WESTON, Mo. — West Platte didn’t have much luck figuring out DeKalb starter Haley Donladson. The Bluejays went a collective 0-for-9 against the senior with eight strikeouts during her three perfect innings Monday, Aug. 31 at Benner Park. Despite finding some offense after a pitching change, West Platte still ended up with a 16-6 loss against the Tigers, bringing the Bluejays’ record to 0-8 on the season. The rough start includes a pair of fourth-place finishes in the West Platte and North Platte invitational round robins.
West Platte continues to search for the right combinations while rebuilding after the loss of all-state pitcher Abby Summers, who led the Bluejays to new heights during the previous two seasons.
“I told the girls at the very beginning of the season, because I expected with our lack of experience that things may be a little rough compared to the last two years,” West Platte coach Angelica Maxwell said. “Every game we play is practice for districts. I’m not going to be mad at the mistakes we make because they are going to learn from them. As long as they learn each game how to get better, that’s all that matters to me as a coach.”
West Platte committed seven errors, which proved too costly to overcome with the slow start on offense.
The Bluejays’ first hit came on a two-out, two-RBI single from sophomore Rachel Heili in the fourth inning after seniors Logan Eagan and Taylor Binkley both walked to set up the RBI opportunity.
After closing within 9-2 of DeKalb, West Platte plated two more runs in the bottom of the sixth, bringing the Bluejays’ dugout to life. The Tigers’ seven-run outburst in the seventh stymied the momentum, and three straight two-out hits in the home half of the final inning only provided consolation.
Taylor Binkley ran into the final out trying to stretch her two-run double into a triple.
“It was good to string some hits together,” Maxwell said. “Overall, we hit the ball really well. I’m not worried about our offense. It’s just our defense. We have to trust in ourselves and each other.”
West Platte opens KCI Conference play by hosting East Buchanan on Thursday, Sept. 3 at Benner Park.
North Platte 11, Bishop LeBlond 1, 5 innings
The Panthers scored three runs in each of the first two innings, then added four more in the fifth to score a run-rule victory Monday, Aug. 31.
McKenna Fulton, Alley Rickel, Callie Pataluna and Martina Williams collected two hits apiece. Rickel and Kaycee Hodgson had a double apiece and combined to drive in six runs, including four for Hodgson. Williams also collected a pair of RBIs.
LeBlond scored its lone run against all-state pitcher Victoria Haugsness in the bottom of the third to close within 6-1. North Platte drew that run back in the top of the fourth before extending the lead to 10 in the fifth.