Archive for Thursday, April 26, 2007

Softball splits sweeps

April 26, 2007

All good things must come to an end.

After sweeping Hays for the first time Friday, the Baldwin High School softball team lost the battle of the unbeatens against Spring Hill Tuesday.

The Bulldogs (6-2) didn't allow Hays to score a run Friday as they won 2-0 and 5-0. Then they allowed 10 runs to the Broncos as they lost 5-3 and 5-4. Everyone enjoyed the victories against Hays.

"It feels good," senior Mary Clippinger said. "It was really fun, because we've never won both games against Hays."

Coach Ginny Honomichl was happy to sweep the Indians Friday.

"We've never beaten Hays in a doubleheader," said Honomichl. "This was fun. We had a good crowd with the fence buddies out there. The weather was nice. The kids played solid defense and hit the ball well. You just never knew who was going to get the hit."

In the first game Friday, neither team scored for several innings. Baldwin jumped out to 2-0 lead during the middle of the game.

Hays threatened with runners at second and third base in the top of the seventh inning. The batter hit the ball back to pitcher Callie Craig, who faked the throw to third base before throwing to first for the out.

First baseman Kim Gilges tossed the ball to catcher Annie Hannon, catching the Hays runner between home and third base. Hannon chased the runner before tossing the ball to third baseman Alex Zordel, who threw it to Craig at home. Craig tagged the runner out, ending the game and securing the Bulldogs' victory.

"I am just really pleased with our defense," Honomichl said. "We've been where we are supposed to be and done the things we are supposed to do. The run down we had there was textbook. That was beautiful."

After winning the first game, Baldwin had to prepare for its first doubleheader of the season. BHS was scheduled to play a twinbill at Anderson County but rain canceled the second game after one inning.

"That takes practice, too, as far as your mental preparation," Honomichl said of playing a doubleheader. "When you are done with one, you start over at 0-0 with the second one."

The Bulldogs wasted no time in taking over where they left off in the first contest. They scored two runs in the first inning off a two-RBI hit from Clippinger.

Neither team scored for three innings, until Baldwin added two more runs in the fifth inning. Gilges ripped a shot that scored Zordel and Clippinger, giving BHS a 4-0 lead.

Baldwin would add one more run in the sixth. Senior Courtney Johnson cranked a shot over the left field wall for a solo home run.

"She's been struggling," Honomichl said of Johnson. "She's been striking out a lot. I think she has worked her way through that and that's important for us."

Sophomore Haley Finucane enjoyed sweeping Hays, because the team played well all around.

"It was really nice," Finucane said. "I think we played really well today. We hit really well, especially the second game. We also got everyone in today."

Craig pitched10 innings Friday and Johnson pitched the other four in the second game.

"They obviously help out a lot," Clippinger said. "They take a lot of stress off of the fielders, because they are striking people out. It's a lot easier that way."

Baldwin rested over the weekend before hosting a twinbill against Spring Hill Monday. The games were scheduled for Tuesday, but moved up one day because the forecast called for rain Tuesday.

Both teams entered the doubleheader undefeated as Baldwin was 6-0 and the Broncos were 7-0. BHS lost the first game in eight innings 5-3 and lost the second game in a 5-4 decision.

"It was disappointing, but we played the second game more focused and less stressed than we did the first game," Honomichl said. "We talked at practice about focusing and how it doesn't mean putting pressure on yourself."

In the first contest, the Broncos scored three runs in the third inning off of two BHS errors. Baldwin had previously allowed one run through six games all season.

"We had the same amount of hits as Spring Hill in the first game," Honomichl said. "The only difference was we had two errors and they had none. Those two errors scored two of their three runs in that one inning."

The Bulldogs answered in the sixth inning with a much-needed rally. Finucane and sophomore Tracie Weege each singled to get runners on base. Craig popped out to tally the second out of the inning.

After waiting on a few pitches, Zordel drove a hit into deep center that scored Finucane and Weege. Zordel reached third on the hit. Clippinger came up next and hit a single, scoring Zordel and tying the game 3-3.

Baldwin avoided any problems in the seventh inning as the Broncos began the inning with a triple. BHS didn't score any runs either, forcing an extra inning.

In the eighth inning, Spring Hill hit a home run and scored another run to take a 5-3 lead. Baldwin tried to rally with two hits, but scored no runs. The loss was the first for BHS this spring.

Honomichl was proud of her team for rallying late in the contest.

"That's one thing I know about Baldwin athletes," Honomichl said. "I don't care what program they are in, they never give up. We never give up. I can't imagine Baldwin athletes would ever do that. We don't look like we are giving up and we don't give up."

She also said the Bulldogs struggled to hit the Broncos' pitcher, because their coach scouted BHS during the Hays' games.

"Their coach came over here on Friday when we played Hays," Honomichl said. "He knew how aggressive we were as hitters and he junked pitched us our first time through. We saw nothing of any speed throughout our line up until the second time through. He did a great job of scouting us and a great job of coaching against us."

In the second game of the doubleheader Monday, both teams remained scoreless through three innings. They each added runs as the game progressed, but the Broncos led 5-4 heading into the bottom of the seventh inning.

Baldwin put runners on second and third with two outs, but the next batter struck out, ending the game.

"When I looked at the stats, we mirrored them, we just didn't score as many runs," Honomichl said.

Baldwin will next play at 4:30 p.m. today in Louisburg. It will be a single varsity game followed by one junior varsity game. The Bulldogs will be without Craig, Clippinger and Gilges.

"They have been in the state tournament the last two years," Honomichl said of Louisburg. "We are going to go in a little bit weaker, because we have some kids going with the band to Chicago. We are going to compete as best we can. It will be exciting to see what some of our younger, less experienced players can do. Lots of times they step right up and it's all good."

Next week Baldwin will have doubleheaders Tuesday and Thursday before making up two more during the weekend of May 3-4.

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