A three-day rest didn’t help the Clinton River Queens when they faced Burlington Grayhounds ace left-handed pitcher Miranda Kramer a second time this week. Kramer gave Clinton just one hit in a rain-shortened, 8-0 game Monday night.
The second game of that scheduled doubleheader was postponed until Thursday afternoon, with Kramer and the Grayhounds again coming out on top, this time 8-1. Burlington, which slipped from No. 2 to No. 13 in the Iowa Class 4A rankings that came out Thursday, ran its record to 20-5. Clinton fell to 5-10, 3-7 in Mississippi Athletic Conference play.
Coach Larry Heath’s Burlington club scored two runs in an uneasy first inning on two hits and an error.
“Shaky starts are disappointing, but we do that a lot,” River Queens coach Trina Cewe said. “They say and seem like they’re ready to play, then they don’t perform. We have errors, but there are also many mental errors. We struggle repetitively, and that is frustrating.
“I felt Maddison (Daniels) pitched a good game,” Cewe said.
Brittnee Grimshaw singled to open the first inning for Burlington. She moved to second on a fielder’s choice putout at first, then scored on a single by Courtney Carl. An error allowed Carl to reach second, and she advanced to third on a fielder’s choice that left Katie Oleson safe at first. Oleson stole second base and, on the throw to Haley Huebner, Carl scored from third and the Grayhounds led 2-0.
Keirstyn Davis rapped a two-out single in the opening stanza for Clinton. Kramer then retired the next nine batters before Rachel Ryan singled with two out in the fourth.
Daniels gave up four hits in the second through fourth innings and had two standout strikeouts. In the top of the third she struck out pinch-hitter Paige Zahner with the bases loaded and two out. She chalked up strike out No. 2 an inning later when Carl whiffed with two out and runners on first and second.
Four singles were good for a pair of Grayhound runs in the upper half of the fifth inning, increasing the lead to 4-0.
Clinton got one run back in the last of the fifth. Arti Bhakta reached first with a base on balls and was sacrificed to second by Sarah Judge. Amanda Kristensen walked before Haley Huebner singled to load the bases with one out.
Laece Combs singled to right, pushing Bhakta across the plate. However, Kristensen attempted to score but was thrown out at home plate by Grayhounds right fielder Grimshaw. Clinton’s flourish was ended on a pop fly to first baseman Hillary May.
Alysia Eggleston walked and moved up to second on a one-base hit by Carl to open sixth-inning action. Kramer, proving she can hit as well as pitch, drove a Daniels pitch over the right-field fence for a three-run homer. Chandra McCampbell hit a one-out single, then scored on hits by Ryan and Sam Whitmore.
BURLINGTON 8, CLINTON 1
Burlington 200 024 0 — 8 16 0
Clinton 000 010 0 — 1 5 4
Miranda Kramer (7 ip, 5 h, 1 run, 1 er, 4 so, 2 w) and Meghan Ryan; Maddison Daniels (7 ip, 16 h, 8 run, 6 er, 2 so, 1 w) and Keirstyn Davis. WP - Kramer. LP - Daniels. Two or more hits - Burlington (Grimshaw 2, Carl 2, Kramer 3, Oleson 2, McCampbell 2, Whitmore 2), Clinton (Ryan 2). HR - Kramer.