Bearcats sweep Chase County, eye GNAC tourney
     2012-10-01      By Terry Gaston   
Photo by Sheila Weber/for the Citizen
Scottsbluff senior Brianna Fliam (No. 29) winds up for a fast pitch during a bout with Chase County on Saturday. The Lady Bearcats won the first game of the double header in three innings, with a score of 15-3.
 
SCOTTSBLUFF — Even when the Scottsbluff softball pitchers were having control issues and putting Chase County batters on base, the Bearcats simply overpowered the visiting Longhorns in taking a doubleheader sweep Saturday.

In the first game, Scottsbluff had eight extra-base hits and scored 11 first-inning runs, plenty to give senior pitcher Brianna Fliam a nice 10-run cushion, in scoring a 15-3, three-inning victory.

The second contest, a 15-6 Scottsbluff win in five innings, proved a little tougher when starting Bearcat sophomore pitcher Hannah Brown had to leave the game with injury issues after giving up nine walks in 1-1/3 innings with two strikeouts.

Fliam came back into the circle, threw a wild pitch that brought home two Chase County runs in giving up a walk, but she struck out her next hitter and forced a ground-out to escape the inning with a 7-5 Bearcat lead.

“We tried to work some things out getting ready for districts, and sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn’t,” said 11th-year Scottsbluff coach Kendall Vogel, who earlier in the week was rewarded with his 200th career win.

In the first game, Fliam struck out four Longhorns and walked just one while allowing six hits, all singles. She also hit one of Scottsbluff’s four doubles, driving home a run in the 11-run first inning.

But the Bearcats cranked four doubles and four triples off Longhorn pitcher Anna Bauerle, with Brown hitting a two-run triple and an RBI double in the inning.

Brown’s double gave Scottsbluff an 11-1 lead after 16 batters took to the plate, and the inning also included consecutive RBI triples by Bearcat seniors Kelsey Albright and Natalie Wooden.

Scottsbluff scored twice in the second inning on RBI singles by Wooden and senior Savanna Betancur.

After Chase County (2-22) had back-to-back RBI singles in the top of the third, Brown tripled home Zoey Rada, who led off the bottom of the third with a double. Brown then scored the game-ending run on an infield error off Fliam’s bat.

Brown was 3-for-3 with four RBI on two triples and a double and she scored twice. Wooden also was 3-for-3, with a triple, two RBI and two runs. Rada was 2-for-3 with a double, one RBI and three runs, while senior Marissa Yonts went 2-for-2 with a double, RBI and two runs.

“We were timing the girl really good the first game,” Vogel said of the Bearcats’ 15-hit assault off Bauerle.

But Longhorn left-hander Cassie Burpo gave the Bearcats a little more trouble in Game 2, while Brown continued to struggle in the pitching circle with injuries.

In her relief stint in Game 2, Fliam had three strikeouts and allowed two walks and Chase County its only hit of the game. By earning both victories, Fliam improved her record to 12-10 and had no errors committed behind her or Brown in either game.

“Bri I thought pitched really good, she was hitting her spots and throwing her pitches where we needed her to,” Vogel said of Fliam, who led off the game-clinching, four-run rally in the bottom of the fourth with a double and scored on an error. “And then the defense is playing well.

“The first game was a pretty complete game and we came out ready to go, and then we had a little trouble with the timing with the second game. But that’s part of it, we just need to adjust.”

Burpo limited Scottsbluff to eight hits in four innings, but her defense failed her with nine errors. For the Bearcats, Rada was 2-for-4 with a double and four RBI, while junior Mikka Salazar had a two-run single in the first inning and three RBI for the game.

The Bearcats (13-13) played at Chadron on Tuesday and are the host team for the Greater Nebraska Athletic Conference Tournament on Saturday. Play begins at 10 a.m. with two games each at the Bearcat complex and at Lacy Park. Semifinal action is set for noon, with the finals at 2 p.m.

“We’re just working out some things and we’re just trying to get better now every game until districts,” Vogel said of the District B-6 tournament, next Thursday and Friday in McCook. “We have some tough games coming up this week.”

Ogallala Invitational

Both Gering and Scottsbluff were winless in their two games each Thursday in the Ogallala Invitational.
Gering was tagged with a 15-3 loss to Cozad in three innings and an 11-5 setback to McCook.

Gering coach Molly Bonuchi said the losses, the first two in consecutive fashion for the Bulldogs (19-5) this season, would be used as a learning experience. Gering hoped to execute what it learned Thursday when the Bulldogs closed out its regular-season schedule Tuesday night against Alliance.

Against Cozad, Gering never recovered from the Haymakers’ 11-run first-inning rally. Cozad added four more runs in the second before the Bulldogs scored all three of their runs in the bottom of the second. The game ended after three innings on the run rule.

For Gering, which had six hits, senior Shayla Garetto and sophomore Jessica Rogers both were 2-for-2 at the plate. Garetto had two singles, scored one run and had one RBI. Rogers hit home a run as well, and sophomore Isabel Thompson had a triple and scored once.
Junior pitcher Alexa Longoria (4-2), who pitched both games, took the first loss after giving up 12 hits and five walks while she struck out two.

Garetto and senior Jennifer Barge both were 2-for-4 with two singles against McCook, which out-hit the Bulldogs 13-10. Barge scored a run and batted in another. Sophomore Brooke Doggett doubled home a run and classmate Cierra Booker singled home another.

Scottsbluff left the bases loaded three times in its 10-7 loss to Southern Valley and then was held to one run in a 3-1 loss to Cozad.
For the Bearcats, Fliam went the distance in pitching both games. Against Southern Valley, Fliam struck out five and gave up 12 hits in six innings. Against Cozad, she struck out five and allowed seven hits.

Salazar tagged Southern Valley with two hits and one RBI, while Yonts had a three-run triple in the seventh inning to help pull Scottsbluff to within three runs.

Against Cozad, Wooden had two singles and sophomore Lourdes Ramirez ripped a pinch-hit triple for Scottsbluff.

Earlier in the week...

Gering and Scottsbluff both earned easy road victories last Tuesday, with the Bulldogs smacking Chadron 15-1 in three innings and the Bearcats’ getting Vogel’s 200th career win by ripping Alliance 15-0 also in three innings.

For Gering, Thompson drove home five runs and finished the brief game by going 2-for-3 with a home run and one run scored.

In adding to the Bulldogs’ eight-hit assault, Barge was 2-for-2 with a double and two runs scored. Doggett had a double with three RBI and two runs scored, while junior Allison Witkofski had a double and RBI.

Longoria improved to 4-0 by allowing just one run and five hits with three strikeouts.

In Scottsbluff’s win over Alliance, Fliam went to the circle with a 10-0 lead and allowed just two hits with four strikeouts.
Salazar fueled the Bearcats’ offense by going 3-for-4 with a double and three RBI. Rada and senior Maggie VanAmburg had two hits apiece, with Rada driving in three runners and VanAmburg hitting home two teammates.

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