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Cardinals nab wins against Chase County, Alliance


Maci Rutledge grabs a pop fly early on in the Cardinals' match against Scottsbluff last week.

The girls softball team was able to secure two wins while on the road last Saturday, though they suffered a hard hit from Scottsbluff during their final home game of the regular season on Sept. 28.

In their Saturday 7-4 victory against Chase County, the Cardinals took the lead early in the first with a home run to center from Ember Diers. Their opponents came right back, however, tying the scoreboard up at one going into the second.

Chadron took a bit larger lead in the second inning as Averielle Sager singled on a line drive to right field. The Cardinal was able to advance to second on a Chase County error, then stole third while Lauren Rasmussen was at bat. Rasmussen later grounded out, but Sager took the opportunity to score.

Taylee Williamson also singled on a hard grounder to left field, and made it to third on a ground out by Emi O’Donnell before heading home on an error.

Chase County more than made up the 3-1 deficit, however, taking three runs and the lead before the inning was up.

Going into the third, Diers hit a grounder to right field and stole second, and a walk for Sarah LeBere helped load the bases. Chase County was able to get Diers out after a pop fly from Haylee Wild, though Wild herself made it to first. A line drive to center by Sager brought in Wild and LeBere, securing the Cardinals’ lead at 5-4

Though Chadron got a bit of a scare from Chase in the bottom of the third with the bases loading up, a couple strikeouts from O’Donnell and a quick play at third from Wild maintained the Cardinal’s one-point lead.

The scoreboard didn’t change in the fourth inning, as both teams only allowed one runner on, and Chadron took its final runs in the fifth. Wild came to first on a hit by pitch, and continued her path around the bases by stealing second and advancing to third on an error.

Maci Rutledge hammered the ballot right field for a triple to bring in Wild, and later scored on a sacrifice play by Sager.

The Cardinals took a strong lead in their 10-3 win against Alliance, securing their 10 runs across four innings while keeping Alliance off the scoreboard.

The rally began in the first, with Kinley Richardson nailing a hard grounder to right field. Josie Downing was struck by a pitch, and the bases started filling. Aubrey Milburn hit a grounder to left, allowing Richardson the time to score. Diers took over for Downing on the path, and scored on a ground out by LeBere.

In the second inning, Josslyn Pourier singles on a hard grounder to left, and Meradith Rhembrandt kept things moving with a line drive to right. Pourier was later called out due to offensive interference, and Sager subbed in for Rhembrandt. Kristin Rasmussen hit a grounder to put her at first, though she and Sager were able to advance on a passed ball. A line drive from Rutledge brought both Sager and Rasmussen in and put the Cardinals up 4-0.

It was another two runs for Chadron in the third, scored by LeBere and Wild. LeBere hit a line drive and advanced after Wild was walked. A triple by Rhembrandt brought them home.

In the fourth, Richardson secured first base on a hard ground ball and managed to steal second. Milburn was walked, putting runners at first and second, and a line drive by LeBere brought in Richardson. The final three runs came after Wild pounded a homer to left field.

Though a 10-0 shutout seemed on the horizon for the Cardinals, Alliance managed a three-run homer of their own in the bottom of the fourth, the final scores of the game.

The Cardinals were not so fortunate when they faced Scottsbluff on Sept. 28, as their opponents dominated and took a 15-0 win. The teams kept each other scoreless in the first inning, though Scottsbluff took a three-run lead in the second and didn’t let up. Though Chadron was able to put runners on, strong Scottsbluff plays kept home out of reach.

The Cardinals now go into sub-district play this week with their best record in four years.

Coach Jodi Hendrickson stated, “We are sitting 13-13 going into sub-districts, which is the best record we have had since going to Class C State in 2017.

“This year’s Class B-10 District is tough; I see one of these teams headed to State and being very successful. We have a young team compared to our competition and continue to improve and shock people. We have a full lineup of girls with a 300 batting average or higher.

“Unfortunately, a couple of our pitchers are battling injuries. Demario Kelso is out with an ankle injury and Alisyn Swinney struggling with her hip. Thankfully, Maci Rutledge is healthy and pitching better than ever. With such a young team, I am excited to see what the future holds for us.”

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