As the Perry runner advances to third, Lauren Gockley fields a hard-hit grounder and threw out the batter at first. (Johnson Publications photo)

Senior Sydney Vetter has been handling the bulk of varsity pitching for the Lady Longhorns this season. Here, she winds up against Perry, Okla., Friday afternoon as first baseman Ryley Vrbas covers her position. (Johnson Publications photo)

Varsity softball picks up two wins in busy week

    Chase County picked up a pair of wins from Holyoke, Colo., when the Lady Dragons were in Imperial for a pair of varsity games Aug. 29.
    The Holyoke double-header included just two of six games played last week, five varsity contests and the first JV game of the season.
    The Lady Longhorns lost their other three varsity games to So. Valley and Perry, Okla., as well as the JV game with Perry.
    Action doesn’t ease up for the softball players either in their short, six-week season.
    After traveling to Wray, Colo., Tuesday, Chase County will compete in both varsity and JV divisions at the Scottsbluff Invitational Friday and Saturday. Here are Chase County’s game times:
Friday schedule:
    10:30 a.m. Varsity vs. Chadron
    12 noon Varsity vs. Scottsbluff
    4:30 p.m. Varsity vs. Gering
    6 p.m. JV vs. Gothenburg
Saturday schedule:
    9 a.m. JV vs. Alliance
    10:30 a.m. Varsity vs. Gothenburg
    12 noon JV vs. Scottsbluff
    1:30 p.m. Varsity vs. Alliance
    On Tuesday, Gering comes to town for a varsity double-header starting at 4:30 p.m. at Schroeder Park.
Holyoke games
    Chase County added two wins to its record with 9-1 and 11-3 victories over Holyoke.
    Holyoke was held to just one hit in the opener while Chase County racked up eight in the 9-1 win.
    One statistic that stood out to Coach Denise Smith was that lack of errors in the first game. That was complemented by eight strikeouts from pitcher Sydney Vetter, who walked just two Holyoke batters.
    Chase County racked up a 5-0 lead before Holyoke scored its only run in the fourth.
    Andrea Page led the offense for Chase County, going 3-3 with a pair of triples and a single. Credited with singles were Courtney Odens (2), Vetter, Valerie Herbert and Jade Allen.
    In the 11-3 win, Chase County had another good game at the plate with nine hits, led by Lauren Gockley, who went 3-3 with a trio of singles.
    Also scoring singles were Vetter (2), Page, Morayah Cupp, Ashlie Benge and Sadie Peterson.
    Vetter took the win again on the mound, striking out eight and walking one in six innings of work. She gave up four Holyoke hits.
    Smith said her team’s five errors in the second game was a negative. Most came from misplays in the outfield, she said.
    Several of the team’s younger players were able to see action in both Holyoke games.
So. Valley games
    Back on the road to So. Valley last Thursday, Chase County still found it difficult to find a win against the Lady Eagles.
    In the opener, a shortened five-inning game, Chase County took the 2-10 loss.
    So. Valley held just a 4-2 lead after three, but found their bats in the fourth, adding five more runs and another in the sixth.
    The Lady Longhorns committed five errors in the opener, some affected by high winds. But, So. Valley also tallied 12 hits.    
    Despite the loss, Coach Smith said she felt her team played So. Valley better. When they did hit, her players didn’t give up as many extra bases as they had in the three previous games the two teams have played.
    Imperial’s three hits in the contest came off a single and double from Page and a single from Vetter.
    On the mound, Vetter gave up two walks and struck out four.
    In the nightcap, Chase County battled for seven innings, eventually taking an 8-3 loss.

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