Pitching dominates in Ottawa sweep
It was just too much pitching.
The Eudora softball team found itself on the wrong end of some great pitching as the Ottawa Cyclones blew into town Tuesday and took both games of a doubleheader Tuesday.
The Cardinals took to the field in game one against Ottawa pitcher Megan Ramsey, and the junior hurler took care of the Cardinals bats with a two-hit shutout.
"She can make you look bad up there," coach Cara Kimberlin said. "She's got great stuff."
The teams were scoreless through one as Eudora starter Caitlyn Riser matched Ramsey on the mound by retiring the Cyclones in order.
The second inning however, found Ottawa jumping out in front. A leadoff double followed by a line-drive single gave the Cyclones a 1-0 lead.
That was all Ramsey needed.
The Cardinals were baffled as Ramsey racked up 14 strikeouts in her complete game win.
"We just couldn't make contact," Kimberlin said. "We didn't challenge their defense."
The lack of contact seemed to be the only problem for the Cardinals as the pitching and defense held up and kept Eudora in the game.
The Cardinals had a chance to get on the board in the fifth inning as senior left fielder Jamie Bowser drew one of the few walks given up by Ramsey. Senior center fielder Kayla Moyer reached on an infield single, putting runners at first and second with two outs.
The coaching staff then dared to challenge Ramsey's arm and sent the runners. The double steal was successful, putting runners at second and third with two outs.
Ramsey, however, regrouped and coaxed Jacqueline Pyle into a weak grounder, ending the inning.
Soon after that threat ended, the Cyclones put the finishing touches on the 1-0 win.
Moyer finished the first game with the only two hits for the Cardinals.
Game two began with the Cyclones jumping out in front in the first inning on a passed ball by Eudora pitcher Brynn Hamilton. The Cyclones threatened to add to their quick 1-0 lead throughout the inning, but heads-up defense prevented the visitors from adding any further runs. Two plays at the plate by senior catcher Alissa Hamilton were capped off by a brilliant diving play by third baseman Kelsey Epperson.
"I wouldn't my defense for anything," Kimberlin said. "They played sharp out there and it showed."
The Cardinals countered in the bottom of the second with their first run of the new season. Shortstop Beth Folks drew a one out walk and promptly stole second.
Junior first baseman then came to the plate and delivered a line drive single that brought Folks home and tied the game 1-1.
After the second inning however, the Cardinals found themselves in an identical version of game one. The Cyclone pitching continued to deal the strikeouts as Eudora failed to take the lead.
Cardinal pitcher Brynn Hamilton did her part to keep the Cardinals in the game until she was hurt on a play at the plate in the fifth inning.
"Brynn twisted her arm on that play," Kimberlin said. "We took out as a precaution, but I think she'll be fine."
Game one starter Caitlyn Riser, who produced two more scoreless innings, replaced Hamilton.
The game remained tied after seven and head to the eighth where the Cardinals squandered a leadoff single and stolen base by Moyer with three straight strikeouts.
Ottawa took advantage in the ninth with a leadoff double and a single that brought home the winning run. The Cyclones completed the doubleheader sweep 2-1.
"We played well for the first game," Kimberlin said. "But the strikeouts have got to stop if were going to compete."
The Cardinals combined for 29 strikeouts in the two games.