Opponents remain scoreless
Scoring 20 runs in two games is usually a good ingredient for success in softball.
Combine that with shutting two opponents out and you've got a gourmet treat for beginning the 2007 season.
In its first two games, the Baldwin High School softball team (2-0) has won 13-0 and 7-0 over Central Heights and Osawatomie.
"It feels really good, especially since we are missing two of our starters," junior Callie Craig said of starting 2-0. "It's nice to start off winning. It was also nice to get the shutouts."
On Monday, the Bulldogs played their first home game of the season. They shut Osawatomie out 7-0.
"It was also nice to win at home," Craig said. "I like playing at home, because more people come to the games."
Baldwin used four runs in the first inning to propel itself to victory. Sophomore Tracie Weege began the inning with a double. Craig then hit a double that scored Weege.
Senior Courtney Johnson collected a single and an RBI when Craig scored from second base. Senior Annie Hannon also hit a single before Kim Gilges was thrown out at first on a fielder's choice.
Senior Mary Clippinger came up to bat and collected two RBIs with a single. Johnson and Hannon's runs gave BHS a 4-0 lead after the first inning.
The Bulldogs then struggled to score any more runs after the opening inning. They did tally three more during the contest, which disappointed their coach.
"Just about everybody got a hit," coach Ginny Honomichl said. "We tagged that pitcher in the first inning, which helps. I like to get ahead like that, but then I am disappointed when we don't keep scoring."
Fortunately, Baldwin had its pitching ace, Craig, on the mound Monday. She only allowed one hit during her seven innings of work. She also struck out six batters.
"I guess I am hitting my spots really good right now," Craig said. "The batters aren't getting around to the pitches in time either."
After the game, Honomichl acknowledged Craig's pitching, but it was the Bulldog fielding that impressed her.
"It sure is nice," Honomichl said of winning at home. "This was a good defensive effort here, too. Of course, it helps when you have good pitching, like we had today."
Craig also pitched a shutout last Thursday at Central Heights. She helped Baldwin to a 13-0 run-rule victory after five innings.
"I know that Central Heights is rebuilding and their squad is adjusting to their new coach and learning her ways," Honomichl said. "They just aren't quite there yet, but we still have to score the runs, hit the ball, pitch the ball and catch the ball."
After a scoreless first inning, the Bulldog bats began connecting and helping them score runs in bunches.
Baldwin scored three in the first when freshman Kelly Baker, freshman MacKenzie Flory and sophomore Alyssa Peterson each touched home plate.
Johnson, Hannon, Gilges and Clippinger scored in the third inning to give BHS a 7-0 lead.
The Bulldogs added six more runs during the next two innings to end the game early. The players were thrilled to start the season with a win.
"It felt pretty good to win the opening game," Weege said. "During warm-ups, we were a bit shaky, but I think we were all nervous. Once we got a couple runs, we all calmed down and started playing like a team."
Honomichl was happy with several players' performances, especially Peterson.
"I was really pleased with Alyssa Peterson in right field," Honomichl said. "She made two good catches. Annie Hannon was a good hitter. Callie had a no-hitter in the four innings she pitched."
Baldwin has been limited on its outside practice time, because of wet weather during March.
"It felt amazing," Gilges said. "We've had bad weather throughout the past couple of weeks and we did good today for having a lot of indoor practices. I think we have a good offensive team. We can hit the ball pretty well."
Although many practices were indoors, the Bulldogs had no trouble hitting in the game, which pleased their coach.
"Usually, the first time through the line you forgive some of the things that you don't do so well," Honomichl said. "But the second time, against the same pitcher, you shouldn't be doing that."
Baldwin will be busy next week with three days of consecutive doubleheader contests. On Wednesday, BHS will travel to De Soto, before hosting Paola next Thursday and Hays April 13. The games will begin at 4:30 p.m. each night.
"We have a big, tough load next week so it's going to take all of us being healthy to have good strong performances," Honomichl said.