BELLEVUE, Iowa — As far as returning experience is concerned, the Cascade and Bellevue softball programs are on opposite ends of the spectrum.
Cascade put its talent on display on Monday night.
Whitney Clemens reached base all five times she stepped to the plate and drove in four runs, and Morgan Kremer homered twice and drove in four runs as the Cougars swept the Comets in a pair of shortened games, 13-0 and 13-2, at Cole Park.
“We were in their situation last year, where we lost seven seniors and then we had a brand new team out on the field,” Kremer said. “So, we know what they’re going through and I think it helps us because we’ve all been playing with each other for a long time and we all get along, we know each others’ strengths and we like to pick each other up.”
The Cougars didn’t need to do much picking up on Monday.
Clemens went 2-for-2 with a no-doubt line-drive homer in the opener — a three-inning contest — then went 3-for-3 and drove in three runs in the five-inning night cap.
Kremer homered in both games, including a moonshot to center in Game 2. Her second, a two-run blast, bounced off the top of the fence in the fifth inning of Game 2 — and came just moments after Addy Weber lined a shot off the top of the fence in right for an RBI triple.
“We all thought Addy’s was out,” Kremer said. “Whitney and I were in the dugout and we thought Addy’s was gone, too.”
Cascade got contributions from all over its lineup, but especially at the top of the order.
Eighth-grader Devin Simon served as a catalyst out of the leadoff spot, reaching base in six of eight plate appearances. She drove in four runs and scored four more.
“(That experience helps) a lot,” Simon said. “You have the seniors with the experience to pick the little ones up and make sure they know what they’re doing and help them out.”
Cascade pounded out 24 hits between the two games and benefited from eight walks, two hit batters and five Bellevue errors.
Hailey Hannan struck out five over three innings and allowed just two hits and no walks in the opener. Lidia Boffeli struck out seven in the second game, limiting the Comets to five hits and two walks.
“They were just hitting their spots really well,” said Clemens, Cascade’s catcher. “Hailey was overpowering them quite a bit and Lidia was just very good on hitting her spots. I give a lot of credit to them because they both put in a lot of work in the offseason to become the pitchers they are today.”
Bellevue (0-15) scored both of its runs in the fifth inning, one on Taylor Deppe’s RBI single and another on an error.
“We’re not here to quit. We’re going to keep battling,” Comets coach Adam Smith said. “We talked about making adjustments, and that’s certainly something to build on for these younger girls: learning how to make adjustments mid-game and then start to barrel some balls up like we did finally in the last inning.”
Cascade is now 6-7 and on a four-game win streak. Prior to the win streak, the Cougars had lost six games to four teams with a combined record of 73-4.
“There for a while we were 2-7 and they were kind of down in the dumps,” Cascade coach Ron Lehman said. “We’ve won four in a row now, but they were teams we should beat. We’re playing like we should against those teams, so that’s the main thing. We’re probably not the best team, but we’re not bad either.”