DUBUQUE — Central College catcher, and Newton Senior High School graduate, Caitlyn Meyer is making up for lost time.
After missing the final 19 games of the 2012 season to injury and enduring a lengthy rehab for two surgeries, the four-year starter is on a rampage, swatting a pair of home runs to power the No. 25 Dutch softball team to an Iowa Conference sweep at Loras College Sunday. Central (20-5 overall, 4-0 conference) triumphed 5-3 in eight innings and 8-0 in five innings, stretching the squad’s winning streak to 11 games.
Meyer has 10 hits in 15 at-bats in her last four games. Sunday she rescued the Dutch with a solo home run in the eighth inning of the opener. For the second time in three games, Central yielded a game-tying 2-run homer with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning. But Meyer untied the game to lead off the eighth inning and the Dutch added an insurance run to make a winner of pitcher Mallory Schulenberg.
In the third inning of the nightcap, Meyer delivered a 2-run shot, her fourth homer of the season. She also knocked in a run on a fielder’s choice, giving her four RBIs on the day.
“She’s seeing it well and hitting it well,” coach George Wares said. “For her to come back with the home run in the eighth inning of the first game was obviously big.”
That’s a welcome development for Wares, who had to do an unexpected lineup overhaul. Second baseman Abbey Strajack, the team’s leading hitter with a .429 mark, and starting left fielder Jordan Overland were injured in the first two innings of Wednesday’s sweep of Simpson College at Indianola and are out indefinitely.
But the rebuilt lineup generated 17 hits. Heidi Reburn took over in left field and had three hits and scored two runs in the opener, then scored another run in the nightcap.
“She’s doing what she needs to do,” Wares said. “She’s staying within herself and just putting the ball in play, which allows her to use her speed. She’s improved a lot offensively, as has (center fielder) Paige Heesch.”
Meanwhile Courtney Meyer, another Newton Senior High School graduate, and Chelsea Greiner shared the duties at second base. Greiner had a hit and two RBIs while Meyer added an RBI and drew two walks.