After losing six straight games while being outscored 70-13, the Chadron High School softball team won its final two games at the Twin Cities Invitational Tournament in Scottsbluff on Saturday in dramatic fashion.
The Cardinals edged Alliance 9-8 in the first game and then got a three-run homer by Kennady Stack in the bottom of the eighth inning to topple Gothenburg 12-9 and take third place in the six-team tourney.
Stack’s homer cleared the fence, estimated to be at least 210 feet deep, by about 10 feet. The 5-foot-3, 105-pound senior also had two triples in the game and finished with four runs batted in. She also scored three times.
Gothenburg had scored four runs in the top of the seventh, sending the game into extra innings.
Chadron outhit the Swedes 13-10. Kinley Richardson and Ella O’Brien each had two hits for the winners. Freshman Maci Rutledge threw all eight innings for the Cardinals. While she gave up 10 hits, she struck out five and issued no walks. In addition, Rutledge drove in two runs with a double.
The 9-8 win over Alliance also was satisfying. The Bulldogs had defeated the Cards 11-2 the previous Saturday at the McCook Tournament.
This time, the Red Birds outhit the Bulldogs 14-7 with Stack, Kadence Wild, Kristin Rasmussen, Alisyn Swinney and Emily Beye all getting two hits for Chadron.
Chadron led 9-2 entering the top of the seventh, when Alliance scored six runs before the Bulldogs were finally retired. One of the big defensive plays came when Stack, the catcher, threw out an Alliance baserunner at second after she’d driven in her team’s final two runs.
Swinney, a sophomore, hurled all seven innings for the winners, struck out nine and walked just two. She also helped her own cause at the plate by driving in three runs and scored twice.
The Cards didn’t fare well in their first game of the tourney, losing 10-0 to Gering and managing just one hit, a single by Josey Downing.
Stack, Wild and Downing were placed on the all-tournament team. Scottsbluff defeated Gering 9-3 to win the tourney’s championship
Gering won 6-2 when the Cardinals visited the Bulldogs last Thursday night. Wild, Richardson and Rasmussen all singled for the Cardinals’ hits. Sophomore Destiny Gonzales got three hits, including a homer, for the Bulldogs.
This weekend Coach Jodi Hendrickson’s team will visit Chase County at Imperial on Friday and enter the North Platte Invitational Tournament on Saturday. The Cards also will host Gering on Tuesday, Sept. 22 during their final home game this fall.
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