Skip to main content

Elk Grove Citizen

Herd Top Cardinals in Pre-League Game

Mar 28, 2024 10:37AM ● By By Alejandro Barron

Senior Addison Buckley slides into third for a triple at Elk Grove High School’s home diamond against the Laguna Creek Cardinals on March 19. Buckley went 1-3 with a triple and a run batted in (RBI). Photo by Alejandro Barron

ELK GROVE, CA (MPG) - The Elk Grove Thundering Herd took the victory at home over the Laguna Creek Cardinals by a score of 5-1 on March 19, ahead of both squad’s first league game of the year. 
Despite the score, the Herd had six hits to the Cardinals’ seven hits and this is something that coach Amanda Buck is looking to improve ahead of league play. 
“We want our one through nine hitters to be more consistent,” Buck said. “The top of our lineup are really coming through and the bottom of the lineup have their moments but I’d like them to be more consistent as we head into league because they are good hitters.” 
No one in the Herd lineup had a multi-hit game, yet senior Katelyn Maciel drove in three of the five runs with a 1-2 offensive performance with a double in three plate appearances as the other two runs were driven in by Kaylee Buck and Addison Buckley who each had a run batted in (RBI).
As for the pitching, Buck recognizes that her pitchers won’t overpower hitters as they’re spinners but are working to their strengths. 
Kaylee Buck started the game going five innings, allowing four hits and a run with two strikeouts as Madison Carda went two innings, allowing two hits with no runs and one strikeout. 
“They move the ball really well and they get us ground balls and weak fly balls so we just focus a lot on defense during practice so we’ve cleaned it up but we could clean it up a little bit more,” Buck said. 
The lone run for the Cardinals was driven in by junior Jazmine Johnson in the first inning as the Cardinals had put baserunners on early but couldn’t drive more runs in, allowing Kaylee Buck to settle in. 
For Cardinals head coach Travis Wardlaw, despite the loss and now 1-4 record, he set up their schedule to prepare them for the Metro and to anticipate the move to the Delta League next year. 
“This is a league we’re going to move into next year and we want to show we can compete and we lost a rough game to Sheldon earlier 8-1 and lost 5-1 to these girls (the Herd) and it’s a difference of a few plays here and there and that’s the game,” Wardlaw said. 
As far as the positives for Wardlaw and his team, Wardlaw said that he’s happy to see his players start to swing it and put the ball in play. 
After this victory, Buck is “confident” heading into league play, especially with her pitching. 
“Madison pitched almost every inning in league last year so it’s nice to have Kaylee now to help with the innings so we don’t have to put so much on her back but she did an awesome job in league last year and she got stronger this year,” Buck said. 
Experience is key as Buck said she has six seniors leading the way offensively for this team.
“I feel really confident as I have six seniors and they’re seeing the ball really well and hitting the ball really well, pretty much leading my team right now in every offensive category and doing a great job on defense, so I feel confident and feel like we can make some noise,” Buck said. 
The Herd moves to 6-4 overall ahead of their first league game of the year, while the Cardinals fall to 1-4 overall ahead of their league opener. H