Cards split with hard-throwing Ramsey and Ottawa
Against any other team, a first-inning walk that comes around to score on a two-out single wouldn't necessarily be a very big deal. Unfortunately for the Cardinals, the pitcher on the opposing mound was one of the state's best in Ottawa senior Megan Ramsey.
All of a sudden, one run seemed like five.
That first inning unearned run would be all Ramsey would need as the Cyclones handed Eudora only its third loss of the season, 1-0, in the first game of a doubleheader at Ottawa.
"I told the kids going into the game that we needed to take advantage of any mistakes she makes," Eudora coach Cara Kimberlin said. "We hit the ball against her, but just couldn't push anything across."
In fact, the Cardinals managed to put up five solid hits against Ramsey throughout the course of game one, and even out hit the Cyclones, 5-2.
Eudora, however, couldn't overcome some poor execution at the plate when it needed it the most.
In the fifth and sixth innings, the Cardinals had the leadoff runner on with nobody out, only to see the next batters fail to lay down a bunt. On both occasions the batters fouled out on the bunt attempts, leaving the runners where they had begun the innings.
"That was really frustrating," Kimberlin said. "We needed to get the runners up and we couldn't execute the bunt whatsoever."
Despite the offense's inability to deliver runs, the Cardinals were never out of the game, thanks to the pitching of junior Brynn Hamilton.
After issuing the first-inning walk and seeing the runner come around to score, Hamilton settled in for a dual with Ottawa's star, matching her inning for inning and allowing just two hits.
"Brynn really pitched well out there for us and kept us in the game," Kimberlin said. "At one point she was even outpitching her, but we couldn't score."
Hamilton notched six strikeouts in the game, but it wasn't enough to prevent her from falling to 6-3 on the season.
After failing to push any runs across in the first game, Eudora bounced back against Cyclone pitcher Allie Moore in game two to earn a split in the doubleheader with a 9-3 win.
The Cardinal bats came around in a four-run third inning, which gave senior starter Karen Spence more than enough ammunition to post her sixth win of the year and remain undefeated.
As in many of this year's games, center fielder Mackenzie Salzman was in the thick of the scoring. The sophomore pounded out a two-run double in the third, followed by a three-run home run in a five-run sixth inning.
"She's hitting the ball real well," Kimberlin said. "And she ought to be in the thick of thing when she has Kelsey (Epperson) and Bailey (Scott) getting on base in front of her."
Eudora swept a doubleheader from the Vikings Thursday at Central Heights, 17-1 and 7-1.
The Cardinals used a seven-run first inning to give Hamilton all the run support she would need on the way to her sixth win of the year.
Spence belted a pair of triples to go along with four RBI's in the win.
Spence went to the mound for game two and allowed just one run on four hits in five innings of work to earn her fifth win of the year.
Eudora trailed 1-0 through four innings, before the offense finally dented Vikings left-hander Lindsey Robertson in a six-run fifth, which included three extra base hits and two stolen bases.
Senior Michelle Deluna had four hits on the day including two triples.