DEARBORN, Mo. — North Platte found a way to defeat West Platte for a second time this season, and no surprise: Regan Nash’s speed ended up in the middle of most of the Panthers’ offense.
The speedy senior outfielder scored three times in North Platte’s 5-1 victory Sept. 11 at Dean Park. She finished 3-for-3 with a triple and two stolen bases against Bluejays ace Abby Summers, who allowed only two earned runs and struck out 12 in six innings of work.
Nash’s first run came in the bottom of the opening frame and staked North Platte junior pitcher Victoria Haugsness to an early lead.
“It’s easier to pitch when you know you have insurance if you mess up,” said Haugsness, who allowed only one hit and three walks while improving to 8-0 on the season. “
North Platte beat West Platte in the season-opening North Platte Tournament as well in a championship game Summers — bound for Division I Florida International — exited with a heat-related illness.
In the rematch, the Panthers cracked the ace early.
Nash led off the bottom of the first with a bunt single and stole second, scoring two batters later on Chelsi Sams’ single dumped into shallow center field. Two innings later, Nash dropped a triple in between West Platte leftfielder Logan Eagen and shortstop Jessica Lintner. The high fly fell near the left-field line, allowing Nash to scoot into third base without a throw.
Sams walked with two out and Nash still at third base, and both scored when Panthers freshman left fielder Alley Rickel’s ground ball to third base resulted in Bailey Hiatt’s throwing error.
“Abby and Regan are both Division I athletes so it’s nothing they’re not both used to seeing,” West Platte coach Angelica Maxwell said of Nash’s hitting success. “Against Abby, Regan is supposed to put the ball in play.”
Haugsness improved her record on the mound the past two seasons to 17-0 in the game, narrowly missing a no-hitter and a shutout.
Eagen walked to lead off the top of the fourth and went to second on a passed ball and to third on Summers’ infield hit. A double steal allowed West Platte to temporarily cut the Panthers’ lead to 3-1.
North Platte added single tallies in the fourth and fifth – Kaycee Hodgson walking and coming around on three wild pitches and Sarah Johnson doubling into the left-field gap to plate Nash after her one-out single. Haugsness did the rest, striking out four total in her continued bid to establish herself as a dominant ace.
“I thought before the season started (pitching) was going to be a big weakness,” North Platte coach Ron Resler said. “Not because of her but because she’s the only one I’ve got.”
West Platte 7, Stewarstville 0
Summers hurled her fourth no-hitter of the season in a blanking of the Cardinals on Sept. 15 in Stewartsville, Mo.
The senior again recorded every out via the strikeout, setting down 21 against the Cardinals. The Bluejays improved to 10-2 with the victory, and both losses this season have com against North Platte.
North Platte 7, Bishop LeBlond 2
The Panthers won a rematch of last year’s Class 2 District 16 championship game on Sept. 15 at Dearborn, Mo. Haugsness picked up the win, and North Platte remained undefeated with two victories this season against the LeBlond.
West Platte Tournament
West Platte claimed its inaugural home tournament title Sept. 13 at Weston, Mo. The Bluejays went 3-0 in the round-robin style tournament to claim top spot.
West Platte won Game 1 5-0 against St. Pius X, defeated runner-up William Chrisman 2-1 in the Bluejays’ second game and sealed the win with a 13-2 win against North Kansas City in the final game of the day.