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Karsyn Michael’s inside-the-park homer helps push Linn-Mar past Prairie

Metro rivals split a doubleheader, with the Lions claiming the one that counts in the MVC standings

Karsyn Michael, Linn-Mar

Karsyn Michael, Linn-Mar

MARION — This was no home run trot.

It was more of a home run sprint.

When her catch to right field was lost in the sun late in the afternoon, Linn-Mar’s Karsyn Michael was on the road.

Her 70-yard race around the bases resulted in an inside-the-park home run that proved crucial in the Lions’ 2-1 Mississippi Valley Conference softball victory over Cedar Rapids Prairie in the first game of a doubleheader Wednesday at Oak Ridge Middle. School.

“I didn’t know if it was behind her or what,” said Michael, a sophomore who was credited with her third home run of the season. “I kept running and watched the third base coach wave me in.”

That play, in the bottom of the fifth inning, tied the game at 1-1. The next batter, Mallory Palmer, followed with an infield single and eventually scored on a wild pitch for the go-ahead – and ultimately winning – run.

The outcome ended Prairie’s six-game win streak. The Hawks won the nightcap, which did not count in the MVC standings, 4-2.

Lions pitcher Anna Kaliban (13-8) retired 11 batters late in the first game and emerged from a bases-loaded jam in the seventh.

Linn-Mar is 15-17 overall, 11-6 MVC.

Prairie (17-12, 7-9) settled for a 1-1 tie in the nightcap with three games in the top of the third. A leadoff error started the uprising, then back-to-back-to-back singles from Piper Johnson, Riley Redig and Audrey Lueck put the Hawks ahead, 4-1.

Lueck went 3-for-4 in Game 2.

Linn-Mar’s Abby Mecklenburg – the Class 4A state long jump champion at last month’s state track and field meet – drove in both Lions runs in Game 2. She squeezed in a run in the second inning and doubled in the fourth.

Linn-March 2-2, Cedar Rapids Prairie 1-4

At Linn-Mar

Game 1

CR Prairie 001 000 0 — 1 4 1

Linn-Mar 000 020 x — 2 3 3

Tatum Goerdt and Lola Hawkins. Anna Kaliban and Kaylie Alvey. W — Kaliban (13-8). L — Goerdt (10-9). HR-LM: Karsyn Michael (3).

Game 2

CR Prairie 103 000 0 — 4 7 1

Linn-March 010 100 0 — 2 6 1

Lyla Canny, Tatum Goerdt (5) and Audrey Lueck. Elina Thomas and Abby Mecklenburg. W- Canny (4-1). L—Thomas (2-8). SV — Goerdt (2).

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