(Photos by David Jenkins, Staff)
CAPE GIRARDEAU-- The Notre Dame Lady Bulldogs Softball team defeated the Kelly Lady Hawks 2-0 to claim the championship of the Notre Dame SoftballFest tournament Saturday in Cape Girardeau.
The defensive struggle was a pitching duel between two of the premier pitchers in the area in Notre Dame's Lauren Reinagel and Kelly's Danielle Dock.
Kelly head coach Rhonda Ratledge was very pleased with Dock's performance.
"She did a great job. She held them very well," Ratledge said.
Last weekend's tournament was Dock's first return to the Notre Dame softball complex in two years, this time in a Lady Hawks uniform as she transferred to Kelly from Notre Dame last year.
"I was worried about her because she transferred from Notre Dame and that being back on that field added a lot of pressure," Ratledge said. "She really wanted to do a good job and did just that. She got them to go after her pitches. She didn't give up very many hits at all. She did a fantastic job. She looked calm and composed out there. I really like what I'm seeing out of her."
With solid pitching and defense from the Lady Hawks, the sluggishness of the usually potent Kelly offense turned out to be the deciding factor in Saturday's contest. It was a mixture of facing good pitching and poor luck that prevented the Lady Hawks from getting things going at the plate.
"Everybody put it in play, but we just hit the ball right to them," Ratledge said. "Everyone also had their share of strikeouts, but we started to make good contact as we got a little more used to her (Reinagel's) timing."
Haley Glastetter led the Lady Hawks at the plate going one-for-three with a double.
Notre Dame's first run came in the third inning.
"In the third inning, Erika Reinagel slap bunted and was running down the first base line and the ball hit her which is usually an out," Ratledge said. "The home plate umpire said she was safe because her back foot was still inside the batters box when the ball hit her."
Erika Reinagel would later score in the inning to make the score 1-0 Notre Dame.
Notre Dame extended their lead in the top of the fifth when the RBI triple off the bat of Paris Burger scored Mallory Siebert to bring the game to its final mark of 2-0.
"This was a great game to show us where we are as a team," said Ratledge. "Notre Dame is one of the better teams in the area and to play them in a 2-0 ballgame was outstanding.
"I really couldn't complain," she continued. "That's the level of competition we are going to see. We saw that we need to work more on our at-bats. Other than that I had no complaints in our pitching or our defense. Our defense did a great job of backing our pitcher up."
Ratledge feels taking second place in SoftballFest was a good outcome.
"I was pleased with and proud of our girls in this tournament," she said.
Kelly will open their home schedule Tuesday against Scott City.
"These will be our first home games of the season, so it will be nice to be back on home turf," Ratledge said.
The game will be at 4 p.m. Tuesday in Benton.
The Kelly Lady Hawks defeated the Notre Dame junior varsity Lady Bulldogs 6-4 in the semifinal game of Notre Dame's SoftballFest tournament Saturday in Cape Girardeau.
The Lady Hawks jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the third off of an RBI single by Danielle Dock and a two-RBI double from Brittany Brantley.
The Lady Bulldogs returned the favor with a three run inning of their own in the top of the fourth.
Kelly scored two runs in the fourth with a perfectly placed bunt from Haley Glastetter. Notre Dame scored a run in the top of the fifth to bring the mark to 5-4. The Lady Hawks tacked on another run with a deep solo home run off the bat of Casey Kern to bring the game to its final mark of 6-4.
Heather Beggs and Danielle Dock split the pitching duties for Kelly with Beggs pitching the first four innings, earning the win.
"Notre Dame's junior varsity played us a really good game," Ratledge said."You don't want to get beat by a junior varsity team in a tournament. We did a great job keeping our heads in the game."