Northmor’s softball team scored first at Cardington on Wednesday, but the Pirates came back to put enough runs on the scoreboard to end the game after five innings.
In their 16-5 win, Cardington scored three in the second inning, followed by eight in the third and five in the fourth, as they pulled away for the Blue Division win.
“We’re hitting the ball really well,” said Pirate coach Tod Brininger. “We have a pretty tough line-up. They all can hit the ball a long way.”
It was Northmor that got their bats going first, though. Cristianna Boggs opened the game with a single, stole second and took third on a fielder’s choice grounder by Lindsey Wiseman. Lydia Farley would then bring the Knight junior home with a groundout, giving the Knights a 1-0 lead.
Northmor had a good chance to add to that advantage in the second. With one out, Lily Tate singled. Pitcher Shelbey Lilly followed with a double to put runners on second and third and Alee Ivy drew a walk to load the bases. However, the Pirates were able to get out of the inning with no further harm done. Makenna McClure got a strikeout and then the team finished he inning by throwing Tate out at home.
Knight coach Russ Montgomery simply felt his team made too many mistakes to give them a chance against the powerful Pirate team.
“We had a lot of errors and mental errors today, offensively and defensively,” he said. “I thought we were doing okay with the bats, but not turning those into runs.”
Unfortunately for the Knights, Cardington had no such trouble putting runs on the board over the remainder of the game.
McClure opened the second with a single and Rylie Partlow was then hit by a pitch. Casey Bertke then ran out a ground ball to load the bases for Baylee Adams.
One run scored when an attempt to throw out the runner on third base turned into an error and then Adams drove in two more with a single to give Cardington a 3-1 lead.
The Pirates would then add eight more scores in the third. With one out, Alyson Adams walked, McClure hit a single and Partlow was walked to load the bases. A misplayed grounder by Bertke brought in one run, keeping the bases loaded. Lilly walked in a run to make it 5-1 and a dropped fly ball hit by Allie Moore scored two more. Brooklyn Whitt singled in another run to give Cardington an 8-1 lead.
After Lilly recorded the second out of the inning, Dakota Crum drove in two with a single. Alyson Adams singled to put runners on first and third. Adams then was caught stealing, but Crum scored during the rundown to give the Pirates an 11-1 lead.
“We’re very comfortable and confident in our abilities,” said Brininger. “We’ve been in trouble a couple times, but haven’t given up a big inning. We’re going to be very aggressive on the bases and probably from 1-to-14 can hit to the fence. Up and down our line-up, it’s a difficult place to get through.”
It was the Pirates who had trouble getting through the bottom of the fourth, though. Aly Blunk, Tate and Lilly all singled to load the bases with one out. Ivy drove in one run with a single and McClure walked Boggs to force in a second run with two outs. Brininger brought in Bertke to pitch in relief. She’d get out of the inning, but not before giving up an RBI single to Wiseman to make it an 11-4 lead.
The Pirates would add to their lead in their half of the fourth, though. McClure singled, took second on an error and then scored on a hit by Partlow. A double by Bayley Adams drove in Partlow. After a single by Moore put runners on the corners, both were knocked in by a double from Whitt. Cardington tacked one more run to take a 16-4 lead when a fielder’s choice by Crum drove in Kierston George.
While the Knights scored once in the fifth when a grounder by Lilly was misplayed, allowing Andrea Weis to cross home plate, they would not be able to get enough offense to extend the game, giving the Pirates the win in five.
“We did ourselves no favors with errors,” said Montgomery. “I haven’t figured it out, but we gave up a lot of unearned runs. I guess you’ll have those days where teams take advantage of your mistakes.”
Brininger looks at the strength of his line-up as the result of having a number of girls who play plenty of softball, both in and out of the season.
“We have a number of girls who play high-level travel ball,” he said. “They’re seeing all these situations in the summer. They’re dedicated and want to win and love playing softball.”