Bulldogs top ’Cats at Scottsbluff Invitational, 7-6
     2015-09-17      By Frank Marquez    editor@geringcitizen.com
Photos by Frank Marquez/Gering Citizen - Gering softball pitcher Halee Duyck picks up the win against rival Scottsbluff, notching eight strikeouts. 
Midway through the season, Gering finds itself in the “thick of things.” Last Friday and Saturday the Bulldogs played five games on a neutral field at the Scottsbluff Softball Invitational. After losing to Chadron, 14-4, and Gothenburg 5-3, but defeating Alliance 10-2, the team cruised on Saturday, trouncing Chase County (Class C) 15-0 in three innings, and edging arch rivals the Scottsbluff Bearcats, 7-6, in an afternoon affair.

With double-header wins of 10-2 in the first game, and 11-3 in the second game against Chase County Tuesday night, Gering’s varsity record improved to 13-7.
Head Coach Tim Gonzales has said his Gering Bulldogs have been competing in every game, although the team has battled injury and sickness among a few players. “We have a big varsity roster,” he said. “We have other girls who can come in and participate.”

So far this season, Gonzales has relied on third baseman Delaney Dean and catcher Kaetlyn Todd to power the Bulldogs. “They are game day ready every game. They have
been really strong for us,” he said. As offensive leaders, Dean has a .341 batting average with 14 hits, 10 RBIs and 10 runs so far this season. Todd has a .480 batting average, with 24 hits, 11 RBIs, and 17 runs. Todd has given a sterling performance behind the plate, snagging strays, and preventing opponents from advancing.
Although Dean was absent from the Scottsbluff Invitational All-Tourney Team roster, Todd, Taylor Evans, and Paige Peterson were named.

Last Saturday afternoon, Gering headed into the game against the Bearcats having won a game apiece in their series at an evening doubleheader on Aug. 27 at Scottsbluff. “We never take the matchup lightly,” Gonzales said. The outcome against tourney host Scottsbluff went six and half innings after Gering shut out Chase County, 15-0, after just three innings of play. In the early game, pitcher Jacey Marietta got the win, recording one strikeout.

In the afternoon game, the Bearcats jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning, pushing junior Tiersa Darley across the plate, as six Scottsbluff hitters chipped away at Gering pitcher Haylee Duyck, though she collected her first of eight strikeouts in the first inning. The Bulldogs were held scoreless.

In the second inning, Duyck found her rhythm, striking out Bearcat batters Devaney Halley, Emily Runk, and Alex Salazar in order, while Gering pushed two runners across home plate. Both Kaylee Bohnsack and Peterson scored, giving the Bulldogs a 2-1 lead.
Gering built on its lead in the third inning. This time, Duyck struck out Darley. The Bulldogs defense allowed only two other at-bats for Scottsbluff, while Todd and Evans scored runs, stretching their lead to 4-1.

In the fourth inning, the Bearcats made things interesting, coming back to tie the game at four runs apiece. Hailey Franklin, Halley, and Runk scored for Scottsbluff. The Bulldogs answered with three runs of their own. Duyck, Todd and Dean all plated for a 7-4 lead. It’s all Gering would need for the victory.
In the fifth inning, Scottsbluff tried to rally, but could only muster two more runs by Zoe Holscher and Franklin.

For Gering, Bohnsack, Todd, Peterson, and Evans, all had two hits. Peterson notched two triples, and Evans recorded two doubles. Overall, the team had a .423 batting average, recording only one error.

Gering will face Scottsbluff again tonight (Thursday, Sept. 17) before travelling to the North Platte tournament over the weekend. “We are heavy season mode, and we feel as though we’re in the thick of things,” Gonzales said. The Bulldogs may face the Cozad Haymakers − the only team to beat Gering twice this season.
Meanwhile the Bulldogs reserve took advantage of action at the Scottsbluff Invitational, defeating the Gothenburg Swedes’ JV, 17-10, Saturday morning.


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