By Brenden West Herald Assistant Sports Editor
The Clinton Herald
---- — CLINTON — Halee Vicks just wanted to be done with it.
In Game 2 of a Mississippi Athletic Conference doubleheader with Davenport Central, the Clinton pitcher mounted a 10-4 lead going into the fifth inning. It was beginning to look like a rough day at the plate for Vicks, who had yet to reach base in three tries.
With two outs, Taylor Altemeier cracked a two-run single, then scored on a liner to center from Sydney Davis, putting the Queens two runs away from ending the game early, 13-5.
Vicks stepped up, and on a 2-1 pitch, sent a scorcher to left-center. A base hit with runners on second and third would have sufficed, but as the ball sailed over the fence, it proved that Vicks really wanted this game to end. The three-run bomb added one run of insurance to Clinton’s cause in a “kind of” walk-off victory, 16-5.
“I just wanted to get the game over with,” Vicks said. “I had no idea it was a home run until I saw my team coming out (of the dugout).”
The homer fittingly capped two great offensive games for Clinton at home on Thursday. Eighth-graders Allyson Whitehead and Grace Dornbush combined to win a six-inning, Game 1 shutout, 10-0, a contest that also featured a fair share of baserunning and big Clinton bats.
Five Queens had multiple-hit games in the doubleheader: Sydney and Keirstyn Davis, Rebecca Divarco, Altemeier and Cara Brewer. Keirstyn Davis led all hitters with six hits, five RBIs, two doubles and a homer, while Altemeier drove in four in Game 2.
The sweep finally put something in the win column for Clinton, which entered Thursday at 0-5 (0-2 in the MAC).
“When I think of the games today, I think team,” Clinton coach Trina Cewe said, pointing to breakout performances in offensive and defensive phases of the game. “There wasn’t really one all-star, up until that last at-bat, of course.
“It was a big relief. ... I think we just came in with more confidence knowing this was a team that we could beat.”
In Game 1, Clinton jumped ahead of the Blue Devils thanks to miscues that allowed Sydney Davis and Altemeier to score in the second inning. In the third, senior Keirstyn Davis belted a no-doubt solo shot over the left-field fence, putting the Queens up 3-0.
“It was one of those where you can’t feel it, but you know it’s the best,” she said.
Two innings later, Clinton put the game out of reach with a five-run rally, then ended it early in the sixth with a two-run base knock from Sydney Davis.
Central looked as if it awoke in Game 2, scoring two in the opening frame and leading 2-1 going into the third inning. Clinton was held to one hit until Divarco started a rally with a bunt single, followed by RBI base hits from Altemeier and Keirstyn Davis to take a 4-2 lead.
The Blue Devils answered with three more in the fourth, but they were countered by an offensive explosion from the Queens. Hunter Chapman, Brewer and Divarco strung together three hits, and Central miscues allowed for a six-run inning. Clinton tacked on six more in the fifth, sealing it with Vicks’ home run.
Cewe said this was closer to what she expected from her team.
“I told the girls I was really proud of them. They said, ‘You weren’t proud before?’ I said, ‘No, because I haven’t seen you play to your potential yet,’ “ Cewe said. “This is what we’re capable of doing.”
Keirstyn Davis added: “It feels great. We didn’t start off too well this season, so it’s a big confidence boost for us.”
The girls will take a weekend break before hosting MAC rival Bettendorf in a Monday night doubleheader. Game 1 starts at 5:30 p.m. at the Eagle Heights Elementary field.
CLINTON 10, DAVENPORT CENTRAL 0
Dav. Central 000 000 — 0 5 1
Clinton 021 052 — 10 14 3
Madison Harriman (7 ip, 14 h, 10 r, 1 bb, 2 so) and Alexis Smith; Allyson Whitehead (5 ip, 5 h, 0 r, 4 so), Rebecca Divarco (1 ip, 0 h, 0 r) and Cara Brewer. Multiple hits — DC (Karlie Westmoreland 2), Clinton (Rebecca Divarco 3, Keirstyn Davis 3, Sydney Davis 3). 2B — DC (Madison Harriman, Westmoreland), Clinton (Brewer, Halee Vicks). HR — Clinton (K. Davis). RBIs — Clinton (K. Davis 2, Kayla Altemeier, S. Davis, Hunter Chapman).
CLINTON 16, DAVENPORT CENTRAL 5
Dav. Central 200 30 — 5 8 2
Clinton 103 66 — 16 15 1
Amber Froehlich (4 2/3 ip, 15 h, 16 r, 2 bb) and Karlie Westmoreland; Halee Vicks (5 ip, 8 h, 4 r, 4 er, 4 so) and Rebecca Divarco. Multiple hits — DC (Alexis Smith 2), Clinton (Cara Brewer 3, Rebecca Divarco 2, Keirstyn Davis 3, Taylor Altemeier 2, Sydney Davis 2). 2B — DC (Lauren Harriman), Clinton (Brewer, K. Davis 2). HR — Clinton (Vicks). RBIs — DC (Shelby Thede), Clinton (Divarco 2, K. Davis 3, T. Altemeier 4, S. Davis 2, Vicks 3).