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Cougars will play for 1st title

Messenger photo by Britt Kudla Kaylin Kinney of Cedar Rapids Kennedy pitches against Muscatine during the Class 5A semifinals on Wednesday at Rogers Park.

Cedar Rapids Kennedy put on a show Wednesday, and now the Cougars are a win away from the program’s first-ever state softball championship.

Kennedy, the No. 2 seed in Class 5A, bashed three home runs and overwhelmed Muscatine by a 9-0 final on Kruger Seeds Field.

Next up for the Cougars is a title-game matchup with fellow newcomer Fort Dodge. The homestanding Dodgers defeated Ankeny Centennial on Wednesday, 5-3, to reach the finals for the first time as well.

Kaylin Kinney, a University of Nebraska recruit, dominated both at the plate and in the pitcher’s circle. Kinney drilled a deep three-run home run, while also firing a four-hit shutout with seven strikeouts as Kennedy (25-1 overall) extended its win streak to 18 in a row.

Abby Spore and Mya Dodge got it on the longball party with back-to-back shots in the third inning. It was the second homers in as many contests for both Kinney and Dodge.

Sam Scheck had an RBI single to get the ball rolling for Kennedy in the second. She finished with two hits.

Kinney is now 11-0 from the pitcher’s circle with an 0.33 earned run average. The senior has given up only three earned runs in 64 innings, and opponents are batting less than .100 against her.

Muscatine, who is now 19-3, had knocked off West Des Moines Valley to reach the semis. The Muskies square off with Centennial for third place on Thursday.

The Cougars dropped an 8-0 decision to Fort Dodge in a 5A consolation contest here a year ago. Kennedy is attempting to become the first Cedar Rapids metro school since Jefferson in 1998 to capture the large-class state title.

CR KENNEDY 9, MUSCATINE 0

Muscatine 000 000 0 — 0 4 3

CR Kennedy 013 005 x — 9 8 1

WP–Kaylin Kinney (11-0; 7 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 K); LP–Maura Chalupa (5.1 IP, 5 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 6 BB, 3 K). 2B–CRK: Addie Parker, Mary Krystofiak. HR–CRK: Kaylin Kinney, Mya Dodge, Abby Spore. SB–M: Kaylynn Salyers, Rylee Blake; CRK: Mya Dodge.

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