J-Hawks win blowout; Saints take nailbiter

CEDAR RAPIDS — A blowout. An extra-inning thriller.

A double-header split.

Class 4A third-ranked Cedar Rapids Jefferson exploded for 15 hits in a 13-3 laugher in the opener, then Susanne Scieszinski handcuffed the J-Hawks as No. 14 Cedar Rapids Xavier claimed the nightcap, 2-1, in eight innings in a Mississippi Valley Conference softball double-header last night at Bob Erusha Field.

The J-Hawks (22-4 overall, 14-4 MVC) saw a 20-game win streak come to an end.

“We knew a split would be a lot better than getting swept,” Scieszinski said. “We made sure we came back out and played strong.”

Xavier (22-7, 15-5) tied the finale in the fifth inning when Scieszinski doubled home Shelby Woods, then won it in the bottom of the eighth, thanks to a leadoff walk and a pair of Jefferson errors, the J-Hawks’ only two miscues of the entire night.

Scieszinski allowed just two hits, retiring the final nine batters she faced.

“I think I was mixing it up pretty well. All of my pitches were working,” she said. “And the defense was behind me 100 percent. That makes a big difference.”

Jefferson Coach Larry Niemeyer shrugged off the loss.

“They’re a good team, they’re well-coached,” he said. “(The second game) was a tough game, and if you play long enough, you’re going to make a mistake.”

Jefferson blew open the first game by scoring five unearned runs in the top of the fourth to take a 6-0 lead. The Saints crept within 6-3, but the J-Hawks answered with five more tallied in the top of the fifth.

Morgan Allee was 5-for-5 and Brittany Madsen was 3-for-4 and drove in six runs, including a three-run double in the fourth.

“We came ready to play,” Madsen said. “We were all hitting today in practice, and that helped us a lot.”

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