Erickson's double lifts Platte County softball to key Blue Division win

Platte County remained unbeaten in Suburban Conference Blue Division play with an important comeback win Thursday, Aug. 31.

After falling behind in the second, the Pirates came right back to tie the score and took the lead for good with two runs in the fifth, holding on for a 3-2 win over Kearney in Kearney, Mo. Emma Koeneke, a freshman, gave up a solo home run in the second and then stranded the potential tying and go-ahead runners on base in the seventh to finish off a complete game victory.

Kearney led 1-0 after Sierra Culver’s solo home run in the second.

The lead didn’t last long after Paige Rocha tripled to start the top of the third for Platte County. After a walk, Grace Heater hit a sacrifice fly to give the Pirates their first run after stranding three total runners in the first two innings.

Platte County left the bases loaded in the fourth but took the lead in the fifth on Gracie Erickson’s two-out double, which scored Heater and Janessa Barmann after both walked earlier in the inning. Shayla Kohler doubled in the sixth for the Pirates third extra-base hit, but she ended up stranded unable to increase the 3-1 lead.

Koeneke continued to work in and out of trouble, allowing six hits but no walks while striking out just one. She gave up a two-out RBI double in the seventh and hit the next batter with a pitch before inducing a flyout to end the game.

Platte County beat Kearney 4-2 in the silver bracket of the Greater Kansas City Tournament earlier this season. The teams meet for a third time Sept. 19 at Platte County High School.

Platte County 3, Truman 2

The Pirates held on for a win in a break from conference play Wednesday, Aug. 30 in Independence, Mo.

Despite only six hits, Platte County never trailed and led 3-0 after the top of the sixth. Truman added single runs in each of the final two innings, but Erickson stranded the potential tying run at third in the bottom of the seventh to earn the save.

Erickson came on with one out in the sixth and gave up an RBI single with the run charged to Koeneke, who started and went 5 1/3 innings with no walks and two strikeouts.

A flyout and strikeout ended that inning with Platte County still ahead 3-1. In the seventh, Erickson gave up a two-out, RBI triple then induced a grounder to third for the final out two pitches later.

Platte County took a 1-0 lead in the fourth on Halle Magee’s single, but the Pirates stranded two in the frame after the next three batters struck out. Magee then doubled in Kohler, who reached on an error, to start the top of the sixth.

The lead increased to 3-0 when Erickson tripled home Magee two batters later.

Platte County 13, Winnetonka 6

The Pirates fell behind 4-0 then scored at least one in each inning from the second to the sixth on Tuesday, Aug. 29 at Platte County High School.

Erickson started and gave up four runs — three earned — in the first two innings, but Platte County backed the sophomore with 19 hits to eventually pull away for a Blue Division win. The Pirates had two runs in both the second and third to tie the score 4-4 with run-scoring singles from Erickson and Kohler and sacrifice flies for Koeneke and Erickson.

The trend continued with two more in the fourth to put the Pirates ahead 6-4 on Taylor Farr’s sacrifice fly and Heater’s single to score Rocha.

Winnetonka twice cut the lead to one with single runs against Koeneke in relief, but Platte County plated six in the sixth. Magee hit a double ahead of Barmann’s sacrifice fly, and Carter doubled to score three then came home on Rocha’s groundout.

Maddie Carter went 2-for-3 with two runs scored and four RBIs, while Magee, Barmann and Erickson had three hits apiece for Platte County.