bringing in a score for Iowa Central. Kirkwood responded with tough defense as two quick outs in a row left the Iowa Central base-runners hanging.
Kirkwood loaded the bases in the bottom of the fourth inning. With one out, sophomore Becca Lowe hit a sacrifice fly ball for an RBI, bringing in freshman Haylee Krack for the score to tie the game, 1-1.
In the fifth inning Iowa Central scored two runs to put Kirkwood behind 1-3. In the final inning, Kirkwood gave up one more run to lose, 1-4.
Kirkwood defeated Iowa Central in the second game of the double header, 2-1.
In the first inning, sophomore Nicole Fisher hit a ground ball right up the middle to get on first base. Fisher stole second and a bunt by freshman Shelby Crist advanced Fisher to third. Krack hit a sacrifice fly into centerfield, letting Fisher come in for the score.
In the fourth inning Kirkwood batter Lowe hit a fly ball into center for an RBI, bringing in freshman Kayla Tatge for the score.
In the fifth inning Iowa Central had the bases loaded when an Iowa Central batter smacked a ball dangerously close to a home run in left field. The ball was caught a few feet from the fence by Kirkwood and Iowa Central was held to only one run for the inning. Campbell earned the win as pitcher for the Eagles.
Kirkwood pitcher Catie Flaucher has been named pitcher of the week twice by the NJCAA this season. Flaucher holds a 16-2 record this season and leads the nation in average strikeouts per inning. Flaucher recorded 17 strikeouts, averaging over two per inning, on March 3 against Rochester Community and Technical College.
The Eagles play a total of four games at home on Saturday and Sunday in the Kirkwood Tournament. Kirkwood has more upcoming home games on April 17 at 3 p.m. and April 21 and April 22 at