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Lady Cats find positives in rough start to season

Andy Brown / Louisburg Sports Zone

Louisburg junior Mia Wilson struck out eight Baldwin batters during the Lady Cats’ opener last Tuesday in Baldwin City.

Any young team is going to experience growing pains at times during a season, and unfortunately for the Louisburg softball team, they had to go through some last week.

Louisburg, which can feature anywhere from five, all the way up to seven freshmen and sophomores in one lineup, knows it will have its bumps in the road.

The Lady Cats opened their season at Baldwin last Tuesday and lost the opener 9-3, before losing a slugfest in the nightcap, 24-14.

“I’m proud as heck of the girls,” Louisburg coach Nick Chapman said. “Once we got the nerves out, they played really well. We didn’t help ourselves out with all the errors that we had and Baldwin hit really well. With a team like that, we have to keep them off the bases as best as we can and make the plays that we need to make. 

“Once we got going at the plate, our offense was on fire. The girls played team softball and executed situations really well. We got down 8-21 at one point and then put up 6 runs the next inning because of how we play offense.”

In the opener, junior Mia Wilson pitched a complete game and only four of the nine runs she gave up, were earned. She also finished the game with eight strikeouts.

The Lady Cats just couldn’t shake a bad second inning in which Baldwin scored five times and took a 6-0 lead into the third.

At the plate, freshman Ashley Moreau had a big day as she was 4-for-4 and accounted for half of the team’s hits. Another freshman, Izzy Moreland, had an RBI single and freshman Maddy Rhamy also had an RBI.

Freshman Jenna Cauthon makes contact for a base hit last week at Baldwin.

Senior Brooklyn Diederich and freshman Jenna Cauthon also had base hits for the Lady Cats.

In the nightcap, the Lady Cats got out to a great start as they led 3-0 after the top of the first inning as Wilson singled home Moreau and Rhamy to put them up two and then Diederich scored on a passed ball.

However, Baldwin went go on to score 13 of the next 14 runs as a 6-run third inning gave the Bulldogs 13-4 advantage. They then scored another eight runs in the the fourth.

“Hats off to Baldwin, we threw everything we could at them and they just found the places where we weren’t,” Chapman said. “They have some solid hitters. It was nice to see where our pitching staff is at right now and what we need to work on. All three of them are hard workers and will make the adjustment and be better the next time. I have total faith in our pitching staff and very proud of how they handled the adversity Baldwin gave us.”

Moreland delivered at the plate for the Lady Cats as she was a home run short of the cycle. She finished with a single, double, triple and also had 2 RBIs.

Wilson had three hits and 4 RBIs for Louisburg, while Moreau added two more hits to her night. Senior Maggie Ming had a 2-run single, while Diederich, Moreau, Cauthon, Megan Quinn and junior Jada Frazier all had runs batted in.

Freshman shortstop Ashley Moreau tries to turn a double play against Baldwin.

Diederich and Moreau each scored three runs, while freshman Rylee Hickey came around twice to score

“Our whole lineup was great,” Chapman said. “From top to bottom, each girl has their role and they are learning how to execute that role. Izzy had a night, Ashley hit and executed everything I called for her, from a bunt to a slap, moving runners. Those two were huge and kept us in the game. Mia batted over .500 as well with four huge RBIs. Once she got going, she was going. Very pleased and proud of how she did. 

“Like I said I’m proud of all 12 girls and the offense that we played as a whole team. When we get the other side of softball figured out, we are going to be very dangerous.”

Lady Cats drop two to Piper

Friday’s doubleheader against Piper in Kansas City, Kan., was not what the Louisburg softball team was hoping for.

The Lady Cats couldn’t avoid the big innings as Piper cruised to 18-3 and 16-0 victories over Louisburg.

“For three innings we played great softball with one of the best teams in our league,” Chapman said. “We had our bats rolling in the first inning and even into the second. We had a lot of momentum that we just couldn’t hold onto. Hats off to Piper for hitting the ball hard. They are a really, really good team.”

Louisburg opened the first game with a 3-0 lead when Izzy Moreland and Mia Wilson recorded RBI singles and Maddy Rhamy took home on a rundown.

The Lady Cats took a 3-2 lead into the bottom of the third, but the Pirates exploded for eight runs, many of which came on the eight errors Louisburg committed for the game.

Piper carried that offense over to the second game when it scored six runs in the first and another eight in the third to complete the shutout.

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