With their backs against the wall, the Clarinda Cardinals erupted for eight runs in the final two innings of action Thursday, June 9, at Harlan to pull out a wild 15-14 win over the Cyclones in extra innings.
Clarinda suffered a 12-0 loss in three innings to Harlan in the first game of the doubleheader Thursday and trailed the Cyclones 10-7 after six innings of play in the nightcap. However, the Cardinals scored three runs to tie the game and then won the contest with five runs in the top of the eighth inning.
“That was two really solid innings for our girls,” Clarinda coach Mindy Prather said. “The girls are driving hard and don’t want to lose any more games. They have the mental attitude of a winning team and they are giving 100 percent.”
Maddy Clark and Bradlie Wilmes got things started for the Cardinals in the top of the seventh inning as they each reached on singles. The two runners then came around to score on a base hit by Brianna Hayes to trim the deficit to 10-9.
Clark finished the game with three hits, including a double, and two walks. She drove in two runs for the Cardinals in addition to stealing a base and scoring twice. Wilmes finished with a pair of singles and two runs scored.
Taylor Wedemeyer later knocked in Hayes to tie the score. Hayes had two hits to go along with her two runs batted in and scored twice. Wedemeyer delivered two singles and scored once on the night.
With the score knotted at 10, Madalynnne Gray returned to the circle in the bottom of the seventh inning. She needed to keep Harlan off the scoreboard in order to send the game to extra innings.
Gray did just that as she retired the Cyclones in order. After the leadoff hitter lined out to Bailey Drennen at third base, Gray induced a ground ball to Drennen for the second out. Clarinda recorded the final out of the inning on a popup to catcher Chandler Strough. Gray had also held Harlan scoreless in the sixth inning with one of her four strikeouts in the game and two ground outs.
Seizing the momentum, Clarinda kept the bats hot in the top of the eighth inning and scored five runs. The big blow was a double by Bryn Morgenstern that came with the bases loaded. Morgenstern had also singled earlier in the contest.
Maddie Hartley and Clark scored the other two Clarinda runs on an error and a walk. Hartley finished the game with two hits, two runs scored and one stolen base.
Gray then withstood a strong challenge by the Cyclones in the home half of the eighth to preserve the one-run win and earn the victory. Gray also helped her own cause at the plate with a pair of singles as she drove in two runs and scored once.
“We started to see that fire we’ve been looking for in the girls during the second game,” Prather said. “They were playing the game very tough and pushing forward. They had their game faces on and were ready to win a ballgame.”
However, the win came at a bit of a cost as two outfielders were forced to leave the game for Clarinda with injuries. Addy Shane was hit in the elbow and had to go to the hospital for treatment. Shane had two hits and plated a pair of runs before leaving the game. She was replaced by Morgenstern.
Brett Samuelson suffered the other injury as she attempted to make a diving catch. She came up just short on the attempt and the ball took a nasty hop hitting Samuelson in the face. Despite a bloody nose, Samuelson scooped up the ball and nearly threw out the runner. Samuelson exited with one hit and one run scored. She was replaced by Wedemeyer.
In the opening game of the doubleheader, Harlan pounced on the Cardinals for eight runs in the bottom of the first inning. The Cyclones added two runs in each of the next two innings to close out the 12-0 win in three innings.
Gray singled to account for the only hit of the game for the Cardinals. She also took the loss on the mound as Clarinda was plagued by nine unearned runs in the game.
Clarinda returned to the field Saturday, June 11, as the Cardinals competed in the Creston Classic. The Cardinals opened the day with a 19-3 loss to Nodaway Valley in six innings and then were defeated 14-1 by Murray in five innings.
In the top of the third inning the Cardinals struck for three runs against Nodaway Valley to claim a 3-2 lead. However, the Wolverines responded by scoring in each of the final four innings, including eight runs in the sixth, to seal the win.
Clark finished with one hit, one RBI, one stolen base and one run scored. Brown added a single and knocked in a run, while Morgenstern and Wedemeyer scored the other two Clarinda runs.
Samuelson and Strough also singled against Nodaway Valley as the Cardinals finished the game with four hits.
Gray started the game and took the loss as she allowed six earned runs on 12 hits and struck out three. Aziah Smalley tossed one inning of relief and surrendered four earned runs on seven hits. Smalley struck out one batter.
In the second game of the day, Clarinda claimed a 1-0 lead against Murray in the top of the second inning. However, the Mustangs countered with four runs in the bottom of the frame. Murray then tacked on five runs in both the third and fifth innings to polish off the 14-1 victory.
Hartley had the lone hit of the game for the Cardinals and Morgenstern scored their only run. Meanwhile, on the mound, Gray took the loss as she yielded eight earned runs on 13 hits and three walks.
The doubleheader split with Harlan came one day after Clarinda lost a twin bill at home Wednesday, June 8, to Carroll Kuemper. The Knights won the opener 10-2 and then held off the Cardinals 13-10 to complete the sweep.
In the first game, Clarinda scored both of its runs in the bottom of the sixth inning. Brooke Brown and Strough scored the two runs. Strough also led the Cardinals with two hits.
Also collecting one hit apiece in the game were Drennen, Gray, Lexie Haer, and Hartley. Drennen and Hayes also contributed one stolen base apiece.
One bad inning proved highly costly for the Cardinals in the second game of the doubleheader. Kuem-per struck for nine runs in the fourth ending and fended off a late surge by Clarinda to come away with the 13-10 win.
Trailing 11-0 heading to the bottom of the fourth inning, the Cardinals chipped away at the deficit. Clarinda scored three times in the fourth and tacked on four more runs in the fifth inning to trim the margin to 13-7.
The Cardinals then made things interesting in the bottom of the seventh inning as they pushed across three runs before Kuemper finally recorded the final out.
Shane powered the Clarinda attack with a single and a double as she collected four RBIs in the game. She also finished with a stolen base and a run scored.
Strough also picked up a double, while Brown turned in a single and drove in a run. Brown also scored two run, while Samuelson also crossed the plate twice.
Hartley was credited with three runs scored to go along with two RBIs and one stolen base. Gray and Morgenstern scored the other two runs.
Gray was also the hard-luck loser as all but one of the Kuemper runs were unearned. Gray also struck out five hitters, but surrendered nine highs and six walks.
“Madalynne Gray has been a workhorse for us this season. She darn near won the second game against Kuemper and is working hard on the mound. Several umpires and opposing coaches have commented on how she keeps grinding away,” Prather said.
Clarinda opened the week with a 19-8 home loss Tuesday, June 7, to Red Oak in six innings. The Cardinals scored in every inning except the fourth, but the Tigers also scored in five innings and sealed the win with seven runs in the top of the sixth.
The Cardinals picked up 10 hits in the affair including three hits by Brown. She also drove in two of the Clarinda runs to go along with two runs scored and a stolen base.
Samuelson added two hits and a run scored, while Haer finished with a double and an RBI. Hear was also credited with two runs scored and a stolen base.
Strough and Wilmes provided one hit and one run scored apiece, while Drennen chipped in with a double and Hayes picked up a single. Hartley delivered one RBI and scored one run. Clark also plated one run against the Tigers.
Gray was charged with the loss as she surrendered 11 earned runs on 15 hits and issued three walks. She also fanned five Red Oak hitters on the night.