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Morning Sun
  • Girard sweeps Erie in softball, baseball

  • The Girard softball team did not look good on its first play of the game. Sophomore pitcher Haley Pitts, senior second baseman Jordan Davied and sophomore first baseman Carly Heatherly converged on a pop-up between first and second base hit by Erie leadoff hitter Kendra Engstrom.

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  • The Girard softball team did not look good on its first play of the game. Sophomore pitcher Haley Pitts, senior second baseman Jordan Davied and sophomore first baseman Carly Heatherly converged on a pop-up between first and second base hit by Erie leadoff hitter Kendra Engstrom.
    Davied and Heatherly both went for the ball and neither caught it, allowing Engstrom to reach on an error and forcing Girard head coach Jerry O’Rand out of the dugout to call a huddle for a little talk with his infielders.
    “We’ve had a ton of those,” O’Rand said. “We work on them everyday. It’s just a matter of communication and when you deal with a bunch of young girls that haven’t played at the varsity level where there’s a lot more pressure than at the JV, sometimes they have to mess one up to get one right.”
    Engstrom later worked her way around the bases for a 1-0 Erie lead but that was the Red Devils’ only run during a Crawford-Neosho-Cherokee League doubleheader Friday at Red Wutke Park.
    Girard won the first game 17-1 in three innings and the second game 12-0 in five innings, both games totaling approximately 2 hours.
    Fleet of foot Girard baserunners like junior center fielder Hope McLeod often made Erie players seem like they were standing still, taking extra base after extra base Friday. This was the gameplan and Girard executed it for an average of 3.62 runs per inning.
    “Try to be aggressive and try to put them in uncomfortable situations,” O’Rand said. “Also, just trying to work on stuff ourselves. We’re so young this year. We try to use every opportunity to get better and learn things and we’ve thrown in some things here and there. We’re trying to progress through the year so we’re ready for regionals.”
    Girard lost six players from last year’s 24-2 squad which finished undefeated in CNC League play and fourth in the Class 4A state tournament — key contributors Kenzie Dunlap, Kylie Kunshek, Danielle Walsh, Leah Ruark, Haley Brown and Peyton Herlocker.
    On Friday, Girard started lone senior Jordan Davied along with juniors Madison Smith, Hope McLeod and Jenna Schroeder, sophomores Pitts, Heatherly, Ashley Johnson, Tristan Broce, Kasey Ruark and Hannah Jones, and freshman Kelci Murphy.
    “They’re progressing,” O’Rand said. “At times, I feel like they’re progressing a lot and sometimes I don’t feel like we’re progressing as much as we should. We’ve got a high ceiling, we have lots of talented girls . . . it’s just the first year they’ve been with the varsity and taking all those reps. There’s been some growing pains but I feel like we’ve got a bright future.”
    Page 2 of 2 - In the first game, Davied hit a two-run triple and Heatherly knocked a three-run walk-off triple. In the second game, Broce hit a two-run homer — her teammates gathered at home plate and as she rounded third, they began chanting tick . . . tick . . . tick . . . and finally shouted boom! as she stomped on home plate. Heatherly added a RBI triple. Davied hit a RBI double and Johnson hit a two-run double in the fifth.
    After the doubleheader sweep, O’Rand talked with the girls about effort.
    “It’s something that you can control,” O’Rand said. “You can have a bad night and the ball can not bounce your way but you can work hard every time. There were moments where I felt we let our focus down a little bit and there’s just no excuses for that.”
    Girard (8-4) extends its winning streak to six games. The Trojans play Galena on Monday in Galena.
    Game One
    Girard softball 17, Erie 1 (3 innings)
    EHS    100 —  1   2  4
    GHS    593 — 17 12 1
    Sam Landell and Brittany Landell. Haley Pitts and Hannah Jones. WP — Pitts. LP — S. Landell. 2B — Kendra Engstrom; Kasey Ruark, Tristan Broce. 3B — Jordan Davied, Carly Heatherly. SB — Hope McLeod 2. SF — Jones.
    Game Two
    Girard 12, Erie 0 (5 innings)
    EHS    000 00 —   0  3  2
    GHS    340 5X — 12 13 0
    Sam Landell, Brittany Landell (4) and B. Landell, Kendra Engstrom (4). Ashley Johnson and Hannah Jones. WP — Johnson. LP — S. Landell. 2B — Jordan Davied, Johnson. 3B — Carly Heatherly. HR — Tristan Broce.
    Game One
    Girard baseball 11, Erie 4
    Game Two
    Girard 11, Erie 2
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