Softball: Olson Keys J-Hawks In Split With Senior

By Jeff Linder (Story) and Scott Saville (Video), Reporters

This game was televised live on KCRG 9.2. For the full listing of games, go to the 9.2 page.

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — She watched. She studied.

Then Alyssa Olson went out and won a must-win game.

Olson matched a career-high with 12 strikeouts in a two-hit shutout as Class 5A eighth-ranked Cedar Rapids Jefferson earned a Mississippi Valley Conference softball split, 8-0, Tuesday night at the Jefferson Softball complex.

No. 4 Dubuque Senior took the opener, 6-1.

"It was a big game, because we knew we needed at last one (win to stay in the MVC Mississippi Division race)," Olson said. "I felt like it was my duty to get the momentum going."

A sophomore in her first year of varsity duty, Olson improved to 8-1. But she's perfectly fine working as the J-Hawks' second-game pitcher.

"I feel the first game I can learn, watch what the other hitters are hitting and where they're hitting it," Olson said.

Jefferson Coach Brian Erbe said, "She sits right next to me, watching every batter and charting pitches. She's a great student of the game."

The two games were direct inverses of one another.

Senior (14-3 overall, 6-2 MVC) took control of the opener with three runs in the first inning, and that was plenty for A.J. Medinger. The Rams' ace took a no-hitter into the seventh inning before Erin Kuba broke it up with a solid single.

Jefferson got a consolation run on Brooke Stauffer's groundout.

"I wasn't pleased with our hitting in the first game," Erbe said. "Medinger was as good as anybody that has pitched against us all year."

Medinger was 3-for-3 at the plate.

Jefferson (14-5, 7-3) turned the tables in the nightcap, taking the lead for good with a run in the bottom of the second (Maddie Koolbeck scored from third base on a double-steal), then added two runs in the third, two in the fourth and three in the fifth.

State RBI leader Maddie Hansen picked up her 36th on a single in the third inning.

The Rams and the J-Hawks are in a virtual tie for second place in the division, two games in back of leader Dubuque Hempstead.

Jefferson will host Waterloo West on Wednesday. Between games, the field will be renamed in honor of longtime coach Larry Niemeyer.
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