Lady Cards walk to 10-1 win

HASKELL — The Harmony Grove Lady Cardinals finally got back on the diamond in 5-3A action Monday, playing host to a much-improved eStem squad. After Thursday’s rainout, the Lady Cardinals were forced to reschedule and wait until Monday to get back in the swing of things.
With LJ Helmich in the circle and bats finally waking up, Harmony Grove strolled away with a 10-1 win, thanks to a big 8-run third inning paced by five walks and a Mets’ error.
The contest was too close for comfort after two and a half innings with the score knotted at 1-1. Harmony Grove left a runner stranded at third in the first before getting on the scoreboard in the second with an RBI single from Madison Mickle, bringing in Faith Otts for the early lead. The Lady Cardinals stranded two more runners in the second.
After going 1-2-3 in the first two innings, eStem answered in the third, taking advantage of a leadoff walk and later scoring on an RBI single if its own. Helmich escaped the frame without further damage, leaving two Mets on base.
Despite the early pitcher’s duel, Harmony Grove quickly shut the door in the home-half of the third, steamrolling to an 8-run lead.
Two walks and an error began the inning for the Lady Cardinals. With the bases chalked and Otts at the plate, the scoring began in droves starting with Otts’ RBI single to score Josee Carman. Lydia Windsor, running for Helmich, Kristen Dempsey and Otts followed suit, scoring on three walks.
Harmony Grove scored six of its eight runs in the inning on RBI walks.
The scoring was nearly over after the third for both teams. Harmony Grove added an insurance run in the sixth with a leadoff blast from Robyn Baxley on a 2-1 pitch to give the Lady Cardinals the 10-1 advantage and eventual win.
Helmich scattered three hits from the circle and allowed one run while walking two and striking out nine in the win. Otts led the squad at the dish, going 3 for 4 with two RBI and two runs scores. Baxley followed with a 2-for-3 performance. Harmony Grove drew 11 walks in the win.
The victory moves Harmony Grove to 9-4 overall and 2-0 in conference play.
The Lady Cardinals will take on 6A favorite Sheridan at home Thursday. First pitch is set for 4:30 p.m.