By Ron Preston
It was freezing outside, but the Clay Center bats were sizzling hot. The Abilene Cowgirl defense was shaky in both games of the twin bill won by the Lady Tigers at the Bill Gravette Sports Complex Tuesday night.
The Lady Tigers of Clay Center, who are 10-1 on the season, roughed up the Cowgirls’ 15-4 and 12-4 in the North Central Kansas League double header.
“We just made errors and then they got hits,” Coach LouAna Koochel said following the game.
“We just didn’t play our game, which is frustrating to us as coaches, because when you play Clay Center you have to bring your ‘A Game’ if you plan to stay in the game,” she said.
Senior Aldyn Wildey started on the mound for the Cowgirls and allowed 13 hits while the defense made seven errors to account for the 15 runs in the first game.
The Lady Tigers led 8-0 after three innings.
Clay Center senior pitcher Rebecca Kleinhauf held the Cowgirls scoreless until the fifth inning when they pushed across two runs on two hits and a Tiger error.
Leftfielder Jenna Klein led off the inning with a deep triple to center field and scored after a two-out single by Shay Hoekman.
Hoekman would advance to third on single by Kiley Crider and later scored on a Tiger error.
The Cowgirls added single runs in their half of the sixth and seventh inning to narrow the deficit.
Carly Gassman and Crider had two hits apiece for the Cowgirls in game one.
In game two, sophomore Mallory Olberding made just her second appearance on the mound for the Cowgirls, and this was her first starting role.
The Lady Tigers continued their hot hitting scoring 10 runs on six hits in the first two innings of their 12-4 victory.
Wildey relieved Olberding in the top of the fourth and limited the Lady Tigers to two runs on four hits for the remainder of the game.
Crider was three-for-four and Hoekman and Wildey both had two hits each for the Cowgirls in the nightcap.
“They are a great team,” Koochel commented on Clay Center.
“We are a lot better than we showed tonight. We’ll get some things figured out and come out ready to go on Friday,” she concluded.
The Cowgirls will host NCKL foe Marysville Friday at 4:30 p.m.
CHS (9-1) 0 4 4 0 0 4 3 – 15-8-3
Abilene (5-4)0 0 0 0 2 1 1 – 4- 8-7
LP: Wildey (4-4)
CHS (10-1) 5 5 0 0 1 0 1 -12-14-0
Abilene (5-5)0 1 0 1 0 0 2 - 4- 9- 2
LP: Olberding (1-1)