By Jan Schultz
The Imperial Republican
With a 2-24 regular season record, Chase County heads into this week’s District C-6 Softball Tournament as the No. 5 seeded team.
And with Chadron as its first opponent today (Thursday), Coach Denise Smith feels her team can win the opener in Gothenburg. Chadron is one of the two teams Chase County has beaten this season.
But, Smith coupled her comments with some concern that the Lady Longhorns be ready mentally.
“We looked sharp in our last outing” against Chadron, she said.
But, she added, “We need to be ready mentally and on top of our game. We can’t give them those extra runs and extra bases,” something that’s hampered her team in other contests this season.
Chase County lost to Chadron earlier in the season at the Scottsbluff tourney, then won a game against them less than a week later in Imperial.
Chadron, the No. 4 seed, is 8-17 this week. Gothenburg at 22-5 is the tournament top seed.
A win in the 10 a.m. CT opener Thursday will send Chase County into the 11:45 a.m. game against Gothenburg. If they lose, the Lady Longhorns have to wait almost four hours for the loser’s bracket contest.
Other teams in the tourney are No. 2 seed Blue Hill, 11-11, No. 3 Southern Valley/Alma, 16-12, No. 6 St. Paul, 3-21, and No. 7 Minden, 2-23.
Varsity games last week
The varsity team closed out its regular season last Thursday in a triangular with Holdrege and Grand Island Central Catholic (GICC), both Class B teams.
In the opener versus Holdrege, Chase County was held to two hits in a 9-0 loss.
Holdrege, 15-12 on the season, had just four hits in the game against four Chase County errors, but the difference in the game came on the mound.
Coach Smith said she started pitcher Cassie Burpo, in hopes that her slightly slower speed might throw off the Holdrege batters.
But, Burpo struggled, Smith said, walking six batters as Holdrege scored seven runs in the first inning. Pitcher Anna Bauerle came in with two outs in the first to finish the game.
Earning Chase County’s two hits were Ally Vrbas, who singled, and Bauerle with a double.
Bauerle had one strikeout, walked three and gave up three hits in the rest of the five-inning game. Burpo allowed one hit in her time on the mound.
Chase Co. 0 0 0 0 0—0
Holdrege 7 0 0 2 0—9
Against GICC, the Lady Longhorns dropped a 15-4 game.
It was a close game until the sixth, when GICC held a 7-4 lead. Chase County gave up eight runs in the sixth as they struggled with errors and pitcher Bauerle walked four.
GICC also tallied 11 hits in the game to Chase County’s four.
Hitting singles were Burpo, Bauerle, Michaela Space and Jodi Koellner.
Bauerle finished with five strikeouts, five walks and gave up 11 hits.
Chase Co. 2 1 0 1 0 0— 4
GICC 4 0 1 0 2 8—15
JV games at McCook
Chase County’s JVs dropped a pair of games to McCook Sept. 24 by scores of 15-1 and 10-2.
In the three-inning opener, Chase County recorded two hits from Vrbas and Emma Mollendor, both singles. The team committed six errors.
Burpo, on the mound, struck out one, walked 11 and gave up seven hits.
Chase Co. JV 0 0 0— 0
McCook JV 7 8 0—15
In game two, Chase County suffered a 10-2 loss.
The Lady Longhorns recorded five hits, all singles, from Jasmine Laird, Abbi Vetter, Vrbas, Koellner and Blair Hartman.
Bauerle pitched the four-inning game, striking out five, walking four and giving up six hits.
Chase Co. JV 1 0 1 0— 2
McCook JV 8 0 2 0—10