By Jan Schultz
The Imperial Republican
It’s the best record this early in the season that CCS Softball Coach Denise Smith has experienced in her tenure at the helm.
Their four wins last week, two against Holyoke and two from Southern Valley, bumped the Lady Longhorn record to 6-3 as they prepared for another busy week.
In two of the games last week, Chase County was able to give starting pitcher Anna Bauerle a break when Coach Smith started a pair of freshman hurlers.
She hopes the good play her team has been exhibiting so far this season will continue this weekend at the Scottsbluff tournament.
In Scottsbluff, Chase County will play five varsity and two JV games Friday and Saturday.
The varsity’s first game is against Class B Gering at 9 a.m. Friday. The Chase County JVs take the field at 3 p.m. Friday against Scottsbluff JV.
Two teams from Chase County’s district will be in Scottsbluff—Chadron and Gothenburg. Smith said it will be good to get an early look at them both.
Following the seven games this weekend, the Lady Longhorns will be home next week when they’ll see Gering and Chadron again.
Gering is here Tuesday, Sept. 17, for a varsity double-header starting at 4:30 p.m. Chadron will be here next Friday, Sept. 20, for a single varsity game at 4 p.m.
The closest game of the week for Chase County was their first one with Holyoke last Tuesday, Sept. 3.
Holyoke scored one in their first at-bat, and Chase County couldn’t get on base in the first as they struggled with a slower pitcher at the plate.
It was back-and-forth after that but Chase County tied it up 5-5 in the bottom of the sixth.
It looked bleak for the Lady Longhorns after Holyoke scored four in the seventh, but Chase County put up six in their half, helped by three walks and three hits, to win the game 11-9.
Holyoke outhit Chase County eight to seven.
Earning hits for the Lady ‘Horns were Josie Peterson, single, double; Ally Vrbas, two singles; Jodi Koellner, double; and singles from Cassie Burpo and Abbi Vetter.
Anna Bauerle pitched all seven innings, striking out five and walking seven.
Chase County won the second game on the 10-run rule, 14-4.
Eight runs by the Lady Longhorns in the fourth sealed the win in the shortened four-inning game.
Chase County had eight hits to Holyoke’s two.
Koellner led the offense with two singles. Also hitting were Anna Bauerle, double; and singles from Burpo, Vetter, Vrbas, Emma Mollendor and Becca Huicochea.
Katelyn Wheeler started the game on the mound and went two innings, giving up just one hit and walking one. Bauerle finished, also giving up a hit, striking out one and walking one.
So. Valley games
It was a pair of two easy wins against Southern Valley last Thursday in Chase County’s third trip there this season.
In the opener, Chase County blanked their hosts, 8-0.
The game was a slow one offensively the first four innings, as the Lady Longhorns held a slight 2-0 lead. But they scored three in the fifth and three more in the seventh to take the 8-0 win.
Chase County tallied seven hits in the game—two singles from Vetter, doubles by Jessica Hartman and Sarah Allen, and singles from Peterson, Claire Kuenne and Wheeler.
Bauerle had a great game on the mound, striking out five, walking none and giving up just one hit.
Coach Smith said the team played very well defensively behind their pitcher.
In game two, Chase County sent eight across the plate in the first inning and never looked back en route to a 16-5 win. Their scoring was helped by six walks and two hit batters.
So. Valley responded with just one in their first at-bat, then Chase County scored four more in the second inning to lead 12-1.
Again So. Valley was held to a single hit, while Chase County recorded seven, led by Anna Bauerle’s two singles. Also recording hits were Kuenne, triple; Wheeler, double; and singles from Brittanie Benge, Vetter and Mollendor.
Josie Peterson was on the mound for the first inning and a half, walking five, striking out none and giving up no hits. Bauerle finished the four inning game with four K’s, a walk and gave up one hit.