WOODLAWN – Winning a softball regional never looked easier Thursday afternoon as the Woodlawn Cardinals rolled past South Central, 15-0, to win the Class 1A Woodlawn softball regional.
The game was put out of reach in the home half of the first inning when the Cardinals scored 10 runs. Woodlawn added a single run in both the second and third before tacking on three in the fourth to end it with one out in the inning.
“We talked about before the game to not take the lightly,” said Woodlawn coach Matt Patterson. “They just upset Clay City, a team that battled us a few weeks ago. We just wanted to be ready and put some pressure on them and we answered the call and got things snowballing a little bit and hung a big one up.”
Kalyn Crider picked up the win. She went three innings allowing one hit and struck out one. Kiara Lueking threw one inning from the circle and also surrendered a hit while striking out one.
“It’s a good problem to have,” said Patterson of making the pitching change. “We don’t really drop off with that. We wanted to give both of them some work and it worked out good. Both of them threw a ton of strikes and threw the ball hard today and looked sharp. We got both of them some work to be ready for next week so we can use whichever one we need to.”
In the first, Woodlawn scored 10 times with only three hits. Of the 16 Cardinals that came to bat, five walked, three reached on an error and two were hit by the pitch.
“Everybody was pretty focused,” said Patterson. “We kind of talked about it, she [South Central starting pitcher Katie Shumate] didn’t throw as hard as some of the kids we’re used to, but we really had to stay disciplined and stay back on that and I thought we did a really nice job. Pitchers like that have given us some problem in the past … but we did a nice job.”
Ten straight hitters reached in the first inning. Overall, Crider led the way with a 3-for-3 performance at the plate to go along with two RBI, Callie Lueking was 2-for-3 with one run scored and two RBI, while Kiara Lueking was 2-for-2 with three runs scored and a RBI.
“We’ve had that problem this year where you’d get seven [or] eight runs early and kind of cruise and you end up playing a full game,” said Patterson. “Postseason time we’ve tried to preach that if you have someone down, go ahead and pull away. Don’t give them a chance to come back and do something crazy because you never know what can happen.”
The Lady Cardinals advance to the Marissa Sectional. They’ll face the winner of the Lebanon Regional. That championship is slated for Saturday morning between Valmeyer and New Athens.