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Jefferson strikes early to knock off Kennedy in battle for Bloomington

05/15/2017, 6:30am CDT
By Peter Odney, SportsEngine

With the 3-0 victory over the Eagles, the Jaguars have won 11 of their last 12 games.


Jefferson's Lizzy Walker slides into second base on a missed catch for a stolen base.  Walker would score twice in the Jaguars 3-0 defeat of city rival Bloomington Kennedy.  Photo by Cheryl Myers, SportsEngine

Jefferson's Lizzy Walker slides into second base on a missed catch for a stolen base. Walker scored twice in the Jaguars' 3-0 victory over city rival Bloomington Kennedy. Photo by Cheryl Myers, SportsEngine


The Bloomington Jefferson softball team is throwing a party, and you’re not invited.

You can see it, you can hear it, but you better keep your distance.

“I think it annoys everybody except for us,” senior pitcher Hailey Martinez said of her team’s antics, which include specific music, chants, and rehearsed call-and-response screams.

The most recent team showered with the Jaguars’ squeals and screeches was crosstown rival Bloomington Kennedy (8-10, 3-10), whom the Jaguars dispatched in a 3-0 win on Monday night in Metro West Conference action.

“I think everybody doesn’t like us too much,” Jefferson coach Jim Hanson said. “But it’s good spirit. We play well when we cheer.”

Martinez especially fed off the chatter in the win, breezing to her 10th win of the season in a complete game one-hit shutout.

“I try to go out there with confidence every time I pitch so I can get through the batters like I did tonight,” Martinez said. “That’s always my goal.”

Working at a remarkably efficient rate, Martinez tied her season-high with 12 strikeouts on Monday, a performance both Martinez and Hanson attribute to getting comfortable early.

“I just have to get in my rhythm,” Martinez said. “Anne (Miller) gives (the sign) to me right away and I’m ready as soon as I step on the mound.”

Hanson spoke of his pitcher’s performance.

“This is one of her better games as far as how she looked out there pitching,” Hanson said.

Martinez, a Wichita State commit, got two of her three runs in support from junior infielder Lizzy Walker.

“Lately I’ve been really coming alive on the bases,” Walker said, a trait evident as she scored one of her two runs on a passed ball from second base in the bottom of the fifth inning. She finished the game with two hits and three stolen bases.

The win gives the Jaguars (14-5, 12-1) 11 wins in their last 12 games after starting the season 3-4, and keeps them in the hunt for the conference title tied with Chanhassen atop the standings.

The Eagles, who have dropped four straight games, got a solid pitching performance Monday. Freshman Courtney Kopischke surrendered just two earned runs from the circle while striking out six batters.


Pitcher Hailey Martinez struck out 12 batters en route to a one-hit shutout game. Photo by Cheryl Myers, SportsEngine

First Report

Junior infielder Lizzy Walker scored two runs as Bloomington Jefferson cruised to a 3-0 win over crosstown rival Bloomington Kennedy in Metro West Conference action on Monday night at Bloomington’s Dred Scott Field.

Walker finished the game with two hits, reaching base in all three of her at-bats, and stole three bags in the Jaguars’ (14-5, 12-1) victory.

Senior pitcher Hailey Martinez dominated in the circle, striking out 11 batters en route to a complete game one-hit shutout.

Freshman pitcher Courtney Kopischke surrendered just one earned run in the circle while striking out seven for the Eagles (8-10, 3-10).

With the win, the Jaguars have won 11 of their last 12 contests, and extended their winning streak to five games. Bloomington Kennedy, meanwhile, has lost its last four decisions.

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Freshman pitcher Courtney Kopischke held the Jaguars to just two earned runs and three hits on Monday night. Photo by Cheryl Myers, SportsEngine

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