Seven-run fourth sends Helias past Rolla

Through three innings Thursday, the Helias Lady Crusaders had left seven runners on base against the Rolla Lady Bulldogs.

“I went to the scorebook to make sure we had already stranded that many,” Helias coach Dan Campbell said. “We needed to get a big hit.”

Claire Ludwig got it for the Lady Crusaders, hitting a two-run double to key a seven-run fourth as Helias went on to post a 10-0 victory in five innings at Duensing Field.

“Claire cam through when we needed it and it helped us get a little cushion,” Campbell said.

Helias led 2-0 heading into the fourth, scoring single runs in the second and third innings. But the Lady Crusaders left the bases loaded in each of those frames.

Jordyn Nappier got Helias going in the fourth with a one-out single. Lauren Morrow then tripled to make it 3-0 before Grace Dittmer singled home Morrow. A single by Kaylie LeCuru put runners at first and second before a pop up made the second out of the inning.

Ludwig then ripped a double to left-center to make it 6-0. Lindsey Steinbeck followed with an RBI double before a pair of Rolla errors led to the final two runs in the inning, which ended with Helias holding a 9-0 advantage.

“I’d like to think we’re capable of big innings like that,” Campbell said. “We’ve shown the ability to hit like that in practice, it’s a matter of taking that over into games.”

The Lady Crusaders ended the game with a run in the bottom of the fifth. With two outs, LeCuru doubled. After an infield single by Riley Bond, Ludwig singled home LeCuru to end the game by the 10-run rule.

“It was good to see Kaylie drive the ball, we need her to do that,” Campbell said. “She’s a good hitter.”

LeCuru had three hits to pace a 14-hit Helias attack. Morrow, Dittmer, Bond and Ludwig all added two hits. Ludwig had three RBI, while Steinbeck drove in two runs. LeCuru scored three times while designated runner Kayci Reinkemeyer had two runs.

Steinbeck went the distance to get the win. She allowed just one hit to go along with three walks and two strikeouts.

“She’s not going to strike out a lot of people, but she’s not going to walk many either,” Campbell said. “We just need to play defense behind her and we’ll be OK. I know the girls are tired of me preaching about defense, but that is really going to be important for us this season.”

Heias did not commit an error in the game.

“When we do that, we should be in the game,” Campbell said.

Helias (1-1) will play today and Saturday at the Battle Tournament in Columbia. The Lady Crusaders are slated to play three games today and perhaps two more Saturday.

“We just want to use these games to get better,” Campbell said. “We need to play some games to see where we’re at.”

Helias won the JV game 14-3 in four innings.

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