The Lady Cardinals got off to hot start Friday afternoon when they ventured to Galatia to take on the Lady Bearcats in a Greater Egyptian Conference battle with Shaylyn Mayberry starting the game off with the perfect bunt single and Madyson Barton promptly following that up with a two run home run over the fence in left-center field. The Lady Cardinals managed to gather another hit in the inning but the Lady Bearcats would shut down any other potential threat with their flawless defense. Galatia-Thompsonville would put together two runs of their own in the bottom half of the inning to tie the game at 2-all. NCOE would come up scoreless in the second inning and following a controversial call at first base the Lady Bearcats would manage to push another run across the plate to claim the 3-2 lead. This lead was short lived as Madyson Barton reached base on her second hit of the game in just two attempts and Natalie Wilson would follow this with a double to plate Barton and tie the game once again at 3-3. The Lady Bearcats would manage another run of their own in the bottom half of the inning to take the lead away from NCOE yet again. This back and forth battle found its way swaying back in favor of the Lady Cardinals in the top of the fourth inning when Madison Cox would take her turn and crush a two run homer over the center field fence to push NCOE back in front 5-4. The bottom of the fourth inning would find the Galatia-Thompsonville bats coming to life as they put together four hits and capitalized on two Lady Cardinal fielding miscues to plate five runs and take back the lead at 9-5. The Lady Bearcat defense would remain perfect the remainder of the way and not allow the Lady Cardinals another run en route to claiming the 14-5 victory.
Madyson Barton (home run) and Haleigh Poole would collect two hits a piece to lead the team while Shaylyn Mayberry, Natalie Wilson (double), Caite Weiss, and Madison Cox (home run) would each have one. Barton scored two runs with Mayberry, Cox, and Jenn’na Wurst adding one a piece. Both Madyson Barton and Madison Cox would gather two RBI’s while Natalie Wilson would be credited for one.
Starting pitcher, Ally Black would pitch 3 1/3 innings allowing nine runs on seven hits and striking out three before giving way to Caite Weiss. Weiss would fire the final 2 2/3 innings allowing five runs (one earned) on four hits and striking out three as well.
This was a much better game for the Lady Cardinals. In fact, it was the best effort the girls have put forth thus far for they had the best team in the Greater Egyptian Conference as well as one of the better Class 1A teams in Southern Illinois on the ropes through four innings of play. Lack of field time and extremely cold conditions led to fielding miscues and this played a large part in not being able to hold on to pull off the upset.
NCOE will be back in action Monday when they host the Grayville Lady Bison. They will follow this up by traveling to Webber on Tuesday, Gallatin County on Thursday, and return home Friday to take on the Hamilton County Lady Foxes.