Tough mental prep gives Gering edge
     2016-09-30      By Bonnie Fox    editor@geringcitizen.com
Gering junior Kenzie Schlaepfer threatens to steal home during the Bulldogs scuffle last Tuesday night against Alliance. The Gering girls clenched the 6-5 win in a nail-biter ending regular season play. 
Team endurance brought the Gering girls’ varsity softball team its final win of the regular season Tuesday night against Alliance, on their home diamond, with nail-biting, seesaw action.

Jacey Marietta, senior pitcher played a big role in securing the 6-5 win. “I wanted this win really bad, I have been preparing myself all week,” she said. Marietta, who had been injured, successfully changed her pitching. “Jacey had faith in the new wind up and believed she could do it,” said Coach Tim Gonzales. “She performed well, with 8 strike outs and only 1 walk, for the night.” Marietta allowed five hits.

The early part of the game was a battle of the pitchers. Neither team could get anything going for a score. The bats got hot for Gering during the bottom of the third. A double by senior Kaylee Bohnsack brought two runs. There was no score for Alliance during the fourth inning.

In the bottom of the fourth, Gering junior Tori Hoagland stole home after a wild pitch, bringing the score 3-0 at the top of the fifth. Alliance freshman, Erika Bucy hit a double to get to second base, while teammate sophomore Liz Johnson smacked a double of her own, allowing Bucy to score. Gering did not score in the fifth inning.

Alliance generated momentum with a 3-run rally, due to Gering errors, leaving Alliance up 4-3 but Gering responded with their bats, answering with another three scores. Starting the seventh at 6-4, Alliance did their best to muster a rally, and with good base running scored one. With two outs for the inning, Alliance made a valiant hit to centerfield to reach a tie, but hopes were dashed when it was caught by Gering, clenching a Bulldog win.

“I thought coming in to this game, it would be tough and we needed to play tough,” Marietta said. “When we stay up and play as one we can win.”

Districts will be the next challenge for the Gering Bulldogs. Coach Gonzales said the team is “looking for a good safe week of practice. Hitting on all cylinders for districts.” He is ready to have his team healthy and in good shape. Kaitlyn Todd has been cleared for play, and is “definitely ready to go to districts. Todd said she is “glad to be back in uniform and with my team.” Jessica Svoboda is also back after her concussion.

The Twin Cities, Gering and Scottsbluff, will host district play, Oct. 6-7.

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