Kaitlyn Flowers

After topping New Richland/Hartland/Ellendale/Geneva 8-1 in the first game of a round robin tournament at Caswell Park on Saturday, the Clippers allowed four unearned runs and fell 6-4 to Blooming Prairie and then were leading Maple River 6-2 before running out of gas in the sixth, giving up nine unearned runs and falling 12-8.

For the tournament, the Clippers committed 13 errors.

That, unfortunately, has been our nemesis all season,” said head coach Mike Barton. “We just need to make one more play to get out of an inning, and that happened two or three times today and it led to more runs. It’s hard to give any team extra outs, so we are going to keep working on defense.”

Cleveland 8, NRHEG 1

After a pair of Clippers walked, Taylor McCabe hit an RBI line drive single, and Keira Schipper hit a two-RBI line drive single for a 3-0 Clipper lead.

Schipper led of the fifth with her third career home run. Cassondra Connor and Lilly Lamont singled, and both scored on an error for a 6-1 Clipper lead.

Two more insurance runs came in the seventh when Schipper led off with a single and advanced to second on the throw. Running for Schipper, Cecilia Gair advanced to third on a passed ball. Kaitlyn Flowers grounded into a fielder’s choice, but Gair stuck at third before coming home on a passed ball. Flowers scored on a Connor sacrifice fly.

The Panthers’ lone run came in the fourth on an error followed by a base hit, a walk and a passed ball.

Flowers went the distance in the circle. She allowed six hits, struck out nine, beaned one batter and walked five.

Typically finding her way out of any predicament, she left 11 Panther base runners stranded.

With the Clippers in need of pitching after Delaney Thompson’s off-season injury, the freshman took on a bigger role than she would have expected. Last year, she played on the junior high team but got in some varsity time when that season ended.

“I was nervous at first, and then everybody welcomed me and made me feel better,” she said. “I feel I got better throughout the season, and everyone helped me through it.”

But before the first practice, McKenna Robb (CHS 2020) was the jump start to her season, she said.

“McKenna helped me right before the season started with hitting different spots and throwing different pitches, and she got me more confident with myself.”

“Kaitlyn is a competitor,” Barten said. “There are not too many girls who can pitch and catch and play anywhere on the infield, anywhere on the outfield. She’s fun to watch.”

The Clippers struck out six times, walked five times and scattered six hits. Schipper went three for four at the plate with two singles and a dinger. Lilly Lamont, McCabe and Connor each hit one single.

The Panthers committed two errors, one more than the Clippers.

Blooming Prairie 6, Cleveland 4

On a two-out single, and error and a double, Blooming Prairie scored two unearned runs in the first and never trailed.

With two singles and two more Clipper miscues the Awesome Blossoms added two more runs in the third. On a single, a double and an error, they piled on two runs in the fifth.

The Clippers put up two runs in the third. Schipper reached second on an error and advanced on a Laci Hollerich single. Both scored when Connor doubled. In the fifth, Schipper walked, moved to second on a Hollerich single, stole third and scored on a Connor sacrifice fly. Hollerich scored on a Flowers single.

The Clippers had five hits. Hollerich added a pair of singles to her résumé. Schipper and Flowers each hit a single. Connor hit a double.

Lamont was the hard luck pitcher. She allowed nine hits, walked three and struck out four.

The Clippers had six errors. Solid in the field, the Blossoms, who brought everyone back from last season, only committed one error.

Maple River 12, Cleveland 8

Ahead 6-4 in the fourth, the Clippers would have gotten out of the inning, but an error in the outfield handed Maple River a pair of unearned runs. After a hit batter and a pair of singles, the Eagles were up 8-6 and never looked back. Taking advantage of a pair of Clipper errors and two singles they padded their lead with four more runs in the seventh.

With two runs that resulted from three walks and a pair of errors, the Eagles went up 2-0 in the second, but Clippers responded right away when Lacey McCabe walked and scored when her sister Taylor gifted her with a triple. Taylor McCabe scored on an Anna Lamont single.

Continuing her hitting streak, Schipper led off the third with a single, advanced on a Flowers grounder, stole third and scored when a Connor hit caromed off the left fielder’s mitt. A Hollerich bunt single moved Connor to third. When the Eagles misplayed a Hollerich steal, Connor scored to for a 4-2 Clipper advantage.

Connor walked in the fifth, advanced on a Hollerich single and scored when Lilly Lamont hit into an error. Hollerich crossed the plate on a passed ball to put the Clippers in front 6-2.

Schipper led off the seventh with a homer, and Hollerich followed up with a double and scored on a Lilly Lamont single. With one out, Taylor McCabe hit into a fielder’s choice and advanced on an Anna Lamont single, but that was all the offense the Clippers could muster, and the Eagles held on to the triumph.

The Clippers had 10 hits, struck out eight times and walked three times. Three for four at the plate, Hollerich connected for two singles and a double. Connor airmailed a homer. Anna Lamont hit two singles. Taylor McCabe hit a double. Schipper, Lilly Lamont and Flowers each banged out a single.

Flowers went five and two-thirds innings before fielding errors pushed her over capacity. She struck out five, walked six, beaned one and gave up nine hits but only two earned runs.

Taking over, Lilly Lamont tossed an inning and a third. She allowed three hits and a pair of walks and also hit one Eagle batter.

The Clippers rolled over host Alden-Conger 26-6 yesterday (Monday) and will host Martin County West at 3:30 today.

Above: Kaitlyn Flowers winds up for a throw to first after a comebacker during the Maple River game.

Taylor McCabe fields grounderShortstop Taylor McCabe fields a grounder.

Cassandra Connor at thirdCassandra Connor at third winds up for a putout throw to first during the NRHEG game.
Ava Hahn winds upAva Hahn coils for a throw during the NRHEG game.

Keira Schipper tag Keira Schipper tags out a Blooming Prairie runner.
Lacey McCabe fields a grounder

Lacey McCabe fields a grounder hit to left field.