MARYVILLE, Mo. — The Benton Cardinals traveled 45 minutes north to defeat the Maryville Spoofhounds 4-1 Wednesday evening.
The Cardinals (3-5) got the bats going early as they scored three runs in the top of the first inning. The Spoofhounds (1-5) had no response as they failed to record a run in the bottom of the inning.
A double from freshman shortstop Wynter Hurst was good for the first hit of the evening for the Cardinals. A couple of batters later Hurst was brought home by senior Keylee Buxton to start the scoring spree in the first. The other two runs were attributed to Buxton crossing the plate, as well as senior Bailey Stephan.
“We’ve been struggling a little bit offensively,” Benton coach Wayne Miller said. “It’s because we’re so young. We’re just young and inexperienced. … As good as they are, we’re just inexperienced.”
The Cardinals added another run in the top of the second inning when Hurst was able to find a way to come around the bases again.
Benton held a 4-0 lead until the bottom of the fourth inning when Maryville’s junior Briley Watkins crossed the plate to get the Spoofhounds on the board, cutting the Cardinals’ lead to 4-1.
“We’re getting better — we’re turning the corner,” Miller said. “Just the small things. Good pitching, timely hits, all of those small things are just adding up.”
The win over the Spoofhounds leaves the Cardinals with two consecutive wins. Benton, who traditionally finds itself in a better position in the win column, isn’t concerned about where they are at this point in the season as opposed to where they could end up.
“The conference looks to me that we’re all alike,” Miller said. “Except for maybe a couple of teams we’re really all similar. … I feel better about (the girls) every day.”
Benton will face crosstown rivals Central, Lafayette and Bishop LeBlond in the City Round Robin on Saturday. Miller said that the corner that the team is turning has a high ceiling heading down the stretch of the season, he noted only one direction for the program come the district tournament.
“Towards the top,” Miller said.