Folks’ bomb bashes scoreboard
So freshman Evan Folks wasn't bleeding from a surgical wound, she didn't use a handcrafted bat and she didn't quite get the ball high enough to explode the lighting system at the 3 and 2 Baseball Club of Johnson County. She sure messed up the scoreboard, however.
Folks' two-run home run that smashed into and rendered useless the centerfield scoreboard keyed Eudora's win in the first game of Tuesday's doubleheader against De Soto.
The Cards didn't board the bus happy, however, having slipped up and lost in what was a tight second game.
Complacency is what cost the Cardinals, softball coach Cara Kimberlin said. After rolling in the first game of Tuesday's doubleheader at De Soto, Eudora gave up an RBI double in the bottom of the seventh inning of the second game, breaking open a 2-2 tie.
After winning the first game 8-0, Kimberlin said the Cardinals got too comfortable and were unable to hit the ball properly, which resulted in nine stranded runners. Eudora lost 3-2.
"We had the bases loaded with one out," Kimberlin said. "If you strand runners you're probably not going to win games. We did the game against Paola earlier in the season and we did it again this week."
Kimberlin said the fact the softball team hadn't played in over a week because of rain outs was not an excuse, as Eudora had won the first game pretty handily.
Kimberlin said although Brynn Hamilton and Caitlyn Riser both pitched well in the second game, De Soto was hitting hard off the two pitchers, which created some problems for the Cardinals.
Eudora took what it hoped was the lead for good in the fifth inning. Evan Folks reached on an error, then scored on a sacrifice fly from Alex Mott, putting the Cards up 2-1.
De Soto bounced back, however stringing together two hits and a run in the bottom of the fifth and leading the seventh off with another hit. Eudora had an easy way out of trouble when that base runner, De Soto freshman Katie Williams, was caught between first and second in an aborted steal attempt, but the throw to second went into the outfield. De Soto freshman Jordin Burford smacked an RBI in the next at bat and Eudora walked off the field, heads hung low.
"They hit the ball harder in the second game against both Brynn and Caitlyn," Kimberlin said. "They earned that run that won them the game. We probably have the best catcher behind the plate in the league, but we need to also catch the ball on the other end. We need to be working on that."
What did it for the Cardinals was the sheer amount of errors they committed in the last couple of innings of the second game. Kimberlin said games were not won by not properly fielding the softball.
"We hit the ball well, and for the most part we're playing well defensively," Kimberlin said. "It's just the one time you make a mistake it comes back to haunt you."
Kimberlin said the loss cost the Cardinals as they head into the regional tournament. It dropped the team from the No. 3 seed to No. 4, and set up a first-round showdown against Tonganoxie. Eudora will play at 4:45 p.m. Monday at Basehor's Field of Dreams. If the Cardinals win, they'll likely draw the eight-team tournament's top seed, Spring Hill.
Kimberlin said although she and the team were excited for the regional games to begin, the team had some things to work on. She said whoever the Cardinals would play in the first round would be anything but easy.
"We have a tough regional," Kimberlin said. "Do I think we're mentally prepared for it? No. We just have a few kids that can't figure out the mental side of the game. A few of them get down on themselves and let that affect how they play. We need to work on that."