Cutting it close
Cardinals don’t have luxury of comfort in most recent victory
A win is a win.
But after the Eudora softball team's 1-0 win against Louisburg Monday, coach Cara Kimberlin wasn't exactly celebrating. Kimberlin was thinking about how close the game was and she couldn't stop thinking about one aspect: Eudora's poor hitting.
"I wasn't really happy with our hitting performance," Kimberlin said. "We hit on poor pitches and watched good pitches go by. Also, of our 21 total outs, 11 were strikeouts. But I'll take the win."
That poor hitting stranded nine runners on bases and never produced more than one run for Eudora.
The lone run of the game was made by Bailey Scott. Scott was walked to first, and then she quickly stole second. Mackenzie Salzman smacked a single, which moved Scott to third. Finally, Caitlyn Riser stepped up to the plate and bunted the ball. Scott took off to home.
Kimberlin said Eudora's poor hitting during the game was indicative of a larger, more pressing concern -- the team's inconsistent play.
Last week, the Cardinals defeated Prairie View in a doubleheader 14-2 and 10-1. Then last Thursday, they lost to Spring Hill 7-2. Kimberlin said the past few games' final scores indicated how inconsistent Eudora was from game to game.
"We are inconsistent from one day to the next," Kimberlin said. "I'm not sure if we're going to hit the ball or not, or if we're going to play good D or not."
However, one thing Kimberlin said was consistent (and consistently good) was the pitching prowess of Riser. Against Louisburg, Riser had five strikeouts and only one defensive error. Because of that, Louisburg was never able to make it completely around the bases.
"Riser pitched well for us today," Kimberlin said. "She had five strikeouts, and we had only one error on the defense. They didn't really get many runners on. Overall, our defense played well."
Kimberlin said Louisburg brought some challenges to the Cardinals despite it being a younger team. She said the pitcher put the Cardinals through the ropes and did a good job of not giving up too many hits.
Eudora almost gave up its win in the bottom of the seventh inning, or at least its one run lead. With two outs, Louisburg hit one past first base and get a runner to first. But Eudora didn't allow that brief energy to get to it, as the game concluded seconds later with the final out.
Taking everything into account ? the inconsistent play and the poor batting -- Kimberlin said she was proud of how her team played.
"I'm proud of the fact that we're able to skate by with a 1-0 win," Kimberlin said. "Once they got a runner on with two outs in the seventh inning, we didn't panic. And that was what helped us win."
Eudora is scheduled to play a doubleheader at 4:30 p.m. Thursday against Gardner Edgerton in Gardner.
Kimberlin said if anything, the past few games had taught her to never expect consistent performances from her team. She said with time and practice, that would change.
"It's going to be another battle, and we'll see which team of mine shows up," Kimberlin said. "Hopefully we don't play offensively poor again. I just never know from one night to the next which team is going to show up."