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Home runs spark Clarke softball

Clarke junior pitcher Libby Bemis prepares to fire a pitch toward home plate during Clarke's 12-1 win in five innings over Davis County on Monday. Bemis struck out 10 batters in the win, allowing just four hits.
Clarke junior pitcher Libby Bemis prepares to fire a pitch toward home plate during Clarke's 12-1 win in five innings over Davis County on Monday. Bemis struck out 10 batters in the win, allowing just four hits.

The Clarke softball team improved to 13-6 for the season Monday with a 12-1 win over Davis County, highlighted by a pair of home runs.

The Lady Indians totaled nine home runs in a six-day stretch spanning June 12’s 13-0 win over Mount Ayr to Monday’s 12-1 win.

But, it was the little things that Clarke improved on during its trip to Cedar Rapids on June 7-8, where the Lady Indians went 0-4 against tough competition.

“Last weekend we went to Cedar Rapids and had some great opportunities to iron out some little things that were getting in our way from playing the way we were capable of,” head coach Lindsay Diehl said. “The kids really came out with a different approach to the game this week. We have been focusing on the process of the game one pitch at a time, and not the outcome and it has been a difference maker.”

Monday’s win over Davis County that improved the Lady Indians to 4-1 in the South Central Conference, saw Clarke jump on Davis County early.

After one out, Kennedy Crees slapped a single to the left side and Libby Bemis followed with a double to the fence in left-center. Sarah Pate then hit a two-run double right back up the middle.

Devon Carson followed with an RBI single to center field to make it 3-0 Clarke.

Davis County cut the lead to 3-1 in the top of the second with a leadoff home run, but Kassidy Spurgin responded with a home run of her own to make it 4-1 after two.

Pate drew a one-out walk in the bottom of the third inning and scored when Carson blasted a two-run home run to left field.

Senior second baseman Ashley Gibbs kept the rally going with a single to left. After stealing second base, Gibbs scored on a throwing error after Amanda Kindred’s single to the left side.

Clarke pushed five runs across in the bottom of the fourth inning, highlighted by a two-RBI single by Pate.

Bemis, meanwhile, was dominant in the pitching circle. Aside from the home run in the second inning, she didn’t allow a run in the game.

Bemis gave up just four hits in the game and struck out 10 without issuing a walk.

Winning streak

The Lady Indians have gone on a six-game winning streak since the four losses in Cedar Rapids.

Things started with a 15-1 win at Albia in a conference matchup.

Then came a 13-0 win over Mount Ayr on June 12 that saw the Lady Indians blast four home runs in the game.

Pate, Carson, Spurgin and Allyson Deutsch each hit a home run in the win. Spurgin finished with three RBI, while Pate and Deutsch each drove in two runs.

Driving in one run apiece were Vanessa Bakley, Crees, Bemis, Carson, Carley Robins and Mackenzi Otto.

Carrie Kindred picked up the win for the Lady Indians, giving up just one hit and striking out seven.

Clarke followed with a 10-0 win over Centerville on June 13, in which Bemis pitched a two-hitter with eight strikeouts and just one walk.

It continued to rain home runs for the Lady Indians, as Carson went 4-for-4 with a home run and five RBI. Spurgin also hit a home run and drove in two runs.

Clarke beat Pella Christian 7-3 on June 15 in the Oskaloosa Tournament.

Carrie Kindred picked up the win, giving up three runs on six hits with eight strikeouts.

Pate went 3-3 in the game with a double and three RBI. Carson was 1-4 with two RBI.

The Lady Indians also picked up a 13-1 win over Iowa City West in Oskaloosa on June 15.

Carson hit her sixth home run of the season in the win, driving in three runs. Amanda Kindred and Robins each drove in two runs.

Crees went 4-5 with an RBI and a stolen base. Spurgin was 3-4 with one RBI. Bakley, Pate and Kimberly Eddy each drove in one run.

Bemis picked up the win in the pitching circle, going seven innings with one run on six hits, striking out four and walking three.

Clarke hosts its home tournament on Saturday. Teams participating will be East Union and Woodward Granger. Action is set to begin at 10 a.m. with each team playing the other two teams throughout the day.

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