Gering girls charge full steam ahead
     2013-08-29      By Terry Gaston    sports@geringcitizen.com
Photo by Sheila Weber/for the Citizen - Gering senior Isabel Wolf slides into third base at Tuesday’s double opener against the Bearcats in Scottsbluff. Wolf hit a 2-run single in the first game, giving the Bulldogs a solid start, with a 19-7 final. The Lady Bulldogs clenched the second win at 12-0. 
Gering scores 19-7, 12-0 run-rule victories over Scottsbluff

SCOTTSBLUFF — The Twin Cities rivalry entered a sweltering dimension Tuesday night, and both Gering and Scottsbluff had their softball bats wielding early in the first game of their first-week doubleheader at a very toasty Bearcat Softball Complex.

The visiting Bulldogs jumped out to early leads in both games in sweeping Scottsbluff, but the first contest, a 19-7, six-inning slugfest, took two hours and 25 minutes to decide.

That loss may have taken a lot out of the Bearcats’ sails for the second game, which Gering took 12-0 in three innings and just about an hour of much cooler air.
In the first game, Gering (3-2) jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead, including a two-run single by senior Isabel Wolf, and built a 9-2 advantage after the first inning and a half. Scottsbluff put four runs up in the bottom of the second to close within 9-6.

“Overall, I’m very proud that we were able to get two wins,” Gering coach Molly Bonuchi said. “Even though we put up a lot of runs (in the first game), our tempo is not where it needed to be and that’s not the way we played.

After regaining a 12-7 lead through five toasty innings, the Bulldogs broke loose for seven runs in the top of the sixth and maintained the 12-run margin to end the game after six frames. Gering overcame five errors in earning the Game 1 victory.

The Bulldogs’ sixth-inning rally began with an RBI single by Wolf, a bases loaded walk by senior Shelby Schanaman, a walk by junior Isabel Thompson, a three-run double by junior Jessica Rogers and an RBI double by junior Brooke Doggett.

Rogers finished the game with three hits, four runs scored and five runs batted in, while Wolf was also 3-for-3 with five RBI and scored twice.
Doggett was 2-for-3 with two walks, three runs scored and her sixth-inning RBI. Thompson also scored three runs and Schanaman and junior Celia Booker scored twice apiece, and senior Alexa Longoria had two RBI.

Junior right-hander Mikayla Butler got the complete-game pitching victory despite allowing seven runs over six innings. Butler struck out five, walked two and scattered seven hits.
Scottsbluff (0-4) made the best of its offense, with senior Mikka Salazar getting the Bearcats on the board with her two-run home run in the first inning.

The Bearcats’ three-run rally in the third got them as close as 9-6. Junior Hannah Brown‘s two-run triple and an RBI single by Michelle Becker fueled Scottsbluff’s best offensive output of the night.
Junior Barbara Calvert had two of the Bearcats’ seven hits and scored three times after also gaining base on a hit by pitch.

“We were right there with them in the first game,” Scottsbluff coach Michael Gentry said. “But obviously it starts in the circle, and right now we need to find somebody who can consistently throw strikes.”

Rogers launched the Bulldogs’ offense in the second game with a towering home run — her third on the young season — that brought home junior Ciera Booker, who drew a one-out walk off starter Mikayla Fulk.

Longoria, who had walked, scored on Butler’s RBI single, and Longoria took the pitcher’s circle with a 3-0 lead. And that was all she would need, sparing Scottsbluff just two singles while striking out two and allowing just 11 Bearcat hitters to the plate in the three-inning contest.

“I’m going to look to go to Alexa as much as possible,” Bonuchi said. “She did a great job last year and she hasn’t done anything not to deserve to get the opportunity.
“Obviously Mik has been getting the first game and she is doing well also, But I told Alexa, ‘Be prepared, it’s not going to (always) be the Mikayla show,’ and I intend to have them splitting games all year.”

Gering sent 13 hitters to the plate in the second inning alone, with Booker getting the Bulldogs’ seven-run rally going with an RBI single that scored Thompson, who drew a leadoff walk. Booker then scored on Doggett’s sacrifice fly.
Rogers scored on a wild pitch after reaching on an error, a play that scored Longoria for a 7-0 Gering advantage. With the bases loaded, sophomore Haylee Duyck singled home Wolf and Butler reached home on the relay throw. Booker got her second single of the inning to score Duyck for a 10-0 lead.

“I felt like the second game is where we want to be,” Bonuchi said. “So now we’re starting to figure things out. We have those other four games under our belts, and hopefully we’ll just keep on going.”

Gering returns to action Saturday with tournament play at Holdrege. Then on Tuesday, the Bulldogs will have their first home date at their new home at Oregon Trail Park, taking on Alliance in a 6 p.m. contest.

Scottsbluff will travel to Boulder, Colo., to play in Boulder City’s tournament Friday and Saturday. The Bearcats will then visit Chadron on Tuesday.

“Right now, it’s all confidence and keeping their heads up,” Gentry said of finding the Bearcats some consistent success. “I believe in this team and we match up well fundamentally. We just need to find someone to throw strikes.”

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