OXFORD - To say the Clear Creek Amana softball team can hit is an understatement.
The state’s top-ranked Class 4A team may have started a bit slowly in last night’s regional final game with Cedar Rapids Xavier, but, boy, did they ever finish with a flourish.
Senior Caitlyn Wnek made her final game at McAreavy Field a memorable one. She banged out three hits in four at-bats, including a booming two-run homer in the first. Wnek also drove home five runs as the Clippers rolled to an 18-3 win in five innings.
Coach Jim White’s Clippers (41-1), who won the state 3A title in 2011, open state tournament play next Tuesday in Fort Dodge against West Delaware (30-10) at 1 p.m.
Xavier closes its season at 24-18.
“I’m not sure how I would pitch to Caitlin if I was coaching against her,” White said. “High, low, inside, outside, it doesn’t matter to her.”
Wnek’s two-run shot, which cleared the left-field fence by a good margin, gave the Clippers a 2-0 lead in the top of the first. Xavier scored once in the bottom of the inning when Jamie Feltes’ sacrifice fly brought home Allison Schwach. After retiring the Clippers in order in the second, the Saints had runners on second and third with one out in the bottom of the frame. CCA got out of the jam when second baseman Mallory Madsen gunned Lindsay Ireland at the plate as she tried to score on an infield grounder, followed by a strikeout of Sydney Galligan.
“I thought they actually had the momentum early,” White said of the Saints. “They had the pressure on us.”
But as is usually the case, the relentless Clipper bats were too much to handle.
Tara Walls had a two-out, two-run single in the third to make it 4-1. The lead grew to 9-1 in the fourth as Wnek’s two-run single was the key hit.Freshman Morgan Breitbach came off the bench for the Saints in the bottom of the inning to connect for a two-run pinch homer, cutting the gap to 9-3.