Weno does it all for City

BY TOM CLOS | JUNE 13, 2012 6:30 AM

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Iowa City City High softball player junior Erin Weno did it all for the Little Hawks in their 6-4 victory over Cedar Rapids Xavier on Monday.

The fireballer hit a two-run home run, stole a base, and pitched effectively enough to help lead City High to the important win.

"She's an all-around player," head coach Gary Fickel said. "She had a steady game, did a nice job in the circle, and her two-run homer was critical for us."

The game was deadlocked at 1 in the bottom of the third inning when the star pitcher belted a two-run shot to push the Little Hawks back into the lead.

Weno said she had been working hard in practice to get her swing back on track, and the hard work paid off.

"I've been trying to keep my front shoulder down," Weno said. "That's all I was thinking during the at bat, and luckily, it went over."

Junior catcher Bri Hightshoe's 3-run double in the bottom of the sixth inning ultimately won the game for City. Hightshoe said that she had a feeling before the game that it was going to be Weno's night.

"She's been coming around after working hard in the off-season," Hightshoe said. "I knew someone was going to hit one tonight, and it happened to be her."

Hightshoe noted that when Weno's ball cleared the left field fence, a load was taken off of the upperclassman.

"The home run was overdue for her," Hightshoe said. "She's been hitting some in practice, and it finally showed today."

Xavier had drawn even with 2 runs in the fifth inning and was threatening with runners in scoring position when Weno induced a groundout to limit the damage. The pitcher said locating her pitches was the most important thing she had accomplish if she was going to successfully maneuver through the potent Saint lineup.

"They have a good lineup," Weno said. "They're quick with big bats in the middle of it, so I knew I had to hit my spots with every pitch."

Fickel said that he was impressed with the way Weno handled the tough situations and how she found a way of maneuvering out of them with no runs scored and only 8 hits.

"Erin was in command," Fickel said. "She had good control of her pitches, which shows how mature she has gotten."

Hightshoe stepped to the plate with the bases loaded in the sixth and won the game with a swing of the bat.

"Our bats came alive finally, and we played good defense," Weno said. "Bri Hightshoe's liner is really what got us the victory tonight."

Weno has assumed one of the leadership roles of the Little Hawks, but she credited her team, not herself, for the win.

"It wasn't my home run that won the game," she said. "Bri's double gave us the lead and insurance runs that we needed."

After hitting a home run, stealing a base, and grinding out a crucial victory, Weno's leadership was on full display Monday night.

On and off of the field.

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