The Cardinal Ritter Softball Program has been running on all cylinders this season. After starting the season 5-1, the Lady Raiders rattled off 4 more straight wins including a City Tournament game before falling to Chatard in the City Semi-Finals. During this stretch, the Lady Raiders extended their record to 9-2 while defeated last year’s 2A State Champions and rivals, Speedway.
The first game in this home stand was the rival Plugs. Cardinal Ritter gave up 1 run on a home run in the first, but Taylor “The Falcon” Faulkenberg zeroed in on the strike zone and only allowed 2 more hits the rest of the game. She only allowed 2 walks while striking out 10 in the outing.
The offense collected 8 total hits with Annie “The Natural” Kluemper and Faulkenberg leading the way with 2 hits a piece, with Kluemper adding a double. Abby Blastic hit a solo home run, Megan McCall “Me Maybe” and “Raking” Riley Heim added RBI doubles and Freshman, Kelsey Waggoner added a single.
To steal a line from tennis’ Coach Rubey, “It was a great day to be a Raider,” as both the baseball and softball teams beat their rivals finishing within seconds of each other.
After Speedway, the Lady Raiders took on Heritage Christian in round one of the City Tournament. It was a cold day, but Cardinal Ritter amassed 10 hits on the day with Faulkenberg and Lauren “Steamin” Beaman each picking up 2 hits. Beaman had a triple and an RBI and Faulkenberg added 2 RBI in the process. Heim, Maggie Cmehil, Blastic, Chloe “Ole… Ole, Ole” Olejnik and the “McTwins” of Emma Mckee and McCall picked up hits, with McKee adding 2 RBI.
The Lady Raiders took that momentum into the next week as they played Brebeuf, putting up 14 runs and 19 hits in 5 innings of play. Faulkenberg toed the rubber to start the game, giving up 1 hit and fanning 7 before Beaman came into the game striking out 2 in her only inning.
Kluemper led the offense going 3 for 3 with 2 RBI and a triple. Waggoner had her break out performance of the season going 3 for 3. McCall and Beaman both went 2 for 3 with McCall supplying some power with a triple and 2 RBI and Beaman hitting an RBI double. Faulkenberg went 2 for 4 with 3 RBI and a double. Blastic, Olejnik, McKee, Cmehil, Natalie Kutcher, Emma Hunt and Stacy Castro all added to the hit parade.
After the hitting tune up, the Lady Raiders geared up to play Conference rival and habitual thorn in Cardinal Ritter’s side, Scecina. The west side team put up an impressive 4 runs in the first and 10 in the 4th to bury the team from the east side with a final score of 14-2. The Lady Raiders put up 18 hits in the game with Heim putting on a show at the plate going 3 for 4 with a home run, double and 4 RBI. Faulkenberg, who picked up the win in 3 innings of work, allowing no hits and striking out 7, was also a monster at the dish, going 3 for 4 as well with 2 RBI. Kluemper set the table going 2 for 4 with 3 runs, Beaman, McCall, Olejnik and Blastic all had 2 hits and McKee and Waggoner added a hit a piece.
Unfortunately, the Scecina win was short lived as the Lady Raiders hit a buzz saw as they battled Chatard for the second time in the season, as well as the elements in the City Semi Final. The whole tournament was in a state of flux because of the inclement weather, which saw the game move multiple times before the teams settled at Cathedral’s home turf. The Lady Raiders ended up falling 6-1 ending their winning streak. Faulkenberg was a bright spot on the day, as she went 3 for 4 with a double and pitched a complete game striking out 14. Cardinal Ritter outhit the Trojans, but could not string them together. Adding hits on the day were Heim with 2, Blastic with 2 and Kluemper, Beaman, and McKee with 1.