Bulldogs softball team looks for strong season
     2013-08-22      By Jerry Purvis    news@geringcitizen.com
Photo by Jerry Purvis/Gering Citizen - Members of the 2013 Lady Bulldogs softball team are, from left: Front row – Isabel Wolf, Shelby Schanaman, Crysta Johnston and Alexa Longoria. Second row – Ciera Booker, McKayla Butler, Isabel Thompson, Jessica Rogers, Dakota Wademan, Chelsey Mannel, Brooke Doggett and Anastacia Carabajal. Third row – Kiersten Newton, Haylee Duych, Katherine Martinez, Makena Copsey, Bailey Chamness and Raemona Borgmail. Back row – Jazmine Booker, Allie Wilson, Annessa Escamilla, Kaylee Bohnsack and Jacey Marietta.  
Judging from last year’s performance, the 2013 Gering Lady Bulldog softball team should be the one to beat this season.
Last year, the team went 21 – 7 and was the top seed going into the district tournament. Then their starting pitcher suffered an injury. Although the pitching remained solid, the loss took its toll on the team.

“We just fell short in districts,” said assistant coach Jill Trautman. “The season didn’t end the way we wanted, but we left the bar hanging high for us this year.”

Five of the returning varsity players include Jessica Rogers, Isabel Thompson and McKayla Butler, who all played this summer for the Twisters. That team won the Nebraska State Softball Tournament in the 16 and under division. They also placed second and fifth in two other national tournaments while winning 82 of their 92 games over the summer.

“I’m really noticing the effort and hard work on team early on,” Trautman said. “They’re ready to play come games.”

A new opponent is on the Lady Bulldogs schedule this year – an away game at Aurora. “It’s good to get some of the eastern Nebraska teams on the schedule,” she said. “The school wants us to be competitive not only in the Panhandle, but also across the state.”

Because of how the schedule was drawn up, the Lady Bulldogs will play only three home games this season.

The City of Gering and the Gering School District has been working over the summer to get a new field ready in Oregon Trail Park near the swimming pool.

“We’ve never really had a home field,” Trautman said. “We played at the Carpenter Center last year and that’s a men’s slow-pitch field. We could never hit over the fence home runs because of the distance. This year we have a regulation size fence, so I’m looking for a slugfest every so often. I’m also excited that we’re in Gering in a nice central location.”

Softball Schedule

Friday, Aug. 23
Invitational @ Aurora vs. St. Paul – 4:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Aug. 27
Doubleheader @ Scottsbluff – 5 p.m.

Saturday, Aug. 31
Invitational @ Holdrege – 9 a.m.

Tuesday, Sept. 3
Home vs. Alliance – 6 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 7
Invitational @ McCook – 9 a.m.

Tuesday, Sept. 10
Home vs. Chadron – 6 p.m.

Friday – Saturday, Sept. 13 – 14
Invitational @ Scottsbluff – TBA

Tuesday, Sept. 17
Doubleheader @ Chase County – 4:30 p.m.

Thursday, Sept. 19
Home vs. Scottsbluff – 6:45 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 21
Invitational @ North Platte – noon

Tuesday, Sept. 24
Away @ Chadron – 6 p.m.

Thursday, Sept. 26
Away @ Ogallala vs. Southern Valley and Cozad – 3 p.m.

Tuesday, Oct. 1
Away @ Alliance – 6 p.m.

Thursday – Friday, Oct. 10 – 11
Districts – TBA

Wednesday – Friday, Oct. 16 – 18
State Tournament – TBA



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