The Cardinal Ritter Softball Team had another tremendous year in 2019 winning the school’s first ever Indiana Crossroads Conference Championship. Through the tutelage of Coach Heim and his crew the Lady Raiders were able to find themselves ranked as high as #2 during the year. The team went all the way to the Sectionals Finals before being knocked off by the rival Plugs finishing their overall record at 20-5 and being ranked #6 in the State in 2A.
After winning conference, Cardinal Ritter went on a hot streak. They started by beating former ICC foe, Lapel, at their place 9-4. Lauren “Steamin” Beaman toed the rubber and pitched a complete game striking out 7 and only allowing 3 earned runs. She was also a force at the plate as she went 3 for 4 with 4 RBI and 2 monster home runs. Also adding 3 hits on the day were “Raking” Riley Heim, who added a solo blast and Taylor “The Falcon” Faulkenberg. The “McTwins” of Emma McKee and Megan McCall “Me Maybe” each added hits with McCall hitting 2. Chloe “Ole… Ole, Ole” Olejnik and Abby “Mrs. Bomb-“ Blastic added RBI singles.
After Lapel the Lady Raiders came home for their last regular season game beating 4A Southport 10-3. Faulkenberg picked up the win going 3 innings, striking out 6 and only walking 1 while giving up no runs. At the plate, she was 1 for 1 with a solo home run.
Leading the offense was Heim, who went 3 for 4 with a double and 2 RBI. Following her was Beaman who added 2 hits (one being a home run) and 2 RBI, and Annie “The Natural” Kluemper who went 2 for 4 with an RBI. Also adding hits were MCall (RBI), McKee, Olejnik (2 RBI) and Blastic.
Once the regular season was over the Lady Raiders traveled to Speedway for the Sectional and made easy work of the Park Tudor Panthers beating them 14-0. Faulkenberg picked up the win, striking out 9 in 3 innings of work.
Leading the offense was McKee with 2 hits and 2 RBI. Blastic and Heim each had a hit and 2 RBI and Faulkenberg (RBI), McCall, Olejnik and Blastic (2RBI) all added a hit a piece.
Once they were finished with round 1, the weather decided to take a nasty turn, pouring all over the state and delaying their next match-up against Cascade. Because of the inclement weather, the rest of the tournament was moved to Cascade on their brand new artificial turf. Those posed a problem for the Lady Raiders as they would have to face the Lady Cadets on their field. But Cardinal Ritter did not let the adversity bother them as they put up a bunch of crooked numbers, winning 8-0.
Faulkenberg pitched the complete game shut out only allowing 1 hit and striking out a whopping 16 batters.
The offense was clicking on all cylinders as they picked up 10 total hits with Heim leading the way going 3 for 4 with 2 RBI. Kluemper (RBI, Triple, double) and Beaman (3 RBI) each had 2 hits, while McCall (2 RBI), Olejnik and Kelsey “Make Way” Waggoner each hit safely.
The next day the Lady Raiders had their epic Sectional Championship against the Spark Plugs. The Raiders came out of the gates hot, scoring 3 runs in the first inning. A couple of errors and a controversial call gave 2 runs to Speedway in the second half of the frame. After that, each team threatened to score but could not find a way to push a runner through until the bottom of the 7th when the Plugs managed to squeak 2 runs through to pick up the win.
Faulkenberg pitched outstanding in her last outing as a Raider going the distance like she had done so many times before in her 4 year career, striking out 6 and only walking 1.
Heim led the offense going 2 for 4 with a home run and 2 RBI. She was obviously seeing the ball very well that day as every ball she swung at, she barreled up and hit hard. Kluemper was also 2 for 4 with a double. Faulkenberg added a triple, Mckee added an RBI single and Beaman and Waggoner also added singles.
It cannot be stated enough how well the Lady Raiders softball team played this year. The team will miss Taylor and her leadership, but the team returns 8 starters and is poised to make another run next year.
Good luck Raiders and Thank you Taylor for all of the memories!!!