North Platte softball dashes to win vs. Lafayette

DEARBORN, Mo. — North Platte needed speed to remain unbeaten in a nonconference home game Aug. 25.Regan Nash provided a lead-off triple against Lafayette at North Platte High School and scored on the next pitch to provide an early lead. A stolen base for courtesy runner Alley Rickel led to the winning run in a 3-2 victory for the Panthers.

BRYCE MERENESS/Citizen Photo North Platte junior pitcher Victoria Haugsness delivers a pitch against St. Joseph Lafayette during a game last Thursday at North Platte High School in Dearborn, Mo.

“I like when that happens,” said Nash, a speedy senior outfielder verbally committed to play softball at the University of Missouri next year. “It gets the team pumped up and the game going good. It gets the fans happy. We need to start with a few more runs usually to keep us confident. If not, we get down on ourselves worrying.” The early lead didn’t hold up. Lafayette scraped across a run in the top of the fourth inning to draw level after Dejanay Lewis scored from first on Madelyn Dollar’s slicing double that clipped the left-field foul line. North Platte starting pitcher Victoria Haugsness escaped the jam with just the one run thanks to one of her seven strikeouts. Kaycee Hodgson wasted little time reclaiming North Platte’s lead. The junior belted a no-doubt leadoff homerun in the bottom half of the fourth. “You can just feel the pop coming through it.” Hodgson said. “You can tell it’s going to go far. You don’t want to aim for any home runs, just aim for the base hit, and they’ll happen. We were down on ourselves, then I hit the home run, and everyone got back into it.” Lafayette again tied it in the next half inning and threatened more runs. Haugsness hit a batter who moved to second on a walk before a Jordan Hockaday sacrifice bunt put a pair of runners in scoring position against the junior ace. Brooklyn Wattenbarger singled through the right side of the infield to bring the score to 2-2, but Haugsness again escaped further damage with a strikeout. Haugness then collected her only hit in the bottom of the sixth to set up the winning run.

BRYCE MERENESS/Citizen Photo North Platte outfielder Regan Nash, right, slides safely into third base with a leadoff-triple while Panthers coach Ron Resler, center, looks on last Thursday at North Platte High School in Dearborn, Mo.

Rickel then stole second and scored on Martina Williams’ RBI-single to left field. The win moved North Platte to 5-0 following a 3-0 showing in its home tournament to open the season. The Panthers have played Class 3 Lafayette each of the past 4 seasons and won all four matchups. “These kids, most of them play competitive ball. They’ve played since they could walk,” North Platte coach Ron Resler said. “They have a lot of experience. You just have to channel it and make sure the team uses it in the direction you want them to go. We were 4-0 going into this game, but we did not play anyone of the caliber of Lafayette.” West Platte 9 Plattsburg 0 The Bluejays banged out 16 hits in a win at Plattsburg on Thursday, Aug. 28. Taylor Binkley and Jodi Meyer both went 4-for-4 with a double and two runs scored apiece at Plattsburg High School in Plattsburg, Mo. West Platte pitcher Abby Summers added 19 more strikeouts pushing her total to 69 for the season during a 4-1 start to the season for the Bluejays. The Florida International commit is 4-0 after leaving the championship game at the North Platte Tournament with heat-related illness. West Platte 7 St. Pius X 1 Summers recorded all 21 outs via strikeout in a win Wednesday, Aug. 27 at West Platte High School in Weston, Mo. West Platte scored two runs in the first, second and fifth innings to go with a single run in the fourth to pull away from the Warriors. Binkley drove in two – including one on an RBI-single in the fifth inning and another on an RBI hit by pitch in the second. Logan Eagan went 3-for-4, and the Bluejays walked 11 times, including a bases-loaded free pass for Jodi Meyer (three walks overall). Blue Springs South 5 Platte County 2 The Pirates fell to the Jaguars in the final game of the Greater Kansas City Tournament. Chelsey Tipton led Blue Springs South, going 3-for-3 at the plate including a double, a triple and two RBIs. Platte County did not get its offense going, collecting just two hits. Lexi Hanson and Tori Farr each hit singles in the loss, and Alexis Ray collected the Pirates’ lone RBI. Platte County returned to action Sept. 2, but the result was not available at The Citizen’s deadline. Joplin Invitational Park Hill South earned fourth place in the Joplin Invitational, going 2-4 on the weekend. The Panthers dropped their first round game 8-1 to Blue Springs before rallying to beat Carthage 13-2 and Carl Junction 11-2. Park Hill South also dropped games to Rock Bridge (6-5), Staley (6-5) and Rock Bridge a second time (7-2). Park Hill South returns to action with a home date with rival Park Hill Sept. 4.