Lady Cardinals rally back

HASKELL - The Harmony Grove Lady Cardinals had a bumpy road through the weekend with three losses, snapping a healthy winning streak. On Monday, the pot holes got bigger as the Lady Cardinals lost their first conference game of the season 2-1 to Fountain Lake, the worst team in the 3A South.

After being down 4-0 early on Tuesday against Bismarck, a team that beat them early in the season, the Lady Cardinals used every bit of fight and heart to battle back for the one run, 5-4 victory.

Freshman Kristen Dempsey took to the circle once again for the Lady Cardinals and ran into some trouble right out of the gate. With a 2-1 count on the lead-off hitter, Dempsey served up a potato that was buried on the other side of the left field fence, giving Bismarck the early 1-0 lead. Dempsey got out of the inning without any more damage, sitting down the next three hitters in order.

Senior Morgan Ramsey nearly matched the Lady Lions with a lead-off home run of her own, just missing it as a double rattled the right field fence. That was all the Lady Cardinals could get as two pop outs and a strikeout ended the threat in the top of the first.

Dempsey allowed one hit in the second but didn’t allow a run, keeping the score at 1-0.

The Lady Cardinals put a runner on in both the second and third but could not muster and runs. The Lady Lions, on the other hand, used two hits and three walks to plate three more in their half of the third to go up 4-0.

Harmony Grove answered with one run in the fourth on a lead-off home run from senior Macy Coffee. The Lady Cardinals had three more hitters reach base in the inning, but could not tack on any runs. Dempsey continued to roll from the circle, allowing just three hitters to reach over the last four innings of the game. For Harmony Grove, the fifth inning was the biggest of them all as they pushed across four runs to take a 5-4 lead.
Four straight hitters reached to start the fifth for the Lady Cardinals. Ramsey led off with a single, followed by a walk from junior Laura Britt to put two on with none out.

A botched fielder’s choice to Holly Drombetta loaded the bases for the Lady Cardinals, still with no one out. Coffee, just one inning after going deep, stepped to the plate with the bases chucked. With a 1-1 count, Coffee hit a hard ground ball to second, forcing a throwing error that cleared the bases and sending her to second. After a ground out by Dempsey, senior Torie Simmons walked to put two on with one out. Junior Molly White then stroked a single to right, scoring Coffee to take the lead at 5-4. Kristen Fletcher came into pinch hit for Robyn Baxley in the inning and looked to have a sacrifice fly after flying out to right field.

With Simmons crossing the plate for the Lady Cardinals’ sixth run, Bismarck threw over to third to protest that Simmons left early. They were right as the inning ended with that and a Lady Cardinals’ 5-4 lead.

Neither team could post any more runs in the game, giving the Lady Cardinals a 5-4 win and snapping a four-game losing streak.

Ramsey led the Lady Cardinals with a 3 for 3 showing at the dish. Coffee went 2 for 3 with three RBIs and also scored twice.

For Dempsey, she was not as dominate on the strikeout end of the things as she has been in the past, getting just five Lady Lions to strikeout just 24 hours after striking out 13 Lady Cobras.

Dempsey, however, did use eight ground outs in the win.

The Lady Cardinals will take the field once again on Tuesday when they travel to Bauxite for another non-conference match. First pitch is set for 4:30 p.m.