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Baldwin 9, Louisburg 4

BALDWIN CITY – Coming off a doubleheader against a tough Piper team, the schedule didn’t get any easier for the Louisburg softball team last Tuesday when it had to travel to Baldwin.

Baldwin won the Class 4A Division II state title last season and the Bulldogs return several members off of last season’s championship squad. The Lady Cats had a difficult time quieting the Bulldog bats as Baldwin handed Louisburg a 9-4 and a 16-3 loss in Baldwin City.

In the opener, Louisburg scored three runs in the first two innings to tie the game at 3-all in the bottom of the second inning. Baldwin answered with four runs in the frame and two more in the sixth to seal the win.

The Lady Cats were able to scatter 10 hits in the first game, but had a tough time turning those into runs after the second inning.

“We came out quick and scored in the first inning and that got us going a little, but Baldwin turned in some great defensive plays to keep us off the board time and time again,” Louisburg coach John Ozier said. “We turned in some great defensive plays, but we could not stop their hot bats. We made a run late, but they held us off.”

Louisburg (0-4) seniors Karson Griggs and Molly Rison each led the Lady Cat offense with two hits each, while junior Lauren Cutshaw, senior Maddie Svoboda, junior Kayla Willey and sophomore Alyse Moore each drove home a run. Sophomore Brooklyn Diederich had the team’s lone extra base hit with a double.

In the nightcap, Louisburg got out to a 3-0 lead to start the game thanks to an RBI single from Rison that scored Svoboda. Diederich then drove home Griggs and Rison with a single of her own.

Baldwin answered with a run in the first and second inning, but the Lady Cats still had a 3-2 lead going into third. It was then when Baldwin blew the game open as it scored nine runs in the third and five more in the fourth to get the win.

Griggs led the Lady Cats offense with two hits, including a double, and Paige Eccher also had a hit for Louisburg.

“Baldwin’s hitting was just too tough on us,” Ozier said. “We had some innings where we gave up five outs through some defensive errors. Baldwin is a team that will make you pay for your mistakes. We’ve had a tough start to the season, but we are committed to keep working hard.”

Louisburg will return to action this Tuesday when it travels to Spring Hill for a doubleheader. The Lady Cats will host Wellsville on Thursday for their home opener.