Clinton Lady Cardinals softball is rolling early. Despite dropping two of their last three contests to Sherwood and Odessa, the Lady Cards entered the Warrensburg Softball Invitational Tournament …
Clinton Lady Cardinals softball is rolling early.
Despite dropping two of their last three contests to Sherwood and Odessa, the Lady Cards entered the Warrensburg Softball Invitational Tournament with a strong 4-2 record, a trophy already under their belt, and a lot still left to prove.
The short version? Mission accomplished. The long version however, is much more remarkable.
Building on their strong start to the year, and looking to bounce back from a 1-3 home loss Odessa, the Lady Cards handled business in style this week with their second spectacular championship run in just as many weeks. To do so, the Lady Cardinals softball began tournament play against Lafayette County, dispatching the Huskers with a strong effort from the mound which saw Briley Wishard allow just one run on their way to a 4-1 victory for the Lady Cards in round one.
Things tightened up in round two as the Versailles Lady Tigers looked to bounce the Cardinals in the semifinals with a strong pitching effort of their own. Unfortunately for the Tigers, the Lady Cards own pitching effort won the day, as they blanked Versailles 2-0 to punch their ticket to a championship contest against hometown Warrensburg.
Warrensburg, who would be the second consecutive Lady Tigers team that the Cardinals softball would face, entered the contest as home field darlings, riding the wave of a landslide victory against St. Teresa’s Academy in which Warrensburg sent the Stars reeling 19-1.
The Lady Cards, meanwhile, rode their own momentum into what would turn out to be a stunning contest right up to the last at-bat.
The matchup, a back-and-forth affair between the two ball clubs that saw the Lady Cardinals rack up an impressive 11 hits, had all the feel and grit of a championship contest all the way to the very end, when the Lady Cards own Addison Markham stepped up to the plate with 2 outs in the bottom of the 9th in a tied ballgame, 5-5. Stepping up to the plate along with the pressure, with one confident swing Markham would cement herself as the tournament hero, taking the air out of the hometown crowd as she connected at the plate for a walk-off rocket that would sail out of the park and clinch the victory for her visiting Lady Cardinals ball club. The walk-off, which would be the first walk-off homer for Clinton in a decade, would ignite the dugout, as Markham was met at home plate by elated teammates and a series of cheers, hops and shouts as the Lady Cards welcomed their hero to the victory celebration.
Truly a stunning performance for these tough Lady Cards, who look to three-peat against Warrensburg on September 13 when the Lady Cards travel back to Warrensburg and follow up their trophy winning effort with a double-header against the Lady Tigers.
MVP's for the Lady Cards from the Warrensburg Softball Invitational:
Briley Wishard – 12 Strikeouts in the Championship Game, 34 total over the weekend
Addison Markham – Walk Off Homer for to clinch the Championship
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