Butler County Times Gazette
  • Eberhardt hits two home runs, Orioles blast Wildcats in softball opener

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  • Instead of one final practice before Thursday's season-opening doubleheader against El Dorado, Augusta's softball team worked the fields all day Wednesday after weather conditions roughed them up this week just to be able to play.
    That's how badly the Orioles were ready to play.
    And they came ready.
    Augusta batted around the order in its first inning of the season. The team produced five runs off of six straight hits before the Wildcats managed to get the first out. Augusta put up 11 runs on way to 13-3 victory in first-year coach Shane Steinkamp's debut. The Orioles again rocked the plate in the first inning of Game 2 for five more runs in an 18-3 victory for the sweep.
    "I think the biggest thing was just how we came out and played pretty intense," Steinkamp said. "We lost a little focus late in Game 1, but they really came out aggressive at the plate."
    Both games were run-rule wins after three innings.
    Brooke Eberhardt, who had a strong day on the mound, blasted a grand slam to dead center in the opening inning. She finished Game 1 3 for 3 with seven RBIs and two runs scored.
    "That was the best I've ever hit," Eberhardt said. "I just wanted to hit. Usually pitchers don't hit, and [Steinkamp] let me hit, so I was trying to take advantage of it."
    El Dorado got its first baserunner in the third inning after Heather Riddle drew a walk, the only one Eberhardt issued. The Wildcats put together their best offensive inning in the fourth. Kayla Smith smacked a lead-off triple, then Destiny Bowlin brought her home with a double. Bowlin scored later in the inning.
    Lauren Stewart hit a single in the fourth and worked around the bases to set up a run after a passed ball for the Wildcats' third run.
    Other than that, Eberhardt and the Orioles' defense shut down the Wildcats, who could reciprocate when they were in the field. Augusta scored three unearned runs in the contest. Augusta had no errors and handled a couple bunt situations with ease.
    "I thought our execution was really good today for the first game," Steinkamp said. "I think preparation was key. You have your senior leadership that can take these young kids and show them how to play and relax them a little bit. That helped, and we really came out more comfortable at home plate."
    Destiny Williams and Morgan Kirk both had a pair of hits and runs apiece. Kalie Robinson hit a 2-RBI double. Katy Nordman added an RBI and Courtney Phillips had a 2-RBI knock up the middle for the Orioles.
    Game 2 was much of the same.Eberhardt hit another home run for a 3-0 Oriole lead in the first inning. After Nordman next hit a single, Casady Marlnee whacked a two-run homer for a 5-0 lead. Marlnee finished a perfect 4 for 4 with four RBIs.
    Page 2 of 2 - "It got us going good," Marlnee said of starting the season with a pair of wins. "We have confidence in what we're bringing to the field and in each other."
    Riddle got El Dorado on the board in the second inning with a 2-RBI double to score Lauryn Brickley, who reached base on a walk, and Andrea Valadez, who reached with a single.
    Logan Morrow scored the Wildcats' final run in the third after a wild pitch.
    Augusta will play at Wellington Thursday for its road opener.
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