WEST BURLINGTON — In the end, one inning is all that separated the top-ranked team in the state from the Cardinal Comets.
West Burlington-Notre Dame, newly minted number one in Class 3A on Wednesday, scored four runs on four hits in the third inning of an early-season showdown of contenders in the Southeast Iowa Superconference south division on Tuesday. Those four runs made all the difference as the Falcons beat Cardinal 5-1 in a game that the Comets held their own with a state title contender for most of the night.
“They put together a number of their hits in that (third) inning and obviously scored most of their runs there,” Cardinal head coach Jerald Harter said. “You’re never happy with a loss, but I’m probably as happy as I can be with how well we played against probably the best opponent we’ve seen thus far this season.”
Delaney Ridgway had two hits at the plate and drove in Danae Moses with the Comets’ only run while pitching all six innings.
Cardinal fared no better in a match-up with Highland, the 14th-ranked team in Class 2A and top team in the north division of the SEISC north on Wednesday. The Comets fell 6-3 at home to the Huskies despite three hits from Moore and two more hits from Ridgway.
Cardinal (5-5, 3-1) will play both in the Fairfield Softball Tournament, opening with Wilton this afternoon at 2 p.m., before returning home to host Pekin tonight.
No. 2 (3A) West Burlington-Notre Dame 5, Cardinal 1
Cardinal 000 001 0 — 1 4 1
WB-ND 104 000 x — 5 12 1
Cardinal battery — Delaney Ridgway (L, 4-3) (6IP, 12H, 5R, 5ER, 2K, BB), Lindsay Moore catching.
2B — Carlie Bennett, Moore.
Hits — Ridgway 2-3, Bennett 1-3, Moore 1-3.
RBI — Ridgway.
Runs — Danae Moses.