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Gering softball edged in Aurora final
August 27, 2015 Frank Marquez   

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The Gering softball team made it all the way to the championship for the Aurora High School varsity tournament before running out of gas against Cozad, losing a tough matchup to the Haymakers, 5-2, on Sunday.

In that final, “we were really close up to the 5th inning,” said Head Coach Tim Gonzales. After the tourney’s first two games, Gering’s bats went silent. “We didn’t show up to hit.”

Gonzales had a positive assessment of the girls’ performance in the tournament overall. “They were mentally prepared,” he said. “It was an awesome feat in making it to the championship. Take nothing away from Cozad. They are a great team. We’ll probably see them again at the Holdrege tourney.”

But before this weekend’s eight-team tourney hosted by the Holdrege Dusters, Gering (2-1) will first take on the Scottsbluff Bearcats Thursday at a 7 p.m. away game. “No matter what, it’s a real good matchup, and rivalry,” Gonzales said.

At Aurora, Gering was quick out of the gate in the first game against the host Huskies. The Bulldogs armed with hot bats notched a 9-1 victory. “We hit the ball really well,” Gonzales said. “We had more errors than what I like to see. The good thing, it was their first game in the first tournament of the season. The girls showed how determined they were, having more than enough offense to make up for the defense.”

That offense came from Tori Hoagland’s triple, Kaetlyn Todd’s double and a triple, and Taylor Evans’ grand-slam homer.
Advancing to the second game, Gering topped the St. Paul Wildcats, 6-5, squeaking by with enough offense in the late innings. “The first part, we went up 3-0, and kept chipping away. They blanked us for about two innings.”

Again, Gering was plagued by errors. The Bulldogs committed seven. “Sophomores make up nearly half the team. We have two seniors, three juniors, and one freshman,” Gonzales said. “We’re very young, but committing errors was part of it. Looking at the stats, we should have lost. The girls proved me wrong. They came out to play. I’m very proud of them in that sense.”

Gonzales started out with pitcher Jacey Marietta, who “never got behind. Then I substituted Haylee Duyck to change the moment, which worked. And, we ended up stomping them. It worked in our favor.”
Against the Wildcats, Evans led the offensive hitting a solo homer.
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