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The Cougars continued their winning streak last week and picked up their first home runs at home in four years.

by: LACEY MCGRAW - Andrew Axmaker on the mound. Axmaker threw a no hitter on Monday, April 7, against Western Mennonite.The Cougars played two solid games last week, taking a 10-0 win over Western Mennonite and a 17-0 win over Delphian. Both were league games. With the wins, the Cougars are now 4-0 in league and 8-2 overall and are on a five-game winning streak.

A couple weeks ago, Coach Garylee Syphard was a little unsure of how the season would go, but moving three players shored up the team and boosted Syphard’s confidence.

Three moves

Derek Halverson is now behind the plate. “He’s showing a stronger arm than anticipated,” Coach Syphard said. Hayden Cunningham will still catch some, but he is now on second base, while Austin Amaya moved to center field, where he’s “feeling very comfortable,” Coach Syphard said. “Those three moves really strengthened our team.”

That strength is showing in the score, as the Cougars didn’t allow a single run last week. In addition to smashing both the Pioneers and the Dragons defensively, the Cougars also managed to knock two balls out of the park, something they haven’t done at home for four years.

Versus Western Mennonite

Andrew Axmaker started on the mound and threw a no hitter. “He did a phenomenal job,” Coach Syphard said. “He was one error shy of a perfect game.”

He threw 53 strikes in 71 pitches. “It wasn’t because Western was a bad team,” Syphard said. “He was just really on his game.”

The Cougars got out to a 6-0 lead in the second inning and didn’t look back, particularly Josh Parmelee, who hit the first home run at the Cougars’ field in four years. “That pretty much cemented the game,” Coach Syphard said. “We don’t hit a lot of home runs ... It was a good all-around game.”

The Cougars followed their win over Western with another solid performance two days later.

Versus Delphian

Jordon Syphard started on the mound. “He scattered two of three hits,” Coach Syphard said, but overall did a very nice job at keeping the Dragons off balance.

Axmaker and Syphard are “dual aces,” Coach Syphard said. “We use them interchangeable.”

It’s not just Country Christian’s pitchers who shined last week though. “I thought our team showed very good discipline,” Coach Syphard said. “We really just pecked away and kept working the counts and staying in there. We hit the ball very well as a whole.”

That was obvious early on, as the Cougars racked up 16 of their 17 runs in the first three inning. Axmaker also picked up a second home run for the Cougars, in the third inning.

“It was a very solid game, and I’m happy to see the kids making progress and maturing,” Coach Syphard said. “They’re cleaning up errors they got early in the season. I think they’re ready.”

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