The Bulldogs then launched a seven-run second inning before Clinton subbed in pitcher Allyson Whitehead. Whitehead allowed only three runs through three innings, but only a few scoring opportunities emerged for Clinton baserunners.
In the bottom of the second, Keirstyn Davis and Sara Judge were in scoring position with no outs. Mayhew retired the next three to leave them stranded. Clinton didn’t have another scoring chance until Judge — recovering from a shoulder injury to make her first start of the year — cracked a two-run homer in the fourth to keep the game alive.
“I’ve been itching to get back,” Judge said. “I had to sit out (club) and high school season, and it’s just been bothering me the entire time. I couldn’t wait to get back. I was focused, put the pain behind me and went after it. I wasn’t going to hold back.”
Judge finished with three hits, including a double and four RBIs, between both games, a solid return in an otherwise ugly sweep for the River Queens.
In Game 2, Bettendorf again jumped in front 4-0 after the top of the second. Davis scored on a sacrifice from Jenna Stremlow to keep Clinton within striking distance at 4-1. Helgerson tightened up and sent down eight of the next 10 Clinton batters she saw.
After the 10-run Bulldog fifth, Judge’s two-run double was of little consequence. The game ended with another Helgerson strikeout.
“Bettendorf’s always strong; they’re strong in every program they have,” Cewe said. “They’re intimidating, but to be honest, 80 percent of the games we play are going to be intimidating opponents because the MAC is so deep.”
The Queens (2-7, 2-4 in the MAC) travel to Wyoming on Wednesday for a game against Midland. They will continue MAC play on Thursday when they visit Davenport Assumption for a doubleheader.