CEDAR FALLS — No one game is like another, nor is one victory typically the same as another.
Thursday at Robinson-Dresser Sports Complex, the Cedar Falls softball team learned it doesn’t matter how the ‘W’ is achieved.
The Tigers (13-19) stroked out 16 hits, including five for extra bases in a 14-6 victory over Waterloo West in the first game of a doubleheader, and then completed the sweep with a 3-1 win in the nightcap despite just three hits.
“It seemed like we were doing what we needed to do,” Cedar Falls head coach Steve Chidester said. “The second game I felt like we bent, but didn’t break.”
Chidester felt his team responded well in the opener after the Wahawks (5-23) took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first on a bases-loaded walk to Josie Bauler.
However, the first three Tiger batters in the bottom of the inning registered hits, including a triple by Maddy McFarland and a double by Cara Forsblom as Cedar Falls scored five times.
Two more times West tried to creep back into the game, but Cedar Falls answered with big innings, scoring four in the bottom of the third, three in the bottom of the fifth and two in the bottom of the sixth.
“The first game, I felt like we answered them a couple of times when they scored,” Chidester added. “If there was a disappointment to the two wins, I felt we had too many errors (the Tigers committed nine, four in the first and five in the second). That was more frustrating than anything.
“So, I felt we could’ve played better defensively, but both our pitchers did an admirable job, and I liked the way we finished.”
Cedar Falls’ McFarland finished 3-for-5 with three RBIs and two runs scored in the opener, while Tjaden Petersen had three hits and eighth-grader Gabby Townsend went 3-for-4 with three RBIs and three runs scored.
West’s Bri McPoland went 2-for-4 with three runs scored in game one, and finished the night 4-for-8 with four runs scored.
In the nightcap, the Wahawks scored first again as McPoland led off the third with a single and scored on Sierra Burt’s double. But in the bottom half of the third, three West errors led to three Tiger runs and that is all Cedar Falls started Abby Runyan needed.
Over six innings, Runyan worked constantly out of trouble as West could not come up with hits in critical situations. Cyrah Rasmussen came on in the seventh to close out the victory, striking out the final two batters she faced while stranding the Wahawks’ eighth runner on base.
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“It was really fun out there,” said Runyan, a sophomore. “I completely trusted the girls’ backing me up all the time.”
West stranded runners in scoring position in the first six innings of the nightcap and that was probably the only thing that disappointed Wahawk head coach Ashley Reimer.
“The stranded runners were disappointing, but I felt like we saw an aggressive side from us both offensively and defensively in the second game. I was happy about that,” Reimer said. “The first game I felt like we showed up too late, made some errors here and there and that game got away from us quickly.”
Cedar Falls 14-3, West 6-1
Wat. West 100 302 0 — 6 7 4
Cedar Falls 504 032 x — 14 16 4
Bre’Ann Olsson, Nia Christoffer (4) and Bri McPoland. Cyrah Rasmussen and Lex Hesse. WP — Rasmussen. LP — Olsson. 2B — West: CeCe Dehl, McPoland 2, H. Christoffer. CF: Forsblom, Petersen 2. 3B — CF: McFarland 2.
Wat. West 001 000 0 — 1 5 4
Cedar Falls 003 000 x — 3 3 5
Olsson and McPoland. Abby Runyan, Rasmussen (7) and Hesse. WP — Runyan. LP — Olsson. Save — Rasmussen. 2B — West: Burt.