Elizabeth took the lead immediately as leadoff hitter Taylor Schleisman hit a home run and the Cardinals went on to outscore Mesa Ridge 9-4 on Sept. 21 in a Colorado Springs Metro League softball game played at Elizabeth Middle School.
“We came …
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“We came into the game in a three-way tie for first in the league with Mesa Ridge and Widefield,” Cardinals Coach Steve Biller said after the game. “The win means we are now tied for first in the league with Widefield and control our own destiny. We played well against a very good Mesa Ridge team and we will work to continue to play for the rest of the season.”
He said this is a talented team that has solid pitching, plays good defense and really knows how to hit the ball. He said Elizabeth has collected 182 hits and scored 194 runs, which are among the most in Class 4A softball.
Schleisman's homer was one of two runs the Cardinals scored in the first inning of the Sept 21 game. They stretched the lead to 5-0 going into the fourth inning when the Grizzlies scored three runs. But with the score 5-3, Elizabeth responded with two runs in the bottom of the fourth to increase the lead to 7-3 and went on to win the game, 9-4.
The Cardinals collected 11 hits and 12 of the 14 players got at least one hit. Rachael Rucker continued to swing a hot bat as she went 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles that drove in two runs. She also stole a base and scored three times. Teammate Mayson Briddle was 2-for-4 and was the RBI leader with three.
Madi Biller went the distance on the mound for the Cardinals. She gave up eight hits, and seven of them were singles. The Grizzlies scored four earned runs as Biller walked one and struck out six. Although she missed eight games due to injuries, her record is now 5-1.
Elizabeth is in the home stretch of the regular season. They are on the road Sept. 30 at Westminster before playing a key game that probably will determine the league champ when they travel to Colorado Springs Oct. 3 to play Widefield. The Cardinals close out the regular season Oct. 5 at home against Sierra.
Rucker is having a strong season at the plate. She is hitting .592, she has hit three home runs and she leads the league with 35 RBI.
“I think I am hitting well because it is my senior season and I want to go out with a bang,” she said. “I play softball all year and I worked to be a better hitter. I hit a lot off the tee and worked on driving the ball with power. I also did some work in the weight room to get stronger.”
She said she would like to hit .600 this season but she just wants to do everything she can to help her team win games.
Rucker said she also plays basketball and, while she loves softball and is better at that sport, she really likes basketball and would like to play basketball in college.
“Softball is a lot of fun but you can go a whole game and not have a ball hit to you,” she said. “Basketball is non-stop action and I really enjoy that.”
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