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Champs cruise in opener

July 24, 2013
By DANA BECKER sports@messengernews.net

Kendyl Lindaman made history, and No. 2 (Class 5A) Ankeny advanced in the process at the state softball tournament Tuesday.

Lindaman, just a freshman, connected on her 24th home run of the season, helping lead the Hawkettes past upset-minded Cedar Rapids Prairie by a final score of 8-1. Next up is No. 6 West Des Moines Dowling in the semifinals on Thursday at 7 p.m.

A two-run shot to center in the third easily cleared the fences for Lindaman, who was greeted by her teammates at home plate.

Article Photos

As returning state champions, Ankeny (33-10 overall) is attempting to do something in the largest class that hasn't been done since 2008, when West Des Moines Valley repeated as champion.

Lindaman isn't concerned with that or the single-season home run record, which she tied with her 24th long ball of the season.

"We don't really feel a lot of added pressure (to repeat)," she said. "We just want to keep coming out and playing each game and advance."

Fact Box

Ankeny 8, CR Prairie 1

CR Prairie 000 000 1 - 0 6 2

Ankeny 220 040 x - 8 11 2

Katie Kuch (L, 21-8, 4 2/3 IP, 11 H, 8 R, 7 ER, 4 BB, 1 K), Natalie Halverson (5, 1 1/3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K) and Aly O'Brian; Courtney Clayberg (W, 20-7, 7 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K) and Kendyl Lindaman. HR-A: Lindaman. RBI-CRP: Mallory Jones; A: Olivia Parker (2), Lindaman (2), Bailee Ballard. SB-A: Taylor Steinfeldt,Serena Moss. MH-CRP: Jones (2); A: Lindaman (2), Ashlie Chambers (2), Olivia Parker (2), Moss (2).

Cedar Rapids Prairie (28-15) was behind the eight-ball from the start, as the Hawkettes plated two runs in the first. It could have been worse, but Katie Kuch was able to get out of the inning without any further damage being inflicted.

In the fifth, though, Kuch was chased after Ankeny plated four runs.

Lindaman now has 36 career homers. She hit three during state a year ago, which helped garner her all-tournament captain honors.

With three-plus years left, she trails current Alabama player Jadyn Spencer's career mark by 18.

"My teammates have always been there and it was really nice to have them cheering so loud at home plate," Lindaman said. "We did a great job defensively, and our bats did the rest."

The Hawkettes swept the Maroons during a regular season doubleheader.