After jumping out to a strong start in Thursday night’s doubleheader loss to Pleasantville, Woodward-Granger had sights on sealing the deal against Council Bluffs Lincoln on Friday, June 7. With a 5-4 win in six innings over the Lynx, the Hawks now look to start a new streak in the opposite direction starting the season fresh at 1-0 after a 0-14 debut.
Head coach Jessica Wyant said she wanted to see the team jump out with the same intensity to start the day as they’ve been able to do in the back halves of doubleheaders. That’s precisely what the Hawks did with a 1-0 lead to start the afternoon as freshman Emma Anderson advanced to home plate after stealing second.
For the next two innings, it was almost a complete wash for the Hawks as the Lynx took the lead with a 3-0 run heading into the bottom of the third. Rian Jamison was starting to lose some grip on the plate but had some major help come in from the outfield to prevent an even larger deficit.
“I think the thing with that is we won’t accept playing mediocre and letting ground balls or pop flies drop. We expect the best and we stay on them,” Wyant said. “Because of where we’re at with the pitching staff right now, we have to back them up. We have to have a top-notch defense. And I think everyone came well together. Rian pitched one heck of a game and the defense really rallied around her.”
Freshman Chloe Houge delivered two putouts from centerfield to third base, keeping runners at bay for Woodward, stopping any further damage inflicted by Lincoln baserunners.
“She stepped up to the plate and decided to play a little bit more aggressive and it came out good for her,” Wyant added. “She played an awesome centerfield and her throws are right on the money. She did a great job.”
After W-G kept the Lynx rally to a minimum, in stepped Anderson again for another scoring opportunity to take back the game. Swiping third base, she was driven in for the tying run by sophomore Natalie Weaver who followed suit after winning a quick game of pickle to take the lead.
The Hawks proved they can score efficiently so long as they get on the base path. On three occasions, they were able to get runners to second and third base, allowing for more creativity on the base paths to set up scoring opportunities. The five runs speak for themselves as the team-high of the season, and within just six innings due to a tournament time limit.
“We’re finally taking it aggressive to the plate and generating runs,” Wyant said. “So it makes it a lot more fun for us because we can [run more out] there.”
Eighth-grader Audrey Simmons and junior Maddy Danti would make their mark in the fourth inning to seal the deal.
Walking off the field with the team’s first W in tow, there was one missing player. In the sixth inning, sophomore outfielder Bella Milosevich was hit by a fly ball, splitting her eyebrow after losing the play in the sunlight.
After being attended to, she was carted off the field. W-G activities director said she will likely need stitches. There is no update on her return as Friday afternoon.
The Hawks have a chance to triple their wins this weekend with games against Lewis Central and Perry on Saturday.