Nebraska City scored early and then rallied late to claim a 5-4 win in the opening contest of the softball season at Falls City on Thursday night.
MaKenzie Anthens hit a single in the top of the first inning and came around to score thanks to a Kaitlyn Smallfoot RBI ground out.
The homestanding Tigers battled back and enjoyed a 3-1 lead with play entering the top of the sixth.
Allison Baker singled to start the frame, but a fielder’s choice by Taylor Moyer and a ground out looked to have squelched the rally.
Nebraska City was not done as Cara Booth singled and Anthens drilled a 2-RBI double to tie the game.
After a Tessa Kinart single, Smallfoot applied pressure to the defense by putting the ball into play. An error resulted, scoring both Anthens and Kinart.
Falls City got a run back in its half of the sixth inning and kept Nebraska City quiet in the top of the seventh.
But winning pitcher Sydney Schmitz and the Nebraska City defense closed things down in the seventh on two fly outs and a ground out.
Offensively Anthens finished 3-for-4 with a double. Baker was 2-for-4 with a double. Others with singles were Kinart, Bree Bauer, Patricia Trice, Moyer, Schmitz and Booth.
Pitching wise, Schmitz tossed seven frames and allowed four earned runs on seven hits and four walks.
Coach Amy VonFelt said the win represented a good start for the Pioneers.
“The key moment offensively happened at the plate in the 6th inning,” she said. “Defensive wise, freshman Patricia Trice had nine put outs.”
The Pioneers are scheduled to play at the Milford quad on Saturday morning.