CLINTON — In every conceivable way, there was seemingly no chance Clinton would bounce back from a 12-0 opening loss to Davenport North in Mondya’s doubleheader. The first game lasted less than an hour; the Wildcats cranked two home runs in one inning (the five-run second) and their pitcher, Lexie Pairrett, threw four quick innings, probably with enough gas to mow down seven more.
The loss was as ugly as it gets according to Clinton coach Trina Cewe, especially after scoring five runs on one of Iowa’s top-rated teams last week against Bettendorf.
“I told (the girls) I was embarrassed,” Cewe said. “I said to them, ‘If you don’t have any passion or energy for the sport, then why do you play?’ I was just looking for that fire I know they have.”
Suddenly, there the River Queens were, late in Game 2, hanging around. There was Sydney Davis, in the fifth inning, knocking a triple to the right-center gap and scoring two of her teammates to tie Game 2, 3-3. Two batters later, there was Davis’ sister, Keirstyn, taking an intentional walk and then leisurely strolling through first as though she was entitled to more than just one free base.
The River Queens caught the Wildcats napping. Keirstyn Davis induced a rundown allowing Sydney to sneak home, giving Clinton its first (improbable) lead of the evening, 4-3, on a sister-sister double steal.
“Every time its me and Keirstyn on first and third, we know that when she gets in a rundown, I’m going to score somehow, some way,” Sydney Davis said.
“It’s a chance you take,” Cewe said. “When (Keirstyn) gets walked she gets a little bit fiery. We were hoping they’d throw her down and Syd could take home.”
North regained the lead 5-4 on a bloop two-RBI single from Shianne Burks in the sixth inning, setting up a wild finish. Clinton’s awakening was enough for Wildcats coach Jeff Manders to recall Game 1 starter Pairrett to hurl the final two innings. Pairrett followed with a 1-2-3 sixth inning.