Softball team rallies in second game to split with Cardinals
EUDORA — Just when things looked bleak for the Baldwin High School softball team here Tuesday, smiles appeared from the BHS dugout.
No, the Baldwin players weren’t smiling about the 7-4 defeat in the first game. Nor were they smiling about the 6-0 deficit in the second contest of the doubleheader.
It was almost like a scene out of a Hollywood movie. The BHS players began laughing and acting like teenagers that were happy to be playing softball. That emotion and joy lasted for six innings as the Bulldogs routed the Cardinals to split the doubleheader.
“We were all down,” senior Tracie Weege said. “We all knew that it was just the first inning and anything can happen in softball. We just relaxed after that, made some jokes and tried to cheer each other up as best we could.”
Baldwin rallied from the 6-0 deficit to score 12 unanswered runs en route to a 12-7 victory over the rival Cardinals. That win improved the Bulldogs’ record to 8-4.
“That’s the really positive thing tonight,” coach Bob Martin said. “Being down 6-0 is a pretty big deficit to overcome. They just stayed with it and got some big hits when we needed them. We also settled down on defense and that was the big thing.”
Eudora began the second game with six runs in the first inning on four hits and three Baldwin errors.
“We got flustered a bit in that inning,” Martin said. “We did things that we haven’t really done all year. We let one mistake turn into another. Then we made a few plays and executed on defense.”
The Bulldogs’ defense clamped down for the next six innings as their offense began to roll.
Baldwin tied the game three innings later. In the second, freshman Madeline Brungardt, sophomore Kyla Good and senior Sarah Johnson scored runs. Brungardt added one more in the third. It was senior Weege and sophomore Morgan Burton that crossed home plate to tie the game.
“We had some momentum rolling in that second game,” Martin said. “We kept chipping away. After the first, we scored in every inning but the sixth.”
The Bulldogs’ offense didn’t slow down as they doubled their run total in the final three innings. A trio of runs in the fifth and seventh innings gave the Bulldogs enough support.
In the fifth, it was Burton, Johnson and freshman Kaysha Green scoring runs. Senior Haley Finucane, Weege and Brungardt added the final trio of BHS runs. Eudora scored one more in the seventh before BHS shut down the next three batters.
“We played well tonight, especially in the last few innings of the second game,” Weege said. “We didn’t start the second game like we wanted, but we had to keep each other positive and get those runs back.
“It’s nice to win on the road,” she said. “Plus, it’s Eudora and we all wanted to beat them, at least once.”
The first game of the night also saw the Bulldogs in an early hole. They led 2-0 early, before giving up four runs to Eudora by committing four errors. However, they tied the game in the second inning off runs from Finucane and Green.
Eudora added a trio of runs later in the game as Baldwin struggled to find clutch hits with runners on base.
“We hung in there and we had a lot of chances to score some runs,” Martin said. “We weren’t able to get the big hit. I think we left the bases loaded twice and left two runners on another time. That was the difference in the game.”
Baldwin is scheduled to play two make-up doubleheaders later this week. BHS will play at 4:30 p.m. today at De Soto and host Paola at 10 a.m. Saturday.