As players settle into roles and get game experience under the belts, the Boone Central Cardinals seem to be finding their groove on the diamond.
The Cardinals continued a stretch of improved play by winning two of three games in Saturday’s Boone Central Invitational at the Albion Sports Complex.
Two big innings propelled Boone (5-7) to an 8-1 victory over Centura/Central Valley in their tournament opener. Benefiting from two CCV errors and consecutive RBI doubles by Mishayla Slaymaker and Mazie Beister, the Cardinals took a 4-0 lead in the second. Payton Sullivan doubled and Addy Donelson hit a triple in a four-run third. Averie Luettel dominated on the mound, allowing one run on three hits while striking out seven. Sullivan and Lauren Wright each had two hits, Slaymaker drove in two and Donelson crossed the plate twice.
Boone Central continued its success by slipping past Mid-State Conference rival Pierce in the second round. The Cardinals took a 5-3 lead through five innings, then held off a final rally push by Pierce. Beister was the winning pitcher, allowing eight hits and five runs (4 earned). Ava Buhlmann, Ava Duerksen and Carlie Langan led the attack with two hits apiece. Duerksen scored twice and Langan drove in three runs with a two-run triple and RBI double.
The Cardinals could not quite complete an undefeated day, dropping a 9-4 decision to the Polk County Slammers.
Polk took an early 4-1 advantage in the first two innings, held a tenuous 5-2 edge through six, then sealed the victory with four in the top of the seventh. Luettel took the loss, ceding eight earned runs on 17 hits. Wright and Miranda McGill each had two hits for the Cards.
Further Boone Central softball news in Print & Online editions of Albion News/Boone County Tribune