WALTONVILLE – Top-seed Woodlawn advance to the championship of the Midland Trail Conference softball tournament with a 4-0 victory over Christ Our Rock Lutheran Tuesday afternoon in Waltonville.
The Lady Cardinals will face Waltonville/Sesser-Valier at 5 o’clock on Wednesday. The Spartans defeated Clay City, 6-0, in the second semifinal game Tuesday afternoon.
“We like those tournaments at the end of the year,” said Woodlawn coach Matt Patterson. “Some people don’t like it, but it gets you in that mode to get ready for post-season and play those close games and those good teams you have left in the conference and it gets you going that way.”
Woodlawn got on the board first in the second inning. Madison Tiemann singled to right field and moved to third on a two-base error from the CORL outfielder.
Breanna Ward drove in the first run of the game with a single up the middle for a 1-0 lead for the Lady Cardinals.
The lead became 3-0 after the Cardinals scored twice in the third inning. Kiara Lueking was hit by the pitch and stole second. She moved to third on a single from Morgahn Petersen.
Peterson moved into scoring position on a groundout that put runners at second and third for Kalyn Crider, who drove both runners home with a single to make it 3-0.
“They threw the ball well and made some nice plays,” said Patterson. “I thought we hit some balls hard and they made some good plays on them and didn’t let the innings get any longer. Not a bad effort, but we’ll have to get better before tomorrow for sure.”
For their final run, the Cardinals took advantage of a few misplays from the Stallions.
Lexy Knox reached on an infield error and moved to second on the throw. She took third on a wild pitch before coming on to score on a second wild pitch to put Woodlawn on top, 4-0.
The Lady Cardinals finished with six hits from six different players. Crider was 1-for-2 with two RBI in the game.
“We had people on base,” said Patterson. “We just couldn’t get anything going. We ran the bases and advanced when they a made mistake and made them pay for those. We got enough of a cushion to hang on.”
Lueking picked up the win. She threw seven innings giving up five hits, walking two and striking out 10.
In the first inning, Lueking found herself in a jam with two runners in scoring position with less than two outs. But a strikeout looking and a groundout got Woodlawn out of the inning without giving up a run.
“I thought Kiara did a nice job of getting out of those jams,” said Patterson. “We made plays and didn’t kick a whole lot around. Defensively, and Kiara, did a good job of shutting them down.”