After dropping its first two games in the Mid-State Conference Tournament at Wayne Monday, Sept. 21, the Boone Central softball team concluded the event with a victory over Lutheran High NE Tuesday, then improved to 6-17 in 2009 by blanking host High Plains Thursday.
The Cardinals got off to a slow start in the conference tournament, losing a 12-0, three-inning decision to a strong Wayne squad that is ranked in the Class C Top 10.
“Wayne has great hitters and a pitcher who can hide her rise and change well,” noted BC Coach Cassie Olson. “We just weren’t able to answer back.” Boone Central’s second tourney contest was a disappointment, as the Cards lost 4-0 to a Battle Creek squad they had beaten earlier in the season.
“We played great defense, but were unable to start hitting until late … that put a lot of pressure on the girls,” said Olson. “I am happy with how we’ve improved in terms of fighting at the plate – we had very few strikeouts.”
The Cardinals got a solid pitching effort from Taylor Pelster, who allowed just two first-inning runs and single tallies in the fourth and sixth frames. Boone Central broke through Tuesday with a 4-1 victory over Lutheran High NE, rallying from a 1-0 deficit in the final two innings.
After allowing a run in the second, BC pitcher Melissa Berger shut the Eagles down and Cardinal bats came to life late in the contest. Terri Molt and Lindsay Temme scored runs in the sixth when Kenzie Pelster reached on a Lutheran High error and McKenzie Mescher tripled home Sara Wells in the seventh and scored on Samantha Baker’s sacrifice.
Berger got the victory, striking out nine. Baker and Temme each had two hits for Boone Central.
The Cardinals played one of their best games of the season Thursday at Polk, posting a 5-0 whitewash over the High Plains Storm.
“The girls had ‘fire’ right from the beginning and never lost it,” Olson praised. “They moved together on defense and played a near flawless game, with just one error.
“They did a fantastic job hitting the ball and were smart baserunners!”
Berger led the way with a dominant no-hit pitching effort, striking out 12 while walking three.
Card hitters held up their end and got the only runs they would need in the third. Shanel Atwood, Kendra Zabka and Sara Wells opened the frame with consecutive singles, Wells driving home Atwood. Savannah Baker reached on a two-out High Plains error to plate two more runs. BC added two more in the sixth when Baker and Temme crossed the plate.
Atwood led BC with two hits .
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