Bulldogs batter Wildcats
Having eight days to dwell on its disappointing loss at Osawatomie helped the Baldwin High School softball team rebound for a convincing sweep of De Soto Tuesday at home.
The Bulldogs owned the Wildcats in both games, winning 10-0 and 13-4.
"It feels really good," coach Ginny Honomichl said of the sweep. "We needed that. We struggled against Osawatomie and now we have to get prepared for Paola. We needed these wins."
On April 3, the Bulldogs (3-2) were defeated 5-3 at Osawatomie. Tuesday's games were their first since the loss. Sophomore Callie Craig was glad to win Tuesday.
"It feels really good," Craig said. "It's nice to have a winning record. We played a lot better today than we did against Osawatomie. We adjusted to the slow pitchers and hit well."
Freshman Tracie Weege started Baldwin off with a 1-0 lead after the first inning. She came back to score again in the third inning, along with senior Amy Craig, giving Baldwin a 3-0 lead.
The Bulldogs added five more runs in the sixth inning to gain an 8-0 lead. Scoring for Baldwin was C. Craig, Weege, junior Mary Clippinger and freshmen Haley Finucane and Alex Zordel.
C. Craig pitched the shutout with seven strike outs. Honomichl thought Craig's pitching really helped the team's defense.
"We played defense well and I think Callie Craig did a nice job of keeping the ball down," Honomichl said. "If they (De Soto) got any hits, they were grounders. That's her strong point and very few times does anybody hit a home run when someone pitches low."
The second game of the doubleheader was very similar to the first in that Baldwin controlled from the onset.
The Bulldogs jumped on the Wildcats 3-0 in the first inning. Then the Bulldogs came back with five more runs in the second. Weege doubled with a line drive to right field. A. Craig hit a bunt single to score Weege. Then Zordel hit a two-run home run to score A. Craig.
"It's pretty exciting to see Zordel hit one over the fence, too," Honomichl said. "Everybody hit tonight. After one time through the line up, we were able to adjust to the pitcher."
Juniors Kim Gilges and Annie Hannon scored off a single from Finucane to give the Bulldogs an 8-1 lead.
Senior Charley Jo Schwartz explained why the Bulldogs had success at the plate.
"She was a slower pitcher and we adjusted to that," Schwartz said. "We have also had lots of indoor practices that have stuck with us."
Baldwin added four more runs in the third inning and looked to end the game with a run rule. Unfortunately, the Bulldogs' bats never got going again.
"We just didn't finish really well," Honomichl said. "We had them down and we just needed to score a few runs. We had a few innings where we went one, two, three and we were out. I know they are out here focusing for four hours, which is tough to do."
Weege added one more run for Baldwin in the sixth inning. She hit a single, then proceeded to steal second and third bases, and eventually scored on a wild throw to third base.
Baldwin won the game 13-4 to take its third win of the season.
"The sweep was very exciting," Schwartz said. "We knew we were probably going to come out on top, but we still needed to play hard. It was exciting that we actually did the whole time."
Hannon was also happy to pick up two wins.
"It's pretty awesome," Hannon said. "It feels pretty good to win two games in a row. Our defense was really good in the first game. We adjusted well to the pitchers tonight."
Honomichl said the team has been mixing things up to find the right chemistry.
"We needed a good offensive and defensive output," Honomichl said. "We are trying some different line ups. It's nice this year. We have quality to fill in to fit in."
Schwartz is hoping Tuesday's games will help the Bulldogs in upcoming games.
"I hope it will give us some confidence, because they (Paola) are going to be pretty tough," Schwartz said. "They are quick and aggressive. I think this will give us some momentum and we can pull something off."
The Bulldogs next play a doubleheader at 4:30 p.m. today at Paola. Then they will play at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday at home against Anderson County.
"Paola will be tough and they always are," Honomichl said. "Hopefully it will be a really tight game. I am anticipating a hard-fought game."