After losing the home opener, a triangular to CAL and Rockford, the West Hancock Eagles softball team looked to rebound against the promising and veteran Cardinals of Garner-Hayfield/Ventura. The Cardinals were coming off of a three game losing streak having lost to North Union, Hampton-Dumont and Humboldt.
The Cardinals were able to score first as Maddie Tusha was hit by a pitch and Tara VanGerpen walked. Pitcher Mallory Becker of the Eagles hit Mallory Van Oort with a pitch loading the bases when Brooklyn Ossman flied out allowing two runs to score. Becker settled down and got out of the inning with a strike out. Then Becker provided a spark of offense as she singled in the second after allowing another run in.
A series of errors and singles in the top of the fourth allowed the Cardinals to move further ahead 11-1 and it looked like ten run rule might come into effect.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, Nicole Burgardt opened the scoring for the Eagles by singling, stealing second, and scoring off of a single by Kelli Leerer. Leerer herself got to third off of a single by Bridget Smith and another bloop single by Cara Francis. That set up the dramatic play of the day. Eagles pitcher Mallory Becker, who had singled and struck out earlier in the game, launched a towering grand slam home run deep over the left field fence that made the game 11-5 in favor of the Cardinals.
The Cardinals countered in the top of the seventh when Autumn Weaver, Maddie Tusha, Tara Van Gerpen, and Mallory Van Oort all singled and scored, Miranda Jackson doubled and scored giving the Cardinals a 16-5 lead.
The Eagles countered with Bailey Eisenmann doubling and scoring, Whitney Burgardt singling and scoring, and both keeping a three game hitting streak alive. It wasn’t enough as the Cardinals came away with the win.
The Cardinals had 16 runs on 14 hits and committed 3 errors in the game while the Eagles had 7 runs on 7 hits and committed 7 errors.
The Cardinals travel to Mason City on Wednesday for a 6pm start, while the Eagles try to salvage the final game of their four game homestand when the Forest City Indians come to town on Friday at 6pm. You can hear the game on our sister station, KHAM B-103fm.