By Jan Schultz
The Imperial Republican
After the past two seasons without a varsity win, the Lady Longhorns put one in the “W” column Friday at the Scottsbluff Softball Tournament.
Coach Denise Smith said it was good to close out the first of two days of tournament play on Friday with their win over Alliance.
Chase County’s JV team also picked up its first win in a game against Scottsbluff JVs before the varsity’s win on Friday.
The Lady Longhorn varsity team finished 1-4 in tournament play, while the JVs had a 1-2 record. Teams had an hour and a half time limit in the tournament games.
Anna Bauerle was on the mound for Chase County in all five varsity games, and Coach Smith said she did a great job. She and third basemen Jodi Koellner were named to the all-tournament team.
Bauerle, in addition to pitching all games, had a .308 batting average. Koellner finished with a .231 average. Both players also had the team’s only doubles in tournament play.
All-tournament team players are chosen based on the team’s record in the tourney and also on a ranking made by their own coaches.
It was a tough first outing Friday for the Lady Longhorns varsity as they dropped a 14-2 game to Scottsbluff in four innings.
For three innings, Chase County stayed with Scottsbluff, trailing just 6-2 after three. But, they gave up a bad fourth inning when eight Scottsbluff runs were scored.
Scottsbluff finished with 14 hits. Smith said several bloopers just out of the infield were among those hits. Seven Chase County errors also hurt.
Five hits, all singles, were tallied by Cassie Burpo, Koellner, Michaela Space, Abbi Vetter and Claire Kuenne.
In Bauerle’s four innings of work, she walked one, struck out none and gave up 14 hits.
Chase Co. 0 2 0 0— 2
Scottsbluff 1 4 1 8—14
This was one they should have won, according to Coach Smith, but the tournament time limit forced the game to end after six innings with Chadron winning, 10-8.
Chase County had a 3-0 lead after their first at-bat, but had another bad inning on defense when Chadron scored seven in the third. The Lady Longhorns scored four in the fifth. Both teams were scoreless in the final sixth inning when time expired.
Chadron outhit Chase County 11 to six, and also had just one error to seven for the Lady Longhorns.
Hitting for Chase County were Bauerle, a single and double; and singles from Burpo, Ally Vrbas, Space and Kuenne.
Bauerle struck out three, walked three and gave up 11 hits.
Chase Co. 3 0 1 0 4 0— 8
Chadron 1 0 7 1 1 0—10
A big sixth inning for Chase County pulled them out of a 7-4 deficit to defeat Alliance 12-7 in Friday’s nightcap, marking their first win of the season.
Chase County held a 2-0 lead after three as Alliance sent just three batters to the plate each of those innings, but Alliance put together several hits to score seven in the next two to take a 7-4 lead.
But, the Lady Longhorns took advantage of Alliance’s struggling pitcher late in the game to put eight across in the final inning to capture their first varsity victory.
Bauerle had a good night on the mound, striking out eight, walking none and giving up six hits.
Hitting for Chase County in the game were Koellner, single and double; Space, two singles; and Bauerle, a single.
Chase Co. 1 1 0 2 0 8—12
Alliance 0 0 0 3 4 0— 7
Chase County faced two tough teams on Saturday, losing to Gering and Gothenburg, as the Lady Longhorns couldn’t come up with any runs.
In the first, Chase County lost to Gering 13-0 in a three-inning game. Coach Smith said they again had too many errors, mostly throwing in this game.
Bauerle and Vrbas each singled in the game in Chase County’s 11 at-bats. Gering, with a 13-2 record this week, had six hits.
On the mound, Bauerle struck out one, walked one and gave up the six hits.
Chase Co. 0 0 0— 0
Gering 2 4 7—13
Chase County had no hits and had just two runners reach base on errors in a 10-0 loss to 12-2 Gothenburg in their last game Saturday. The game ended after four innings.
Coach Smith said errors were down, but five are still too many.
Bauerle struck out two, walked three and gave up eight hits.
Chase Co. 0 0 0 0— 0
Gothenburg 5 2 0 3—10
Busy week ahead
After traveling to Gering Tuesday, Chase County has a busy week ahead.
On Friday, they will host Chadron for one varsity game starting at 4 p.m. Coach Smith is hoping for a good contest Friday, after playing Chadron very close at last weekend’s tourney. Chadron is playing just the one game here Friday as they travel to the North Platte Classic on Saturday.
The Lady Longhorns will be on the road Saturday to the Grand Island Northwest Tournament, where they will play three games. Chase County will face Adams Central in their first outing at 9 a.m. CT. See the bracket for more information.
On Tuesday, Sept. 18, Cozad will be in town for Chase County’s last home appearance this season. The pair of varsity games also includes Parents’ Night activities.
Games start at 3:30 p.m., and the Parents’ Night events will be held in between the two games, said Coach Smith.