Area seniors who stood out on the baseball and softball diamonds earlier this summer had one last opportunity to strut their stuff Wednesday night in the annual Cedar Valley-Big East Conference Senior Games.
The CVC flexed its muscles, sweeping the Big East all-stars in both contests contested at Wilton High School.
Despite two RBIs by Bellevue Marquette’s Paige Daugherty, the CVC softball all-stars pounded out 15 hits to upend the Big East 8-5. Because of low numbers by both sides, just one nine-inning game was played, instead of the planned doubleheader.
In the baseball contest, the CVC built a 10-0 lead and weathered a Big East comeback bid to come away with a 16-6 triumph.
Despite not coming away with the wins, the seniors from the Big East schools agreed that Wednesday’s contests were a good way for now-former rivals to get together to work toward a common good.
“It was a lot of fun to get together with all these girls you’ve been competing against all your life,” said Bellevue’s Caley Medinger, who worked part of the game from the pitcher’s mound. “It’s almost like they’ve been a part of your team because you know them so well. You see most teams three times in a season, so by the end of the season you get to know them pretty well.
“Season after season we’ve just become I feel like I know most of the girls like they’re my own team.”
Preston senior Megan Zeimet, who will continue her career at Iowa Wesleyan, added: “It’s fun playing with … just great players. We all just want to have fun. We all like each other. Everyone just contributed and played great.”
In the softball contest, the CVC drew first blood in the second inning after RBIs by Iowa City Regina’s Sara Kron and Mount Vernon’s Micah Wieditz, but the Big East tied it at 2-apiece in the top of the third on Zeimet’s two-run single.
The CVC built the lead to 6-2 in the fourth off three single-run hits, but the Big East rallied for three runs in the fifth. Camanche’s Brooke Cochran scored on a fielder’s choice, after which Daugherty hit a bloop single that brought in a pair of runs to cut the CVC’s lead to one. The CVC pulled away after that.
Daugherty had three of her team’s six hits, while she and Medinger combined for the 15-hitter. In addition, Bellevue’s Kayla Tott was in on a pair of double plays from her third baseman position.
Kayci McChristy, who played for Iowa Class 2A state champion Regina, had three hits to lead the CVC.
“It was a good game,” said Preston coach Sarah Manning, who led the Big East team into battle. “We had a lot of good players, and it was fun to get them all together and have a good game.”
In the baseball contest, the CVC pounced on the Big East’s elite pitchers to build a 10-0 lead, but the Big East battled back in the fifth and sixth frames. East Central’s Cody Johnson and Prince of Peace’s Anthony Sinn had back-to-back hits and, after moving into scoring position on a passed ball, scored on Wapello senior Logan Lanz’s two-RBI single.
After the CVC rebuilt the lead to 11-2 in the bottom of the sixth, the Big East scored three runs in the top of the sixth. Wapello’s Kyle Pritchard was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, forcing in Louisa-Muscatine’s Dallas Gilleland. Camanche’s Dalles Johnson and Midland’s Ryan Andresen were each sent home on bases-loaded walks.
But six was as close as the Big East got, scoring a consolation run in the top of the ninth when Sinn was forced in on a bases-loaded walk.
Sinn was 3 for 3 to lead the Big East, which collected 11 hits. The CVC had 14 hits, with West Branch’s Logan Murry rapping three.
The Big East baseball squad also included several players from Louisa-Muscatine and Wapello of the Southeast Iowa Superconference, while the CVC’s softball team invited Highland’s Kayla Schneider, and Wieditz and Kari Martin from the WaMaC’s Mount Vernon.