Archive for Thursday, May 20, 2004

Moyer big in first-round victory

Eudora swoops past Falcons 7-0 in late-game rally

May 20, 2004

In the course of a week the Eudora Cardinals softball program experienced one of its most disappointing losses and most profound wins.
The Cards (17-3) faced Paola May 12 with the Frontier League title on the line. Eudora needed to sweep the doubleheader to surpass the Panthers for the championship.
Paola slowly and painfully ended Eudora's hopes with a 2-0 first game shutout.
The Cardinals rebounded for a moral victory, winning the nightcap 4-2.
Eudora took the token momentum generated with the Paola win into regional play Monday.
The Cards opened with eighth-seeded West Franklin (4-12). Eudora, exercising a fifth-inning rally, cruised past the Falcons 7-0.
It was a big step for a program coming off an 8-13 season and a first-round regional exit last year.
The victory may be viewed in even grander terms when the week concludes. Eudora's top threat, second-seeded Piper (16-5), was stunned 1-0 by number seven-seed De Soto (8-9). The Pirate loss left the region with only one team that entered the playoffs above .500 on the season -- Eudora.
The door to the state tourney in Salina just cracked open. But with its enhanced opportunity comes the potential pitfalls of expectations.
"Every game from here on out is going to be a challenge," Kimberlin said. "I bet if you ask the girls, most of them won't even know the records of most of the other teams.
"What makes me more nervous is if De Soto knocks off Sumner, their momentum and swagger coming into the championship game."
girls, most of them won't even know the records of most of the other teams.
"What makes me more nervous is if De Soto knocks off Sumner, their momentum and swagger coming into the championship game."
Actually, what makes Kimberlin the most nervous is that giant hump girls sports at Eudora can't seem to get over.
"I told them going in that you were second in league in volleyball, you were second in league in softball, you were third in league in basketball and second in the Wellsville tourney and sub-state -- you have got to be sick of being second," Kimberlin said. "And I told the girls that were involved in basketball and volleyball to remember the feeling you had in the locker room after you got knocked out. You've got to take that feeling with you."
The Cards 7-0 victory was the first step.
If nothing else it was a breakout game for junior leadoff hitter Kayla Moyer. The Cardinal center fielder is known for her speed and patented slap-bunt. But against West Franklin the situations dictated a different approach.
Moyer responded going 3-for-4 with four RBIs, a run scored and a triple.
"(Moyer) was hot," Kimberlin said. "She was swinging away, not doing the running slap. She was just getting up there and hitting the ball."
The Cardinals used a four-run fifth inning to put the pesky Falcons away.
"I'd like to say we can't wait until the fifth inning to start scoring runs, but that's typically the way we've played this year," Kimberlin said. "Maybe that's why I don't get too wound up and nervous about it."
That appears to be the feeling of the entire team. They don't seem to get overly anxious when trailing or struggling late in ballgames.
This is a trait that is harder to maintain, however, in post-season play when the stakes are much higher.
The victory over Paola, for instance, was relatively meaningless -- the league title and regional seeds had already been set. But Eudora could ill-afford to ride into regional play with a three-game losing streak.
"I think we responded better in the second game than Paola did," Kimberlin said. "I think Paola let down and the pressure was off us. I told the girls out there this is a pride game, to show (Paola) that you're a state contender in 4A and show them you're the other top team in this league.
"I'm happy with the way we finished going into (regionals). We kind of got our swagger back."
The lowered stakes of the nightcap allowed Kimberlin to pitch freshman Caitlyn Riser.
"(Riser) came in and did a great job," Kimberlin said. "I've got confidence in sending her out there, and she has confidence with me sending her out there."
It was the first complete game in Riser's young career.
The Cards faced fourth-seeded Bishop Ward (11-10) Wednesday in the second-round match-up. Results were not available at press time. Ward advanced to the semi-finals with a 3-1 win over fifth-seeded Tonganoxie (10-11).

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