CLINTON — A deep Bettendorf lineup was on display Monday night in Clinton.
During Game 2 of the Mississippi Athletic Conference softball doubleheader between the Bulldogs and River Queens, a 10-run fifth inning was punctuated by a Sarah Kennedy grand slam. It was Kennedy’s second score of the frame, a no-out, no-doubt blast over the right-field fence, forcing Clinton to make its second pitching switch in the inning.
Clinton finally stopped the bleeding, retiring three of the next four batters, but by then the game was out of reach and a sweep under way. The River Queens lost both contests, 13-2 in Game 1 and 16-3 in Game 2. Both games ended early from the 10-run rule.
“We just seemed dead in the first game, dead in the second game,” Clinton coach Trina Cewe said, adding that there seemed to be “lack of spirit” from the squad. “(Bettendorf is) a really good hitting team. There’s a reason they’re rated 10th in the state.
“But we didn’t have good pitching performances either. ... Lapses on defense. We weren’t aggressive with the bats, and when we were aggressive, (the ball) was out of the strike zone.”
Clinton managed only six hits between both games. Bettendorf pitchers DoniRae Mayhew (Game 1) and Mackenzie Helgerson (Game 2) tallied six and nine strikeouts, respectively, through five-inning games. Offensively, the Bulldogs produced 14 and 16 hits, coming to a climax in the nightcap with nine hits in the fifth inning.
“Those are moments you’re wanting to put up big numbers,” Bettendorf coach Mark Lewis said. His team improved to 8-3 (4-2 MAC). “They sat on (Clinton’s) pitchers pretty well and did a good job.”
Bettendorf jumped on the board immediately in the opener. Kennedy, Maggie Williams, Abby Michaelis and Mayhew — the Bulldogs’ 1-4 batters — each scored in the first inning. Mayhew sent down all three River Queen batters in the bottom half to maintain a 4-0 lead.