The Nebraska City softball team made a statement early in the season by pounding out 16 hits, including four home runs, in it's opening debut of the 2018 season with a 19 to 5 win over Falls City on Thursday, August 16, at Falls City.
MacKenzie Anthens led off for the Pioneers in the top of the first with a single. Johna Tharp laid down a nice sacrifice bunt to advance Anthens to second. With one out, Elizabeth Hodges drilled a HR over centerfield fence and NC took a quick 2-0 lead. Later in the inning, Ramsee Henderson drove an RBI single to score Abby Balfour and the Pioneers led 3-0 after one.
Falls City would tie the game 3 to 3 in the bottom half of the first.
The tied game did not last for long. After an Anthens double and a Tharp single, Patricia Trice blasted a three-run HR to left field. With the bases loaded, Henderson scored Hodges on a fielders choice and NC had a four run lead at the end of the second inning.
After back to back singles by Anthens and Tharp, Trice stepped to the plate again and delivered her second three-run HR to left field in the top of the third. Taylor Nicolay singled later in the inning and Henderson got the bat on the ball to score Hodges.
Balfour hit an RBI double in the fourth, and Nicolay smacked an RBI single to increase the score to 14-4. Henderson drove an RBI double and Sydney Schmitz hit a sacrifice fly for an RBI. Lindsey Booth singled and Anthens crushed a line-drive HR over centerfield fence as NC went on to win 19 to 5.
“When you win your first game of the season, it sets a tone,” Coach Amy VonFeldt said. “We came out hard, we came out aggressive, we got the job done at the plate and then we answered defensively on the field. This is exciting.”
VonFeldt said she was pleased with how her team answered, after Falls City tied the game 3 to 3 in the first. “We were able to answer because we were really confident at the plate,” VonFeldt said.
Anthens had four hits in this contest, including a HR. “Our team played phenomenal,” Anthens said. “Once we broke the tie, we just kept rolling. We just focus on hitting the ball hard and not so much on hitting HR.”
Both Trice and Anthens said that the team has been working a lot off the tee and spending time in the cage.
Trice also gave credit to the time she has spent in the weight room. “Lifting has really helped me a lot,” Trice said. “It has given me more power, and then I focus on, see the ball, hit the ball.”
Schmitz earned the win for the Pioneers. Schmitz tossed four innings and surrendered four hits, five runs (two earned), and one strikeout.
Hitting: Anthens, two singles, double, HR; Trice, two HR; Hodges, single, HR; Nicolay, two singles; Tharp, two singles; Henderson, two singles; Balfour and Booth, each with singles.
RBI: Trice, six; Henderson, four; Anthens, Hodges, and Booth, two; Nicolay, Balfour, and Schmitz, one each.
Runs: Anthens and Hodges, four each; Trice, three; Balfour, Tharp, and Nicolay, two each; Booth and Henderson, one each.
Nebraska City will be at Milford on Saturday, August 18, for quad action starting at 8:30 am.