HASKELL - The Harmony Grove Lady Cardinals have become accustomed to winning games early and with ease, outscoring their opponents 40-0 over the past three games entering Monday’s contest. With Perryville coming to town, Harmony Grove found itself in a dog fight early.
But thanks once again to a powerful bat and even better arm, Kristen Dempsey and the Lady Cardinals came away with their 13th straight win, this one a 4-3 victory.
“Dempsey is doing a heck of a job right now,” Head Coach Sammi Massey said. “I couldn’t be any happier with her performance and I couldn’t ask any more out of her. Her hitting has come through big time for us as well.”
Dempsey got the Lady Cardinals off and running early, launching her second home run in as many games, this one a two-run shot scoring Holly Drombetta to make it 2-0 Lady Cardinals in the first.
Dempsey pitched around minimal trouble in the first two innings, but found herself in a pickle in the third inning. After giving up a walk and a single before tallying the inning’s first out, Dempsey hit a batter, gave up another single and walked another batter. Clinging to a 3-1 lead with runners on, Dempsey gave up a two-RBI single, tying the game at 3-3 in the third.
Faith Otts reached on a single in the second and later scored on an RBI walk by Laura Britt to score Harmony Grove’s third run.
For an offense that has been red hot over the past couple of weeks, the bats were nearing their freezing point on Monday for the Lady Cardinals. Unable to score in the third, fourth and fifth innings, Harmony Grove’s Molly White stepped to the plate and laced a double to lead off the sixth.
After a wild pitch moved her to third, White broke the tie, scoring on a RBI groundout from Otts to make it 4-3 Lady Cardinals.
“(White) came up with a huge double for us in the sixth,” Massey said. “It was a great game and good for us to play a seven-inning, close game.” Dempsey gave up a two-out walk in the seventh but ended the game with a strikeout, keeping Harmony Grove’s winning streak alive.
“It was a big win for us,” Massey said. “I feel like that game was the difference in us winning or losing conference. We still have to play, but I feel like that was the game that we needed to win. Perryville is a very good team and I was proud of our girls to stick with it until the end.”
Josee Carmen put together a quiet 3 for 3 showing at the dish but could not get past second base at any point of the game. Dempsey followed with a 2 for 3 showing, driving in two in the win. From the circle, Dempsey gave up five hits, walked four and struck out nine.
“Dempsey is doing well all the way around,” Massey said. “She is healed this year and not having to throw as many innings. I think it has really helped her. She is keeping us in there and giving everything she has got and I couldn’t ask any more from her or anyone else.”
Dempsey battled a back injury for most of last season. With the win Harmony Grove moves its record to 15-1 on the year and 5-0 in 5-3A conference play. The Lady Cardinals will battle Bismarck on the road today with opening pitch set for 4:30 p.m.