DARLINGTON – If Darlington hopes to earn that elusive first victory of the season, they are going to have to eliminate their opponents’ one big inning.
The Redbirds (0-12 overall, 0-8 in SWAL) couldn’t do that against Southwestern on Thursday, May 3, as the Wildcats broke out with seven runs in the top of the sixth inning to erase a one-run deficit and pull away for a 13-5 victory in prep softball action at Sieg Field.
Darlington jumped out to an early 3-0 advantage in the home-half of the first inning when DP Brianna King ripped a two-out, two-run triple and scored on Jacke Johnson’s RBI-single.
King knocked in Cassidy Cox in the third to put the ‘Birds up 4-2, but the Wildcats scored twice in the fourth to tie the game at 4-4.
The Redbirds regained the lead in the fifth when Taylor Cox tripled and scored on Cassidy Cox’s RBI-fielder’s choice.
The ‘Cats sent 11 batters to the plate in the sixth to overtake the ‘Birds on the scoreboard, 11-5, and the guests were able to make their lead stand.
C. Cox finished 2-for-4 at the plate with a triple and two runs, while Johnson and Hailey Heins each added two hits. Heins also ripped a double for the ‘Birds.
Katie Droeszler was 4-for-5 with three runs scored for the Wildcats. Kirstie Fritz lined an inside-the-park home run and Abby Kunkle went 3-for-4 with two triples and two runs for the guests.
At Darlington, on Monday, May 7, the Iowa-Grant Panthers utilized two big innings to sink the Redbirds, 17-4, in SWAL action.
The Panthers scored five times in the second inning to erase a 1-0 Darlington lead, and then they added eight insurance runs in the top of the seventh to put the Redbirds to rest.
Darlington actually out-hit their guests, 14-12, in the game, but they hurt their own cause in the field by committing seven costly errors.
Anna Fitzsimons and Catie Chiaverotti each banged out three hits for the ‘Birds, while Taylor Cox finished 2-for-3 at the plate.
Darlington has SWAL games at Boscobel on Thursday, May 10, at home against Riverdale on Monday, May 14, and at Fennimore in a make-up game on Tuesday, May 15. The Redbirds will also participate in the annual Black Hawk Invitational in Gratiot on Saturday, May 12, starting at 2 p.m.
Southwestern… 002 207 2 - 13 16 0
Darlington…….. 301 010 0 - 5 9 3
Leading Hitters: Hailey Heins 2x4, Cassidy Cox 2x4, Jacke Johnson 2x4. 3B– Taylor Cox, C. Cox, Brianna King. 2B– Heins.
WP- Martin. LP- Laura Steiner.
At Darlington, on Thursday, May 3
Iowa-Grant… 050 121 8 - 17 12 2
Darlington…. 101 000 2 - 4 14 7
Leading Hitters: Anna Fitzsimons 3x4, Catie Chiaverotti 3x4, Taylor Cox 2x3. 2B- Chiaverotti.
WP- Leix. LP- Laura Steiner.
At Darlington, on Monday, May 7