Costly week for EHS softball team
Close doesn't count in softball.
The Lady Cardinals came oh so ...near this week, but dropped four games by a combined total of 10 runs. Four victories would have meant the team was playing .500 ball heading into today's regular season finale at Gardner. Four losses leaves a 5-13 record with regional action slated to open Monday at Piper.
"These were the most disappointing four games of the year," EHS coach Cara Kimberlin said of the 3-0, 19-9 losses to Osawatomie and 8-6, 4-3 ones to Louisburg. All four were played at home.
On Tuesday, the nightcap of the double header with the Wildcats required an extra inning.
Eudora took advantage of early Louisburg mistakes and led 1-0 until the fifth frame. There, a triple and pair of singles led to three LHS runs, but the Cardinals answered when it was their turn and tied it at 3-3.
The response came from consecutive hits by Karen Grosdidier, Shena Niedens and Lauren Kracl to load the bases. A walk to Andrea Ahrens resulted in a run and senior second baseman Ashley Kraus put the ball in play. Niedens was safe at home when the fielder's throw to the plate hit her instead of the catcher.
The Cards left the bases loaded as they had in the third inning. A double pushed in the winning score for Louisburg in the top of the eighth, and Eudora couldn't answer again. The Lady Cardinals stranded 15 in the contest after leaving 13 on base in the 8-6 defeat in the opener.
Senior Melanie Smith pitched well enough to win both games but fielding troubles and the lack of timely hitting sealed Eudora's doom. Six runs in the first game were unearned. The Cardinals never gave up and after trailing 7-3 came back with a single score in each of the fifth, sixth and seventh frames.
Bright spots included the hitting of Kracl, a freshman, who smacked four singles and a double in the twin bill and five hits with an RBI by Smith. Grosdidier contributed four hits that included a two-bagger, and three of them led off innings. Niedens collected three singles in the second game. Kraus hustled on base nine of her 10 plate appearances with three hits, two walks, three errors and after being hit by a pitch.
Against Osawatomie, Smith threw a three hitter in the opener last Friday but suffered the 3-0 loss when her team managed only four hits. Facing the same pitcher in he second game, the Lady Cardinals scored three in the first and five in the second to go up 9-5 after three frames. The contest was knotted at 9-9 going into the seventh. The Trojans collected four runs and the victory off freshman hurler Kelly Spence.
Smith had two hits in each game Friday; Niedens contributed three in game two and Mallorie Cleveland hit twice in the second contest. Niedens, Smith, Cleveland and Wendi Burke each scored twice.
Today's games at Gardner will finalize the regional seedings. The eight-team bracket is scheduled to start Monday with the Cardinals' game time unknown at press time. The teams expected to vie for the regional crown are Baldwin, Mill Valley and Basehor-Linwood.