Cody leads team past Graceland

After three straight losses and a weeklong battle with Mother Nature, the Baker University softball team returned to the field Monday for a doubleheader in Iowa against the Yellowjackets of Graceland University.

Head coach Jennifer Rigdon gave senior Kendra Cody the start on the mound in game one. With her teammates playing well behind her, Cody led the 'Cats to a 6-5 victory over a solid Graceland team.

In game two, Rigdon again turned to Cody who did not disappoint. Cody pitched well and lifted her team to another victory, 6-3. With the win, Cody improved to 3-2 in the circle this year.

Assistant coach Jade Geuther said the senior battled her way through the games with the help of sophomore catcher Alexis Pryor.

"Kendra pitched two great games," Geuther said. "She doesn't overpower a lot of people, but she pitched and Alexis called a very smart game."

Geuther said the team played well defensively and started to swing the bats.

"The rest of the team played well too," she said. "We cut down our errors, and for the most part, put the ball in play."

Sophomore outfielder Jayde Allen said it was good to see her team play well again.

"We finally put a couple games together," she said. "They were definitely big wins for our team."

Assistant coach Emily Grabner said Cody battled the entire day for her team.

"Kendra works very hard, and she hates to lose," Grabner said. "She really worked hard for these wins."

The wins over Graceland were Baker's first games since April 1 when the 'Cats faced Avila University at Cavaness Field.

Despite outhitting Avila 10-8, Baker struggled in the field by committing six errors and lost game one 6-2.

Cody and Pryor led the 'Cats with three hits a piece.

In the back end of the doubleheader, Avila made its charge against Baker late in the game to win 14-4.

The Eagles jumped out to a 6-0 lead after three and 1/2 innings of play, but the 'Cats stormed back scoring four in the bottom of the fourth. The game stayed tight until Avila kicked the door down with seven runs in the top of the seventh.

On March 29, the Wildcats split a doubleheader with MidAmerica Nazarene University in Baldwin City. Baker won game one 6-0 but missed out on a sweep losing the second game 2-0.

The Wildcats are 8-17 overall and 3-7 in the Heart of America Athletic Conference.

Baker will look to collect more wins as it heads into the thick of its conference season. Geuther said the next few games are big.

"We have four more conference opponents to play, so all the games are important," Geuther said.

Baker will return to Cavaness Field at 1 p.m. Saturday.

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