Baldwin softball team on a roll
The Baldwin High School softball team appears to have found its bats at the right time.
The Bulldogs (12-8) pounded out 30 runs in just 10 innings to sweep Tonganoxie by scores of 16-2 and 14-4 on senior night. The wins marked the final home games for seniors Alexis Finucane, Hayley Schwartz, Kaysha Green, Kylie King and Madeline Brungardt.
“It’s really good (for the seniors),” BHS coach Ginger Crist said. “We’ve had an up-and-down season with a lot of things, so it’s really nice for them to end on a big up.”
With Monday’s sweep, the Bulldogs have won six straight, scoring 70 runs in the streak. The team went on the road Thursday to take two from Eudora, 12-2 and 11-5. Brungardt was the batting star in the doubleheader, hitting for the cycle and clearing the fence with a home run into the wind in the fifth inning of the first game.
On Monday, THS grabbed an early lead in the opener when Marissa Martin drove in a run in the first inning, but the Bulldogs went in front for good with two runs of their own in the bottom of the frame. BHS took total control one inning later when it plated four runs. Kaitlyn Jorgensen drove in Kylie King and Hailey Cope scored on a wild pitch, the Jorgensen and Brungardt scored on a defensive error.
The Chieftains got one back on an RBI ground rule double by Amanda Holroyd in the third, but that’s all the offense they could manage. BHS scored three in the third and seven in the fourth, and the mercy rule went into effect midway through the fifth.
Hayley Schwartz went the distance in the circle for BHS, allowing seven hits in five innings.
A three-run first inning gave THS some early momentum in the second game. Kailan Kuzmic led off the game with a solo home run to center field and Jaycee Knipp knocked in two to give the Chieftains an early 3-0 advantage.
Once again, though, the early THS lead was short-lived. The Bulldogs responded with four in the bottom of the first to go in front. Emily Simpson led the charge with a two-run single.
Simpson was one of four BHS players with a multi-hit game in the nightcap. Others were Cope, Jorgensen and Green. Jorgensen and Green each drove in three runs.
“We’ve been struggling a little lately with adjusting to some of the pitchers, but I feel like we’re finally adjusting,” Crist said. “We’ve got our timing down and our hitting is right where it needs to be at this time of the season.”
BHS extended its lead to 9-3 with five runs in the third, highlighted by a three-run triple by Jorgensen. The Chieftains’ only other run came in the fourth when Kuzmic tripled and scored on a Martin sacrifice fly.
The Bulldogs scored three in the fourth and two in the fifth to put the mercy rule in effect for the second straight game. Katie Pattrick threw all five innings of the nightcap and gave up 10 hits.
With regular season play now in the books, BHS will have more than a week to prepare for regional competition, which begins on May 15. The Bulldogs are in the De Soto regional, which also includes Santa Fe Trail, Eudora, Sumner Academy, St. James Academy, Spring Hill and Topeka-Hayden.
“We’ve just got to practice hard and keep moving forward,” Crist said
The junior varsity ended the season 13-3, winning last Thurday 7-6 and 6-3 in Eudora.