Rock Bridge flexes offensive muscles in win against Helias

Helias third baseman Paige Bange hits a solo home run in the bottom of the first inning during the Lady Crusaders’ game against Rock Bridge on Monday at Duensing Field.

Helias third baseman Paige Bange hits a solo home run in the bottom of the first inning during the Lady Crusaders’ game against Rock Bridge on Monday at Duensing Field. Photo by Kris Wilson.

The Rock Bridge Bruins didn’t see a strike they didn’t like.

Or take a swing at.

All nine Rock Bridge starters had at least one hit Monday night as the Bruins topped the Helias Lady Crusaders 10-1 at Duensing Field.

“They attack strikes,” Helias coach Dan Campbell said. “It’s as good a group of hitters as we’ve seen.”

On the flip side, the Lady Crusaders took five called third strikes in the game.

“You have to go down swinging,” Campbell said. “You can’t let an umpire determine how your at-bat goes, if it’s close, you have to be swinging.”

Both teams scored a run in the first inning.

Rock Bridge got on the board on a two-out RBI single by Maddie Cole. Helias answered in the bottom of the frame when Paige Bange powered a 3-2 pitch over the fence for a solo homer.

The Bruins took the lead for good with a run in the second inning, then added three more in the third.

Rock Bridge (17-3) broke the game open in the fifth, opening the inning with seven straight hits on its way to scoring five runs to make it 10-1.

“They’re one of the best teams we’ve played, they’re definitely up there,” Campbell said. “They’re very impressive, they have everything you would want.”

Helias had a couple of chances to score after the first. The Lady Crusaders had runners at first and second with one out in the second and fifth innings, but couldn’t covert those opportunities into runs.

The chance in the fifth was especially painful. Lauren Morrow hit a long liner that was tracked down for an out at the fence and turned into a double play when the Helias runner at second base was halfway home on the play.

“I’d have lost my house on that one because I was sure that ball was down,” Campbell said. “We were really trying to get some runs, get something going.

“I take responsibility for that one. That was a heck of a play, that was as good a defensive play as I’ve seen all year.”

Bange had three hits to pace a seven-hit Helias attack, Kaysie Scheuler added two hits.

Lindsey Steinbeck took the loss for Helias, working the first four-plus innings. Bange pitched the final three frames for Helias (6-16).

“We need a win right now for our confidence,” Campbell said. “But the players are working hard, they’re playing hard and that’s all you can ask.”

Helias is back in action today at home against Kirksville.

In Monday’s JV game, Rock Bridge was a 9-3 winner against Helias.

III

Prior to the game, the four Helias seniors were honored.

Hayley Strope, Peyton Hall, Scheuler and Bange were recognized with their parents during a ceremony on the field.

“It’s a group that has always worked hard and have been great leaders,” Campbell said. “They’ve sacrificed a lot of time for this program and have done a lot for this program.”

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