Cards split against Blazers
There stood Miranda Cobell. All wrapped up with ice packs on her arm and shoulder. Before she left the Gardner-Edgerton field Friday night, she told Eudora softball coach Cara Kimberlin that she might go home and take an ice bath.
Cobell probably deserved one.
Cobell pitched both games of Eudora’s doubleheader split against 5A Gardner, totaling 15 2/3 innings and 12 strikeouts, while giving up just three runs (only one earned) in a 2-1 loss in the first game and a 5-1 nine-inning win in the nightcap.
“She did great,” Kimberlin said of her starter. “She battled back several times, and we battled back several times when we had some errors and mistakes. But Miranda threw a great two games.”
In the top of the ninth of game two, Cobell walked the first batter. Kimberlin and Folks both started walking toward the pitcher’s circle. Folks gestured to Kimberlin that she should head back to the dugout and let Folks do the talking herself.
“We have this thing where she (Folks) comes out and just tries to pick me up when I’m getting down and talks to me,” Cobell said. “It helps a lot.”
After the meeting, Cobell attacked the strike zone once again and got the next two hitters out on a popper back to the catcher and a grounder to short. Cobell walked the next two batters to load the bases, and that brought the tying run at the plate. Cobell, though, recovered and got Gardner out on a fly ball to first baseman Abby Mott to end the game.
“We just tried to hit different spots, and my changeup was working pretty good the second game,” Cobell said. “So that helped a lot. We kept them off balance.”
Eudora’s bats finally did some damage in the top of the ninth, scoring four runs. Allie Johnson led off the inning with a walk, and Bailey Scott hit a single. Folks drove them in on a two-run double to left field and third baseman Mallory Reece followed that up with a two-run single giving the Cardinals a four-run lead.
“We can’t wait until the 16th inning of the night to get the bats going,” Kimberlin said. “We have to get them going sooner. But that was a good confidence builder for us to finish off with an inning like that.”
Heading into the second game, it seemed maybe Eudora’s confidence could have been shaken a little after the finish to the first game.
In the bottom of the seventh of game one and the score tied at one, Gardner had the bases loaded with no outs. Eudora almost recorded a triple play to send the game into extra innings, as Cobell got Gardner to hit a fly ball to freshman right fielder Jennifer Bowser who was playing shallow.
Bowser caught the ball and saw that the Gardner runner on first had ran too close to second. Bowser fired the ball to Mott at first for the double play, but Mott’s throw to the plate came just a split-second late, and Gardner took the first game of the twinbill.
“We worked so hard, but there were some mistakes and we could have it,” Cobell said. “And it’s a learning process right now. We have new players who haven’t played on the varsity level yet.”
Eudora has just two seniors in Cobell and Scott.
“We have a lot of young kids,” Kimberlin said. “A lot of nerves tonight, a lot of squeezing of the bats. It’s good to get the first game jitters out of the way.”
In its second doubleheader of the season Tuesday against Paola, Eudora lost both games. The Cardinals lost 6-1 in the first game and 6-3 in the second game.
Next up for the Cardinals is a home contest against Anderson County on Thursday.