Culver softball team had just what it wanted in the bottom of the ninth inning against Salem Academy.
   The Bulldogs' best hitter, Maria Ruiz, was up with a runner on base in Thursday's 2A/1A Special District 3 game. Ruiz came up with one out in the 10-10 game and Lindsay Meeks on first via an error.
   The junior drilled a line drive into left center which bounced up against the fence. Meeks beat the throw home as Ruiz was standing on third.
   "Lindsay had to go home since Maria was right behind her," Culver coach Kevin Urbach said.
   The 11-10 victory was the Bulldogs' third straight in league play. Culver also won at Blanchet, 7-4, on Tuesday, April 1. The league winning streak ended with a loss at Scio on Saturday in a game of league unbeaten teams.
   Culver has another showdown looming against league leader Kennedy on Tuesday, April 15. The Trojans are unbeaten this season after winning the Special District 3 title last season and advancing to the state 2A/1A quarterfinals last season.
   "They didn't graduate many players from that team," Urbach said. "Then, it seems not very many players from last season's good teams graduated."
   Before hosting Kennedy, the Bulldogs traveled to Delphian (in Sheridan) on Saturday. Culver also hosted Western Mennonite on Tuesday, April 8.
   Culver 11, Salem Academy 10: This game had an unusual linescore with each team scored 10 runs in the first four innings with 19 errors contributing to the scoring.
   "It was a strange game," Urbach said. "Both teams had plenty of errors early and then tightened up their defenses."
   During the big innings, Delta Symons hit two doubles and drove in two runs. Alysha Urbach also hit a double.
   Culver 7, Blanchet 4: A five-run sixth inning was the difference in this road victory. The Bulldogs trailed 4-2 before the big inning.
   Amanda Treadway, Kayley Cook and Urbach had two hits each. Urbach also drove in three runs.
   Scio 14, Culver 2: Traveling over an icy pass and arriving four minutes before the scheduled 1 p.m. start was a factor in the loss, Urbach said.
   So were the Loggers' big hitters. Scio drilled a grand slam, three-run homer and solo homer in the big win.
   "They have hitters," Urbach said. "The next time we face them, we'll have a much better idea of how to pitch against them."
   Plus, Urbach added, the Bulldogs will give themselves adequate time to warm up. Culver arrived just before 1 with the game starting at 1:30.
   "At first, we were told we would be allowed all the warmup time we needed," Urbach said. "Then, we were told the game was going to start at 1:30."
   The game itself was played in rain on a slick field with the Bulldogs "sliding all over the place," Urbach said. "It wasn't our best game, but I'm happy with being 3-1 in league."
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