Softball: Invitational champsThe Cardinal softball team won a pair of games to claim their own invitational title
Courtney Richardson knows how to put the finishing touches on a game for the Alexandria softball team.
She did it twice this past weekend as the Cardinals won their own tournament on Saturday with a 10-0 win over Minneapolis Southwest in game one and a tight 2-1 victory over St. Michael-Albertville in game two.
Sam Dale led off the bottom of the eighth inning against the Knights with a triple. Two straight outs followed, though, without her scoring the winning run.
That is when Richardson picked up her teammates with a huge RBI. Richardson battled in her at-bat and worked a full count. After fouling off a number of pitches, she hit a ball into the hole at shortstop that allowed her to reach safely and send the Cardinals home victorious.
“Courney made the [St. Michael-Albertville] pitcher work really hard,” head coach Bob Cunniff said. “She kept fouling off pitches and eventually hit a ball into short for the game-winning run. I don’t know exactly how many pitches, it was about 10 or 11, but that was really fun to see. That was a fun win, and we beat a real quality St. Michale-Albertville team.”
Alexandria did not record a hit until the fifth inning against the Knights. That is when Kate Gearman used her speed to take advantage of an error after the Knights misplayed her base hit to left field. Gearman gained third base on the error and came in to score the game-tying run on a fielder’s choice.
It looked like that tie would be short lived in the top of the sixth inning when the Knights loaded the bases with no outs. Pitcher Dani Bany calmed down, though, and induced three straight soft ground balls to end the inning with three straight force outs at home plate.
Bany was strong as usual for Alexandria throughout the game. She went eight innings and gave up one earned run on seven hits. She walked two and had five strikeouts.
Game one for Alexandria was far less dramatic.
Ally Teclaw made a statement in the first inning with her three-run home run to get her team going early.
The Cardinals then took advantage of three errors in the third to score two more before Dale, Ashley Holmes and Jorden Tavierne picked up RBI singles in the fourth to make it an 8-0 game.
Once again, it was Richardson who ended it in the bottom of the fifth with a single that drove in the 10th run of the game.
Bany limited the Lakers to just one hit in the five innings and struck out nine.
The two wins stretched the Cardinals’ winning streak to 10 games and gave them some momentum going into their conference showdown with Brainerd.
That happened last night, Tuesday, as the Warriors came to town for a doubleheader. Both teams were undefeated in conference play heading into the night.
ST. MICHAEL-ALBERTVILLE 1-9-1
ALEXANDRIA LEADERS – HITTING – Kate Gearman – 1 hit, 1R; Sam Dale – 3B, 1R; Courtney Richardson – Game-winning RBI
PITCHING – Dani Bany – (WP) 8IP, 7H, 1R, 1ER, 2BB, 5SO
MINNEAPOLIS SW 0-1-3
ALEXANDRIA LEADERS – HITTING – Kate Gearman –1H, 2R; Gracie Bruzek – 1H, 1R; Sam Dale – 1H, 2R, 1RBI; Courtney Richardson – 1H, 1RBI; Ally Teclaw – 1H, 3R, 3RBI; Ashley Holmes – 1R, 1RBI; Carrie Wendland – 2R; Jorden Tavierne – 2H, 1RBI; Amber Bartholomew – 1H; Kailynn Strater – 1H
PITCHING – (WP) 5IP, 1H, 0R, 0ER, 1BB, 9SO