Cyclones fall to Black Raiders in home regular season finale
Cyclone Senior Jenna Gessert likely entered the pitching circle for the final time at H. Jack Field Tuesday night at home against the Sioux City East Black Raiders. Gessert went the distance, only walking two batters in her outing, but the Cyclones lost 24-12.
“Jenna did a great job,” said Cyclones Head Coach Brandi Eckles. “She hit her spots and she wants to go out with a bang, so we’re going to keep going.”
The Black Raiders scored every inning, including scoring five runs in the top of the 4th, six in the top of the 5th and seven more in the top of the 7th, but the Cyclones kept battling at the plate scoring 11 of their 12 runs in the final four innings.
“They battled really, really hard,” Eckles said. “I told the girls at the end of the game, I know we lost, but you can’t be mad about that hitting. They definitely ripped that ball way across the field.”
Multiple Cyclones contributed to their offense, including Ellie Ineson, Ella Plagman and Abbie Schechinger who had three hits and knocked in one run each. Gessert also had two hits and knocked in a run, but a big moment came in the bottom of the 5th inning when eighth grader Taylor Heese launched a 3-run home run over the left field fence.
“She [Heese] has really worked hard this season on having discipline in the batters box because she tends to like to chase those high ones,” Eckles added. “She’s worked hard at her discipline in the box and it’s paying off.”
The Black Raiders erupted for 22 hits, including five from Olivia Mentzer, three from Alyssa Erick, Leah Conlon and Raelyn Angerman, and two from Alexys Jones and Kaedy Junck.
With this loss, the Cyclones fell to 2-25. Eckles credited the girls for continuing to fight hard throughout the regular season and providing good attitudes despite the number of losses.
“I always tell the girls that I don’t care if we lose every single game of the season,” Eckles said. “If they’re working their butts off and going 100% every minute of every game, then that’s okay by me.”
The Cyclones will head on the road for their final regular season games for a doubleheader against the 18-12 Clarinda Cardinals. The Cardinals are led by Jerzee Knight with 39 hits and Lylly Merrill with 25 runs batted in. In the circle, Merrill has five wins, while Andi Woods leads the team in strikeouts with 33.
“Clarinda has a lot of really good hitters,” Eckles added. “We just have to battle on the hitting side as well and keep our defense tough.”