Bulldogs’ softball squad cruises past Louisburg
On a chilly April evening, the Baldwin High School softball players were happy to leave the field early after sweeping Louisburg.
With temperatures in the low 40s and wind gusts coming from the north, a quick doubleheader and two wins drew smiles from the Bulldogs and their coach Tuesday.
“We got out of here early, we got the sweep and we are now back to .500,” coach Ginger Crist said. “That’s all good. We hit well tonight. Defensively, we looked good for the most part, but we still had a bad inning in both games. I told the girls we have to build on those bad innings, because we can’t do that against good teams.”
The BHS players agreed with their coach.
“It’s nice to be done early,” senior Aspen Brooks said. “It just keeps getting colder and colder. “Usually we don’t hit very well when it’s cold like this. But tonight we rocked it with our bats.”
Baldwin’s only warm weather game was last week. So after run-ruling Louisburg in the second game Tuesday, they were happy to go home and warm up.
“The cold weather has been rough,” senior Karlee Beach said. “We made it through and got the wins.”
Baldwin (5-5) beat the Wildcats 9-3 and 17-4 to sweep the Frontier League doubleheader. It was the Bulldogs’ first sweep since beating Wellsville to open the season.
“It feels awesome to actually be winning,” Beach said. “We came together as a team and our hitting got a lot better since last week.”
Baldwin scored only one run in the first inning of the second game, but poured it on in the second and third innings. Junior Madeline Brungardt scored in the first inning after hitting a triple.
The Bulldogs added five runs in the second inning after Louisburg led 4-1 heading into the bottom half of the inning. Scoring runs for Baldwin was junior Hayley Schwartz, freshman Hailey Cope, Brungardt, Brooks and Beach.
Baldwin continued to roll as it scored eight runs in the third inning. Eight different players scored in the inning. They were Schwartz, Cope, sophomore Kaitlin Jorgensen, Brungardt, Brooks, Beach, senior Kyla Good and junior Alexis Finucane.
“In the second inning, we gave them six outs,” Crist said. “They scored four runs, but after that we picked it up and played well. They never scored again. We are getting better at those little things.”
Baldwin added three more runs in the fourth inning to complete the run-ruled game. Junior Kaysha Green, Brooks and Beach crossed home plate during the inning.
“The momentum rolled into the second game,” Beach said. “It just kept going and we ended up kicking their butt.”
In the opening game of the night, Baldwin jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning. Brungardt and Beach once again scored for BHS. Louisburg tied the game 2-2 in the second inning.
The Bulldogs blew the game back open in the third inning with four runs. Good, Green, Finucane and Cope each hit singles and scored during the inning for BHS.
Green’s single injured the Wildcats’ pitcher. She hit a line drive back up the middle and the ball nailed the pitcher’s wrist. Due to low numbers, the Wildcats had to bring a pitcher up from the junior varsity game.
“They’ve had three injuries during the last week, so I kind of feel bad,” Crist said.
Once the new pitcher came in, Baldwin continued hitting well.
“Kaysha Green hurt the first pitcher,” Beach said. “So that helped. Plus at practice, we’ve been doing a lot of batting. We also scrimmaged yesterday and we really focused on our batting this week.”
The Bulldogs added one more run in the fourth inning and two in the sixth innings. LHS scored once in the seventh, but it wasn’t enough as BHS won 9-3.
“Madeline is hitting the ball very well,” Crist said. “Hayley Schwartz pitched much better tonight. She hit her spots. Katie Pattrick also hit her spots pitching.”
Baldwin will play three doubleheaders next week. BHS will host Paola at home on Tuesday and Santa Fe Trail next Thursday before traveling to Prairie View April 29.
“Next week is going to be tough,” Crist said. “We play three doubleheaders and next Friday we won’t have Hayley or Alexis. They will be at the national culinary competition.”