Late runs doom Bulldogs on senior night
Despite two sixth inning rallies to tie the score, the Baldwin High School softball team gave up runs in the seventh innings to lose both games of a doubleheader Tuesday night.
The Bulldogs fell to Prairie View and Ottawa on senior night. It was the final home and regular season games for the Bulldogs.
Baldwin honored lone senior Katie Krysztof after the first game of the night. Teammates gave Krysztof flowers as her parents came on the field.
"I was not expecting all of these flowers," Krysztof said. "I guess that's the advantage of being the only senior. This team has been so much fun."
Coach Ginny Honomichl said the night was special for Krysztof, but the group of BHS boys standing behind the center field fence also helped.
"I know it meant a whole lot to her, but the thing that made the difference was the whole group of guys out there," Honomichl said. "That makes you feel sort of special all the time."
Honomichl also said Krysztof is a perfect player for any coach to have, because she always puts the team before herself.
"It's wonderful to have had her on the team, because she's such a wonderful role model," Honomichl said. "She is a such a good citizen and the kind of daughter you want to have."
In the first game of the night, Baldwin fell behind 2-0 before making a two-run rally in the sixth inning to tie the game.
But Prairie View's first batter of the seventh inning hit a home run to take the lead. The Bulldogs continued to give up runs in the inning, before getting the final out to trail 7-2.
Baldwin again made a rally in the bottom of the seventh, but was only able to score three runs as it lost 7-5.
"It took too long to get our hitting going," Honomichl said. "We made that sixth-inning comeback and gave up that home run in the top of the seventh. Then they just dinged us and scored way too many runs. We came back, but didn't score enough."
Krysztof said she was proud of how the team battled back in the last inning.
"In the first game, we just had that one bad inning and they scored a lot of runs on us," Krysztof said. "But to be down and come back, and our team has struggled with that, was fun."
The second game was a pitcher's duel as neither team scored until the sixth inning. Ottawa managed one run in the top of the sixth, but the Bulldogs answered with a run by junior Amy Craig in the bottom of the inning.
Ottawa again scored in the top of the seventh to take a 2-1 lead. Baldwin got a base-runner, but was unable to score the tying run, as it lost 2-1.
"I loved that game," Honomichl said. "We played error free ball and we hit the ball against one of the best pitchers in the state. We are one of only two teams to score a run on their pitcher this year."
Sophomore Courtney Johnson pitched the game for Baldwin and junior Megan Ramsey pitched for Ottawa. Both pitchers lasted all seven innings.
Krysztof was once again proud of the team for hitting off a good pitcher like Ramsey.
"The second game was just awesome," Krysztof said. "Ottawa won state two years ago with this pitcher. We made her pitch the whole game to us, and that means they respect us enough to keep her in."
The junior varsity team split its games Tuesday. The Bulldogs lost to Prairie View 7-2, but then came back to beat Ottawa 5-4 in the seventh inning.
Last Thursday, the Bulldogs split its games at Louisburg. They beat Central Heights 7-0, but lost to Louisburg 10-9.
"We had a hard time against Louisburg," junior Ellie Meinen said. "But it warmed us up for the Central Heights game."
The Bulldogs begin regional play Monday at Eudora. Their opponent and game time were unavailable at press time, but Krysztof is confident heading into Monday.
"Playing Ottawa this close was a big up-lifter," Krysztof said. "We know that we can play with anybody, so it will give us some momentum."