Gothenburg takes 3rd at McCook Invite
Bison beat Swedes in second round.
One that got away kept the Gothenburg softball team from competing in the finals of the McCook Invitational Saturday.
The Swedes opened with an easy win against Holdrege, but then lost a winnable game to the host Bison team. Gothenburg finished with a victory over North Platte to place third in the tournament.
The Swedes, 5-2, will try to avenge the loss to McCook with a home game Thursday against the Bison. Gothenburg faces an early start with a 10 a.m. game Friday at the Scottsbluff Invitational.
Dusters Fall 8-2
The key for this win was jumping off to a 5-0 lead sparked by Karen Franzen’s three-run double in the first inning.
The Swedes started the game with a ground out, but then the next five batters reached base and scored. Franzen’s bases-loaded double was the big blast.
“After that, honestly I felt the game was over,” Swede coach Roger Neujahr said. “When you go up 5-0 with our pitching we feel confident.”
The Dusters combined two singles and a double to score a pair of runs in the fourth inning.
Gothenburg answered with a three-run sixth inning to pull away. Alisha Ballmer’s double led off the rally. A couple of catcher’s errors extended the rally. Roni Putnam doubled to drive in two runs. A sacrifice fly scored the third.
While Bre Messersmith picked up the win throwing four innings, freshman Amanda Barkmeier slammed the door on the Dusters. She fanned seven batters in two innings (one strikeout victim reached on a catcher’s error).
Of the Swedes’ seven hits, four were doubles.
Bison Defeat Swedes 4-1
Some times the little things do make a difference. Gothenburg learned that in a 4-1 loss to McCook.
We gave up the fewest hits in the tournament against McCook, but still lost, Neujahr said.
“They had a key hit, we had a key error, they moved base runners and we got beat,” he said. “It doesn’t seem possible, but we did.”
The Swedes had four hits and McCook hit five. With few base runners, the little things did make a difference.
Gothenburg put a batter on base in six of the seven innings, however only one player scored.
Ali Abramson led off the third with a single and stole second. She later came home on an error.
Two of McCook’s hits, combined with two Swedes errors, produced three runs in the fourth inning. The Bison used a single and a double to earn their last run in the next frame.
Except for those two innings, McCook had just one other base runner in the game.
Messersmith went the distance on the mound and suffered the loss.
Quick start leads to win
Gothenburg jumped out to a 4-0 lead after two innings and coasted to a 5-2 victory over North Platte in the consolation game.
Bre Messersmith and Amanda Barkmeier combined to allow just one earned run.
“Bre kept them off balance then Amanda came in and absolutely shut the door again,” Neujahr said. “Six up, six down. She looked the best she has this year.”
Gothenburg went up 2-0 after one inning. Roni Putnam and Messersmith each singled. Vanessa Linegar drove in the first run with a single and the second scored on a sacrifice bunt.
North Platte opened the second inning with a single and two doubles, but came away with just one run.
The Swedes answered that with two more runs in the bottom of the second with the benefit of just one hit. Linegar’s double drove in one of the runs.
The Bulldogs added another run in the fifth when a triple scored a runner who had reached on an error.
Gothenburg finished the scoring with a solo run in the sixth. Jordyn Haake singled and pinch runner Siera Schwanz eventually came home.
“It was our best overall game with pitching, defense and a few timely hits,” the coach said.
Linegar had two hits to lead the Swedes at the plate.