Win over Chadron came at one of few home appearances
By Jan Schultz
The Imperial Republican
Chase County’s varsity softball team picked up its second win of the season Friday afternoon against Chadron.
And, Chase County’s 12-4 victory came on the Imperial field after a shortened, five-inning game.
The game also avenged a two-run loss to Chadron less than a week earlier at the Scottsbluff tournament where games were on a time limit.
Coach Denise Smith said her team’s defensive play was key in the Chadron win last week. Shortstop Abbi Vetter and catcher Ally Vrbas had great days on the field for the Lady Longhorns, she said, with several put-outs.
Chase County cut their number of errors to just two in the game, an area Smith said has plagued her team this season.
Imperial only trailed once in the game, 2-1, at the end of three innings.
But, Chase County’s fourth and fifth innings combined for 11 total runs, allowing just two more across the plate for Chadron as the Lady Longhorns took the 12-4 win.
Chase County was also helped by eight Chadron errors and a pitcher who walked six including the final base on balls to Vetter, which walked in Chase County’s winning run.
Chadron outhit Chase County seven to five in the game, but the Lady Longhorns were able to better capitalize after reaching base.
Earning hits, all singles, were Anna Bauerle, Michaela Space, Vetter, Claire Kuenne and Emma Mollendor.
Bauerle was on the mound for the five-inning game, striking out one, walking three and giving up seven hits.
Chadron is 6-13 on the season. Five of their wins have been against Alliance, the other team Chase County has defeated this season.
Chase Co. 1 0 0 5 6—12
Chadron 0 1 1 0 2— 4
Gering showed why they have an 18-3 record this week as they defeated Chase County in a pair of games Sept. 11 in Gering.
Chase County was blanked in the first game 10-0, then lost 13-3, both after four innings.
Jodi Koellner and Vetter each singled in the first game, but were left on base.
Bauerle was on the mound for just two-thirds of an inning after suffering a slight ankle injury as she fielded the ball. She had no walks or strikeouts, and gave up two hits.
Cassie Burpo finished the game, striking out one, walking six and giving up four hits. The team had four errors.
Chase Co. 0 0 0 0— 0
Gering 4 1 4 1—10
Bauerle was able to return to the mound in the second game, but Smith used a courtesy runner when she reached base, which she did twice on a single and double.
Earning Chase County’s other two hits in the game, both singles, were Burpo and Koellner.
Bauerle struck out one, walked one and gave up eight Gering hits.
Smith said they played better the second game, but eight errors were too many against a solid Class B team.
Chase Co. 0 0 3 0— 3
Gering 2 2 2 7—13
The Lady Longhorns were up early Saturday, leaving Imperial at 3:15 a.m. for the Grand Island Northwest tournament.
They had hoped for a win at the tourney, but finished 0-3.
Coach Smith said her team played their best game of the day at their opener, a 14-9 loss to Hastings Adams Central.
After a scoreless first for Chase County, Adams Central put across five in their first at-bat. But, Chase County then responded with four runs in the second and one in the third to trail just 5-6 after three.
In the fourth, the Lady Longhorns added three more and led 8-6 before Adams Central came up to bat. But that proved deadly for Chase County as they committed nine errors that inning as Adams Central scored eight, taking a 14-8 lead on just three hits.
Chase County’s additional run in the fifth wasn’t enough as the game ended on time limit. Space led Chase County’s hitting with two singles. Also singling were Vetter and Burpo.
Bauerle struck out one, walked three and gave up eight hits.
Chase Co. 0 4 1 3 1— 9
Adams Central 5 1 0 8—14
Chase County had five hits but couldn’t string them together for enough runs as they lost 11-4 in the second game against Central City.
Smith said Central City was beatable, but Chase County also left six runners on base. They also had too many pop-ups at the plate.
Singles were hit by Burpo, Vrbas, Koellner, Vetter and Jasmine Laird.
Bauerle struck out two, walked three and gave up 10 hits in the loss.
Chase Co. 1 0 2 1 0— 4
Central City 4 4 1 2—11
In their last game, Chase County dropped a 14-4 game to Southern Valley.
Chase County cut their errors considerably to four this game, but a hard-hitting So. Valley team tallied 13 hits.
The Lady Longhorns allowed seven runs in the third inning and couldn’t dig out of the hole after that, Smith said.
Vrbas had a good day at the plate with three singles. Bauerle added two singles and Space also singled.
Bauerle struck out one, walked two and gave up 13 hits.
Chase Co. 2 2 0 0— 4
So. Valley 3 0 7 4—14
After hosting Cozad Tuesday for their final game at home, the Lady Longhorns will be in Ogallala today (Thursday) for a pair of games in the Gothenburg varsity tournament.
Smith said eight teams will be at the tournament, and each will play two games on four fields.
Chase County will face Gothenburg at 3 p.m. followed by a game against McCook.
Other teams at the tourney, scheduled in a more central location at Ogallala, include Scottsbluff, Gering, Chadron, Southern Valley, Cozad, Ogallala and Gothenburg.
On Saturday, the varsity team will travel to Scottsbluff for a double-header starting at 12 noon.
The JVs will have a double-header at McCook on Monday, Sept. 24, starting at 4 p.m. MT.