It took a little longer than coach Brian Keith might’ve liked, but Verdigris softball’s offense eventually found its rhythm.
After going scoreless through the first two innings, the Lady Cardinals tied Jay at 2-all in the third before adding four more scores in the fourth followed by six in the sixth to secure a 12-3 victory in the season opener Monday afternoon.
A bases-loaded walk and a fielder’s choice via a Grace Taylor bunt evened the tally, and though the Lady Bulldogs retook the lead at 3-2 on an error in the fourth, Verdigris easily overcame that deficit.
Emma Young scored on an error in the bottom half to once again tie the score, and Bailey Cravens drove in the de facto game-winning run, scoring Becca Manahl with a single to center field. Cravens then stole second four pitches later and scored on a Kaydence Bender single shortly thereafter.
Bender scored on an error to close the inning, increasing the Lady Cardinals’ lead to 6-3.
Neither team scored in the fifth, but Presley Tipton certainly made up for that brief lull with her lead-off at-bat in the sixth.
On the first pitch of the count, Tipton blasted a solo home run to center field. A trio of consecutive errors allowed Verdigris to add two more runs on the ensuing at-bats, bringing the score to 9-3 before Emma West and Young notched a pair of RBI singles.
Rhyan Waltonbaugh scored the final run on a Tipton pop out.
Evie Lemery earned the win on the mound for the Lady Cardinals, tossing three strikeouts through seven innings while allowing five hits and two walks on 94 pitches.
Verdigris (1-0), which finished with six hits, returns to action at 5 p.m. Thursday at Rogers County rival Sequoyah.