Butler paces Bulldogs past Cards after Gering takes tourney runner-up
     2014-09-11      By Terry Gaston    sports@geringcitizen.com
Photo by Philip Eckerberg/for the Citizen - Gering sophomore Allie Wilson scores a run after being brought in with a three-run homerun by senior Mikayla Butler in the fourth inning. The Lady Bulldogs defeated Chadron 8-1 on Tuesday in the first home game of the season. 
Following a second-place finish in the perennially strong McCook Invitational softball tournament on Saturday, Gering coach Tim Gonzales wanted to see the Bulldogs get a quick start offensively – something Gering could have used in the championship game against the host Bison.

After allowing visiting Chadron a first-inning run Tuesday night, Gering answered with two runs, beginning a run of eight unanswered scores to take an 8-1 victory in the Buldogs’ home opener at their new field at Oregon Trail Park.

Gering Activities Director Glen Koski has unofficially dubbed Jack M

What was official was that senior pitcher Mikayla Butler made a huge name for herself on Gering’s new field, both from the circle and at the plate. Butler drove home five runners and held Chadron (2-6) to no earned runs and three hits with five strikeouts and one walk over six innings while going 2-for-4 with a single and three-run home run.

“The main thing we wanted to get better at is coming out and getting going quicker,” said Gonzales, whose team was shut out of the first inning in all three games at McCook and scored just three total in the first three innings combined.

“Our girls can hit the ball, and anyone can see that plain as day. It’s just that we like to get started quicker.”

Butler drove home the game-tying run on a sacrifice fly, which brought home senior Isabel Thompson after she opened with a single. Senior Ciera Booker, who drew a walk following Thompson’s single, then scored on junior Brooke Doggett’s single to left field.

Butler picked up RBI No. 2 when she drove home Booker, who opened the bottom of the third with a triple to center field.

In the fourth inning, sophomore Allie Wilson drew a one-out walk and Thompson

was hit by a pitch, setting up Butler’s three-run homer for a 6-1 Gering lead.

“Mikayla was lights out, and then she was hot with the bat again,” Gonzales said of Butler. “She is spreading her wings and is playing hard.”

In the fifth, junior Raemona Borgmann singled home sophomore Kaylee Bohnsack. A Chadron error also brought home Bulldog freshman Kaetlyn Todd.

The Bulldogs could have ended the game in the bottom of the sixth, when Thompson was on third base and Doggett drove a hard single into right field. Gonzales opted to keep Thompson on third, which brought senior Dakota Wademan to the plate. Otherwise, the game would have ended on run rule.

“I wanted to get another batter get some looks,” Gonzales said of holding Thompson at third and bringing Wademan up as a pinch hitter. “No disrespect to the other team, I just wanted to see how another batter of ours and see how she would perform.”

Wademan flied out but made a nice play in right field in the top of the seventh inning to help keep Chadron off the scoreboard and complete a definite team effort for the Bulldogs (10-3). Doggett finished the night going 3-for-4 at the plate.

“We talked about all the performances we had, and we even had some subs come in make some nice plays,” Gonzales said of the team’s postgame conference. “(Sophomore) Jacey Marietta came in (to pitch in the seventh), Chadron’s a good-hitting team, then Dakota Wademan snags a hard line drive and Annessa Escamilla gets a shot hit to her (in center).”

The win came after Gering softball team scored a pair of late-inning rallies in making the championship game at the McCook Invitational on Saturday.

The Bulldogs scored runs in their last at-bat to edge Holdrege 5-4 in their opener. Then Gering scored seven runs in the fifth inning of its 7-4 semifinal win over North Platte.

The Bulldogs, while making the championship game of the tournament for the first time in at least 10 years, were downtrodden by McCook early on the Bison’s way to a 12-2 title-clinching victory.

Butler was down to her last strike against Holdrege when she doubled home the tying and winning runs.

Bohnsack had two hits against Holdrege and Isabel Thompson added a double in the eventual victory.

Butler earned the pitching win by striking out six Bison and allowing just three hits in the six-inning game.

In the semifinals, North Platte built a 3-0 lead after its half of the fifth inning before Gering erupted for all seven of its runs to take the victory away from the Class A Bulldogs. Seven different Gering batters recorded a hit apiece, with Doggett and Bohnsack both driving in two runs apiece with their respective doubles.

Butler again went the six-inning distance in the pitcher’s circle to score her eighth win of the season. Butler allowed just one earned run on eight hits and struck out two.

In the final, however, Gering mustered just one hit, by Doggett, while McCook scored five runs in each of the first two innings to score a four-inning victory.

Doggett and freshman Paige Patterson scored the Bulldogs’ two runs against the Bison.
Gering next plays in the Scottsbluff Invitational on Friday and Saturday. The Bulldogs’ schedule for Friday has them playing Chadron again at 9 a.m., Alliance at 1:30 p.m. and Gothenburg at 7:30 p.m.

On Saturday, Gering takes on Chase County at 10:30 a.m., Scottsbluff in the tournament finale at 4:30 p.m.

Bearcats rebound with 12-0 win over Alliance

Scottsbluff lost three games against a strong field of teams at the Norfolk Invitational on Saturday, but the Bearcats rebounded Tuesday with a 12-0, three-inning victory at home over Alliance.

Scottsbluff (4-7) got a one-hit pitching performance from senior Mikayla Fulk, who limited the Bulldogs to one hit and struck out three while she walked none. Lou Ramirez, Hannah Brown and Zoe Holscher combined for six hits and six RBI for the Bearcats.

The Bearcats opened the Norfolk tournament against Omaha Marian. Marian hit three home runs and four doubles in a 12-0 win. Scottsbluff’s lone hit came from Chloey Reifschneider, who also had a stolen base.

In their next game, the Bearcats lost a 7-2 decision to Norfolk. Holscher finished with a double for Scottsbluff and Shelby Trussel added a single. Holscher and Brown each scored one run. Holscher, Brown and Tiersa Darley all recorded one stolen base each.

Against another Class A opponent in the finale, Scottsbluff dropped a 13-8 setback to Kearney.

Despite the loss, Scottsbluff pounded out 10 hits. Twice the Bearcats trailed Kearney through the first four innings before rallying to even the score. Kearney took control of the game with six runs in the top of the fifth.

Barbara Calvert led Scottsbluff offensively by going 3-for-3 with a triple, three runs scored and three runs batted in. Brown and Trussel both added two hits each for the Bearcats, including a double each. Brown drove in two runs.

Reifschneider also finished the game with a pair of runs batted in. Erin Willats had one run batted in.
Brown struck out two in her pitching effort.

The Bearcats will open Scottsbluff Invitational play in a rematch against Alliance at 9 a.m. They then will play Chase County at 10:30 a.m. and face Gothenburg at 1:30 p.m.

On Saturday, Scottsbluff resumes action by facing Chadron at 1:30 p.m. before it concludes tourney play against Gering at 4:30 p.m.

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