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story.lead_photo.caption Liv Bloomer of Helias slides into third base as a ball flies past her during Saturday's game against Cape Girardeau: Notre Dame at the American Legion Post 5 Sports Complex. Helias went on to win the game 9-6. Photo by Ethan Weston

Molly Berkey shut the door on the Cape Girardeau: Notre Dame Bulldogs on the opener Saturday.

Berkey never let the door open in the second game against the Jackson Lady Indians.

The Helias junior got the final three outs in the top of the seventh inning against Cape Notre Dame, then went the distance in the circle in the nightcap against Jackson as the Lady Crusaders swept a softball doubleheader at the American Legion Post 5 Sports Complex.

"She was great in both games," Helias coach Kelly Fick said.

Helias appeared to be cruising in the opener after scoring five runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to take a 9-1 lead. But Cape Notre Dame answered with five runs of their own in the sixth to cut the deficit back to three with an inning to go.

Berkey got a strikeout and a flyout to start the seventh. After a walk, she got another flyout to right to end the 9-6 victory.

"She really didn't give them a chance to get back in it in the first game," Fick said.

In the second game against Jackson, Berkey tossed a five-hitter in blanking the Lady Indians 7-0. She walked two and struck out seven.

Jackson had runners in scoring position in the first three innings and in five frames overall. But Berkey and the Helias defense kept Jackson off the scoreboard.

"She did a great job of changing speeds, filling up the zone, her command was good," Fick said. "It's great that we've been able to extend her and get her some extra innings."

Helias never trailed Saturday. The Lady Crusaders scored three runs in the bottom of the first against Cape Notre Dame.

Liv Bloomer led off with a single to left. After a flyout, she stole second and third and scored on a throwing error by the catcher.

After a lineout to first, Mallorey Rogers re-fired the Helias offense going with a single to center. Courtesy runner Maddie Verslues then moved to second on a single by Paige Schaffer and got to third on an outfield error. Kennedy Kupec came on to run for Schaffer and scored along with Verslues when Berkey ripped a double on the first pitch she saw to make it 3-0.

"We've been able to score like that early this season," Fick said. "When our hitters have the right approach, we can be tough."

Helias added a run in the fourth when Berkey led off with a triple and scored an out later on a triple by Payton Dudenhoeffer.

"Our approach is to get extra-base hits," Fick said. "We hit it well and we let them run."

Rogers pitched the first four innings and got the win for Helias. She allowed one hit and four walks while striking out five.

"Mallorey did a great job," Fick said.

Cape Notre Dame got a run in the tip of the fifth off Karoline Klebba to make it 4-1.

The Lady Crusaders extended their advantage to 9-1 with the five-run fifth. Helias batted around and had three extra-base hits in the inning — doubles by Gabrielle Bax and Dudenhoeffer, along with a triple by Ava Morris.

Cape Notre Dame then sent 10 hitters to the plate in the top of the sixth and scored five times with two outs.

Six straight Lady Bulldogs reached against Klebba before Cambri Van Loo came on to get the final out of the inning for the Lady Crusaders.

"Karoline struggled a little bit, but we wanted to see how she would respond," Fick said. "I'm sure she'll learn from it and she will get better."

Berkey came on in the seventh to end the game.

In the second game, Helias scored a run in the first and two more in the second to jump out to a quick advantage. Schaffer doubled home Ella Meyer in the first. Klebba had an RBI double and Bloomer drove in a run with a single in the second.

The Lady Crusaders added three runs in the fifth as Berkey had a two-run single to key the inning. Kupec drove in the other run.

In the sixth, Helias scored its final run when Reese Chiles brought home Bloomer with a sacrifice fly.

"To follow that first game with a great effort in the second game makes for a great day," Fick said. "Those were two quality opponents and we played well against both of them."

Helias (6-2-1) will host Sedalia Smith-Cotton in a Central Missouri Activities Conference game Monday at the Legion Complex. The varsity game will start at 5 p.m.

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