DEARBORN, Mo. — North Platte didn’t react well to the first home run, nor the second. Then the errors followed.
Lathrop pulled away with a six-run third inning in a KCI Conference matchup Thursday, Aug. 31 at Dean Park. The Mules hit four home runs — three of them solo shots — on the way to a 10-0, six-inning road win.
North Platte ended up with just three hits off of Lathrop junior pitcher Brooke Huitt, but the Panthers suffered more from mental lapses against one of the state’s top teams.
“It was a situation where the first home run, they got their dauber down a little bit,” North Platte veteran coach Ron Resler said. “The second home run, you could’ve stepped on their tongues, and it was all downhill. They’re a good team, and we got beat by a good team.”
After working around a runner in the first, North Platte sophomore Jordyn Smith starter allowed a one-out single in the second.
Lathrop catcher Hannah Frye advanced to second on a sacrifice then scored with two outs after a passed ball. North Platte junior Jordyn Goetz couldn’t locate the ball, allowing Frye to advance two bases on the same play.
Huitt, committed to Missouri State, struck out three in the bottom of the second to work around Gracie Roach’s one-out walk.
Lathrop then put together its big inning after one-out singles for Jacque Gentzell and Lexi Seitz. Huitt followed with a three-run blast to center field, and cleanup hitter Madi Schnatz hit a solo shot on the next pitch.
The next three hitters reached, and two more came around to score on miscues to make it 7-0. Gentzell added a solo home run in the fourth, and Schnatz hit her second of the game in a two-run sixth to make it 10-0.
North Platte’s best chance to score came in the fourth. Alley Rickel, a senior shortstop, led off with a solid single, and she moved into scoring position on Roach’s two-out double. Both ended up stranded, and the Panthers couldn’t move senior center fielder McKenna Fulton after her leadoff single in the seventh.
Huitt finished with 12 strikeouts.
Coming off a 15-0 pasting of Bishop LeBlond, North Platte dropped to 3-3. The most recent victory came against a team restarting its program after not having enough players to compete in 2016.
The schedule remains difficult after the loss in a KCI Conference opener against the 2015 Class 2 state champions. North Platte’s next KCI game is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 7 at West Platte.
East Buchanan 3, West Platte 1
The Bluejays dropped to 4-5 on the season with another frustrating loss in KCI Conference play.
After taking a 1-0 lead in the first, West Platte allowed the winning run and an insurance run in the top of the seventh Thursday, Aug. 31 at Benner Park in Weston, Mo. The Bluejays are now 0-2 in conference play, having allowed the winning run in the seventh of both losses.
West Platte senior Kaitlin Larison singled with one out in the bottom of the first for the first of the Bluejays’ three hits. Two batters later, sophomore pitcher Karah Dunham hit a two-out double to left field to score Larison for a 1-0 lead.
Dunham made the lead hold up until the top of the fifth when East Buchanan used a two-out double to tie the score. The Bulldogs had seven hits total off of Dunham, and five came in their two run-scoring innings.
After West Platte couldn’t score Sydney Sweden following her two-out double in the bottom of the sixth, East Buchanan had a one-out double followed by a two-out double and two-out single to take a 3-1 lead. Dunham struck out five and ended up with the loss.
West Platte 14, St. Michael’s 2, 5 innings
Dunham’s scoreless streak hit 12 innings before allowing two unearned runs late Tuesday, Aug. 29 in Lee’s Summit, Mo. She allowed only two hits and a walk while striking out four in a complete game victory, entering off of back-to-back wins the previous weekend in the West Platte Invitational round robin including a five-inning shutout of St. Pius X.
St. Michael’s scored single runs in the fourth and fifth.
West Platte jumped to a 14-0 lead with three each in the top of the first and second and seven more in the third. Sikoya Richard, a senior catcher, went 2-for-3 with two RBIs, and Makayla Wardlow and Sweden also drove in two apiece.
Wardlow doubled home two to start the scoring in the top of the third, and Sweden capped the rally with a run-scoring single then came home on a passed ball to make it 13-0.
West Platte won its fourth game in a span of a week to better last year’s win total before September hit. The Bluejays will also look to end its KCI losing streak with five conference games left on the schedule.