The Ottumwa Courier

Sports

July 6, 2013

Cardinal splits; S.E. Polk, No. 3 (4A) Solon sweeps on opening day at Classic

(Continued)

Moore also delivered the go-ahead two-run single in the top of the eighth to put Cardinal on top 11-9. It took a second chance thanks to a bobbled grounder by Clarke’s defense with two outs in the seventh to load the bases and clutch three-run triple down the right-field line by Lexi Fullenkamp to give Moore that opportunity.

“That was so special, especially on (Lexi’s) part because she was helping herself out on that hit,” Moore said.

Moore actually wouldn’t have needed to be the hero in extras as Fullenkamp’s bases-clearing bloop triple actually gave Cardinal a 9-8 lead in the seventh. A dropped fly ball in center opened up a chance for Clarke’s Libby Bemis to come through with a one-out game-tying RBI single as the Indians loaded the bases with two outs before pitcher Delaney Ridgway forced Ashley Gibbs to pop out to second to end an incredible seventh inning.

“We’ve said all along that our pitching and our defense is what’s going to carry us as far as we can go, because obviously our hitting can keep us with anyone in the state,” Harter said after winning the first extra-inning game in the Classic since 2008. “We can play defense when we want to. This was a great day to get us ready for what we’re going to face when we get to the third phase of our season.”

The nearly two-hour opener may have set the first day of the Classic back on time, but it also set up Cardinal for a winning season as the Comets picked up their 17th win with the upset of the South Central Conference champions. Cardinal played with even more confidence for most of the contest against Solon, using a solo homer by Jessie McElderry and a great defensive play to throw out a runner at home by right fielder Morgan Honomichl to take a 1-0 lead into the fourth inning on the third-ranked squad in 4A before a solo homer Aly Herdiska sparked the Spartans’ comeback.

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