Record at 2-3 after opening week of play
By Russ Pankonin
The Imperial Republican
Chase County’s Longhorn softball team started the season off right, winning both games of a double header Tuesday, Aug. 27.
The girls traveled to Southern Valley where they faced Blue Hill in the season opener.
They came away with a 10-8 win with some strong pitching and solid hitting, Coach Denise Smith said.
Anna Bauerle gave up no walks and struck out two in the sweltering heat.
Smith said they placed a 90- minute time limit on both games due to the extreme heat.
The Longhorns built a four- run lead after three innings. Blue Hill came back with four runs in the fourth to tie the game.
The Longhorns answered in the fifth with four more runs. They added two more insurance runs in the top of the seventh that proved to be the difference.
Those two runs proved crucial as Blue Hill added one in the sixth and three more in the seventh.
The Longhorns escaped with the 10-8 win with bases loaded in the final inning.
Claire Kuenne went 2-4 at the plate. Ally Vrbas and Cassie Burpo added a pair of RBIs to make the difference.
In the nightcap, the Longhorns came out on top with a 16-6 win over Southern Valley on the road.
Smith said SV went through four pitchers, who all struggled finding the strike zone. The Longhorns took advantage en route to the win.
Ally Vrbas went 2-2 at the plate, driving in three runs. She also advanced to first on a pair of walks.
Jodi Koellner went 2-3 at the plate with two RBIs.
The Longhorns scored six in the top of the second, seven in the third and added three more in the fourth for the 16-6 win.
On Thursday, the girls returned to Southern Valley for another double header.
In the opener, SV got their revenge, handing the Longhorns a 4-11 loss.
The Longhorns could only score four runs while leaving nine runners on base.
Smith said the girls didn’t make some of the best decisions, on both the bases and defensively in the field.
In the nightcap, the Longhorns never got the bats going, falling to Grand Island Central Catholic 15-0.
The Longhorns stayed within three runs after three innings but gave up five runs in the fourth and another seven in the top of the fifth.
Vrbas led the team, going 2-3 at the plate.
The Longhorns played host to the softball team from Perry, Okla., on Saturday.
Imperial native Bryan Hayes coaches the team and brought them up for a trio of games Friday and Saturday.
In Saturday’s game, the Longhorns remained in it after trailing by just one, 2-1, after three.
Perry added two more in each the fourth, fifth and one each in the sixth and seventh innings for the win.
Vrbas led the team at the plate with a 2-3 effort. Destiny Reinke was the only other girl with a hit, coming in the third inning.
On Tuesday, the Longhorns played host to Holyoke for a double header and will travel to Wray, Colo., today for another double header.
The Longhorns will return to the home diamond next Tuesday. Sept. 19 when they play host to Wray.