Bulldogs put the bite on Lady Cardinals
Two Bulldogs got loose on the Cardinals last week with both Baldwin and Anderson County sweeping softball doubleheaders at EHS.
Against the ACHS Dawgs, Eudora lost 6-0 and 8-1 Tuesday evening. Last Thursday, the Baldwin Bulldogs took 7-3 and 8-1 wins.
A lack of offensive firepower hurt the Lady Cardinals against the two league foes, but the Eudora defense showed improvement.
"Our fielding was much better but it didn't make up for our lack of ability to hit the ball," EHS Coach Cara Kimberlin said. "We're waiting for the day we open up."
Anderson County, in its inaugural year of having a softball program, has allowed only one run in four league contests. Eudora produced that score in the first inning of game two Tuesday. Senior second baseman Ashley Kraus led off with a solid base hit, and Lauren Kracl advanced her to second with a bunt. Melanie Smith put the ball in play and Kraus scored on the overthrow to first. Karen Grosdidier and Shena Niedens also singled in the frame, but Smith was tagged out trying for home.
That was the team's lone score of the contest. The Dawgs tallied seven in the top of the first off freshman starter Kelly Spence helped by three Cardinal errors.
Smith came in to close down the Dawgs, who only scored once more in the contest. The defense stepped up and recorded three 1-2-3 innings, looking especially sharp after position changes in the fifth frame. Niedens and Kracl, who both saw time at shortstop in the game, made nice catches of line drives, as did Kraus who also contributed two hits. Catcher Wendi Burke singled in the second inning.
In the first game Tuesday, Eudora batters had trouble with the Lady Bulldogs' left-handed starter, striking out 11 of 21 at-bats. ACHS scored runs in the fourth and fifth innings, so Eudora trailed by only two heading into the seventh. There, five hits resulted in four runs for the Dawgs and the 6-0 final.
Last Thursday, the Lady Cardinals battled in a close contest with Baldwin in Eudora's first home appearance.
The bulldogs plated two in the first and the Lady Cardinals responded with a score in their half of the inning. Smith whacked a hit up the third base line and advanced on a bunt by Burke. Niedens, batting in the clean-up spot, got the job done with an infield hit. Baldwin added two in the third, one in the fourth and two more in the fifth to go ahead 7-1.
In the bottom of the fifth, Kraus took one for the team and was awarded first base after being hit by a pitch. Smith beat out a single to right and junior Andrea Ahrens got aboard on an error. With the bases loaded and two outs, Niedens delivered a base hit up the middle that plated Kraus and Smith. Ahrens and Niedens were left on base, two of eight runners stranded in the 7-3 loss.
Highlights included a 3-for-3 hitting performance by senior shortstop Shena Niedens, who collected all three RBIs, and 3-for-4 hitting by Smith. Julia Born added a pinch-hit single in the sixth. In her varsity debut, freshman hurler Kelly Spence came on in relief in the sixth and faced just seven batters in two frames, allowing only one hit a close play at first.
Spence started the second game and Smith relieved her in the fourth, down 6-1. Eudora's run came in the third. Nichole Born walked, Smith singled and Burke bunted to advance the runners. Born scored on a rare Baldwin error, when the catcher overthrew the ball at third.
Smith contributed two hits in the contest, and Kraus singled in the fourth inning.
"Baldwin is a solid defensive team. They only made two errors in two games," Coach Kimberlin said. "They have speed on the base paths and placed the ball better than we did. We had some good hits to the outfield with runners on that they caught up with. We'll keep working toward the positive."
The Cardinals, 1-5, are scheduled to play today at Wellsville and are back home Tuesday to host Spring Hill.