Cards hoping for strong finish
Sometimes it takes the Eudora softball team a few innings to warm up.
The Cardinals beat Osawatomie 6-0 Tuesday, scoring all of their runs in the second half of the game. Coach Cara Kimberlin said the girls needed time to get used to the pitcher and the stadium for them to open up and show what they were made of.
"We just started hitting the ball," Kimberlin said. "It's very typical for us to not score in the first few innings of a first game in a doubleheader. Sure enough, we made it through our entire lineup, and we started hitting the ball hard the second time around."
Almost like clock work, Eudora scored one run in the fourth inning, two in the fifth and three in the seventh. Evan Folks led the way with two RBIs.
But the win didn't come without its fair share of concerns, Kimberlin said. One number stared Kimberlin in the eye from the stat book.
"We had far too many strikeouts tonight," Kimberlin said. "We struck out 10 times tonight -- 10 of our 21 at bats resulted in strikeouts. Those runs we got, they gave them to us. We didn't necessarily earn them, they just made enough errors."
Another aspect of the game also concerned Kimberlin: a lack of concentration. She said mental lapses during select innings of the Osawatomie game were prevalent among the Cardinals.
Kimberlin said she's hoping the Cardinals can get those concentration lapses out of their systems soon, because with the regional tournament coming up, spacing out could result in a devastating loss.
"You can't do that at regionals," Kimberlin said. "Right now, we're 9-3, and I hope that we don't become content with that and become mentally lazy. Because when you get mentally lazy you make physical errors."
On the other end of the game, it was another fine pitching performance by Brynn Hamilton. Hamilton, who pitched the complete seven innings, gave up only three hits, and they never materialized into runs. She also threw seven strikeouts and walked only three Trojans.
Kimberlin said Hamilton continues to throw great games week in and week out and her pitching has reached the point where it can always be counted on.
"She did very well and really didn't have the ball hit hard at her," Kimberlin said. "A couple of times, they had the bases loaded because of our errors. We may have panicked defensively but we didn't panic pitching-wise. Brynn did well pitching and (catcher) Evan (Folks) did well calling the game."
Eudora also beat Central Heights last week, mounting impressive 12-2 and 13-7 victories. Kimberlin said the games afforded her the opportunity to play some junior varsity girls and move around the field positions.
The game against Osawatomie was originally scheduled to be part of a doubleheader, but the second game was rained out. It has been rescheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday in Osawatomie.
The Cardinals are scheduled to play one game at 4:30 p.m. Thursday in Baldwin. That game will also mark Eudora's senior night, where the four seniors -- Caitlyn Riser, Brynn Hamilton, Brittany Stillian and Beth Folks -- will be honored.
Kimberlin said she appreciated each of the seniors' commitment to the team and their years of play.
"Three of them have played since they were freshmen, and Brittany just started playing varsity full-time this season," Kimberlin said. "They bring power and work hard."