Up and down start for the Eudora girls softball team
The Lady Cardinals lifted the lid on the softball season last Tuesday, splitting a double header at Pleasant Ridge.
Despite a disappointing 14-5 loss in the opener, Eudora came back strong in the second contest 8-6.
"In the first game, there probably were some jitters," Eudora High School Coach Cara Kimberlin said. "We made some adjustments in the second game and moved some people around. We played hard and smarter in the second game and came back."
That comeback was fueled by a five-run fourth frame. Trailing 3-2 heading into the inning, Cardinal bats came alive for five hits. Nicole Born walked and Ashley Kraus bunted her way to first. Melanie Smith singled to load the bases and catcher Wendi Burke got aboard with a hard-hit ground ball that scored Born. With the bases still jammed, first baseman Andrea Ahrens delivered a triple and came around to score on an error. Karen Grosdidier also singled in the inning.
Another triple, courtesy of Born, produced an insurance run in the seventh and final frame. With two out, Mallorie Cleveland singled and then scored on Born's three-bagger.
Pleasant Ridge tallied a single run in the fourth, fifth and seventh, but came up two runs short.
In the opening contest, Pleasant Ridge hopped on the Cardinals early for three in the first.
Eudora rallied with five runs in the second off seven base hits with RBIs going to Mary Johnson, Smith, Ahrens and Julia Born.
That was the end of the Cardinal's scoring while the home team added three more in the bottom of the inning and seven in the third, aided by Eudora errors.
"Mental errors killed us more than fielding errors," Kimberlin said.
Senior Melanie Smith tossed both games, allowing only six earned runs while striking out eight and helping her cause with five hits. Ahrens, a junior, collected six RBIs in the two contests. Grosdidier added three hits, including a triple, and Kraus had two singles in game two.
Positives for the Cardinals included pitching, bunting and aggressive base running.
"Twice with the bases loaded and their infield in, we got runs in by going aggressive into their catcher after hard hits on the infield," Kimberlin said. "We also got key hits when we needed them."
Next Thursday, Eudora gets its first opportunity at home.
"We're used to playing on a nice soft field. It's a luxury a lot of high school coaches don't have. Eric Smith does a wonderful job of keeping our fields in shape," Kimberlin said. "Playing at Pleasant Ridge was like playing in Grandpa's garden, but it's no excuse for the errors we made."
Eudora hosts Baldwin on April 12 and Anderson County April 17, with both twin bills slated to start at 4:30 p.m.
The rest of the way, all 18 games are conference tilts.
"It may take us a while to get comfortable, but we'll be alright. We just need to relax and play and stick to the fundamentals," Coach Kimberlin said. "The one thing I'll give these kids is that they're wonderful listeners. They are absorbing what we're talking about."