Swede softball team captures invite
Little things make a difference.
Gothenburg coach Roger Neujahr was hoping to get in some games against Class B opponents last week, but the weather didn’t cooperate.
The Swede Invite Saturday gave a number of reserves the chance to see some extra action.
Gothenburg swept past their first two opponents—Southern Valley and Minden—and weathered several scoreless innings before taming the St. Paul Wildcats.Gothenburg is scheduled to play its final regular season game Thursday at Grand Island Northwest. The Swedes host the district tournament on Oct. 8 and 9.
Southern Valley falls 14-4
Gothenburg scored in every inning to defeat Southern Valley 14-4 ending the game after five innings.
The Swedes put a pair of runs on the scoreboard in the first inning with players scoring on a wild pitch and a ground out.
KaTrina Winter led off with a single and later scored on a passed ball in the second to make it 3-0.
Winter and Karen Franzen each hit doubles as Gothenburg pushed three runs across the plate in the third inning.
Vanessa Linegar stroked a two-run double in the fourth inning. She and pinch runner Hannah Wolf both scored later.
Another four-run inning gave Gothenburg a 10-run lead. Alisha Ballmer and Shelby Eggleston both doubled.
The Eagles scored all their runs in the fourth inning with a little help from Gothenburg. A couple of Swede errors, combined with three hits, gave Southern Valley four runs.
They left the bases loaded in the second inning but batters were retired in order in the remaining frames.
Amanda Barkmeier pitched four innings and earned the win. Jordyn Haake threw in relief.
Bre Messersmith went 3-for-3 while Ballmer had a double and a single for three RBI.
Big inning muzzles Whippets
Gothenburg managed just one hit until the third inning, but then exploded for six singles and nine runs. The Swedes went on to defeat Minden 11-1 in a game that lasted just four innings.
Seven of the team’s nine batters reached base in the third frame. The first batter walked, then four straight singles continued the rally before another walk completed the string. Shelby Eggleston drove in two of the runs with a single.
Gothenburg picked up the necessary lead to cut short the game with two runs in the fourth. Three consecutive singles did the damage with the game ending with no outs.
Jordyn Haake went the distance on the mound to pick up her first win of the season. She fanned six batters while allowing just two walks and two hits.
Eggleston hit singles in all three of her at-bats for three runs batted in.
Tough game against Cats
While the Swedes defeated St. Paul 5-2, Gothenburg’s offense struggled for much of the game and the team didn’t own a lead until the fifth inning.
“We were in a tight, tight, tight game again,” Neujahr said. “You could just feel how tight we were.”
St. Paul’s only offense came in the third inning. Two hits and a costly error gave the Wildcats a 2-0 lead that they held until the bottom of the fifth.
Gothenburg struck for four in the fifth to turn things around. Karen Franzen provided the spark clearing the bases with a two-run double. An error allowed pinch runner Siera Schwanz to score.
KaTrina Winter singled to lead off the sixth and later came home on a passed ball.
Two sharp defensive plays eliminated scoring chances for the Wildcats in the sixth and seventh innings.
A double play got the Swedes out of the sixth inning. Shannon Behnk reached on an error and tried to make it to third on a tough grounder to Swede shortstop Roni Putnam.
“Roni had to charge real hard to be able to get the out at first,” Neujahr said. Franzen, the first baseman, cut down Behnk at third to complete the DP.
With runners at first and second, freshman Brittyn Munster picked up an errant throw to first and fired to home plate preventing the run. Catcher Vanessa Linegar didn’t have to move her glove and the runner was out by 15 feet, the Swede coach said.
“It’s those little things that do make a big difference in ball games,” he said
Bre Messersmith pitched for six innings against St. Paul and boosted her record to 10-2. Amanda Barkmeier silenced any comeback attempt the Wildcats hoped for in the seventh.
Both Messersmith and Eggleston had a pair of hits for Gothenburg.