A loss to Lexington in the de facto title game of the North Platte Invitational did little to spoil an impressive debut from North Platte’s Jordyn Smith.
The freshman right-hander started all three games of the round robin tournament Saturday, Aug. 20 at Dean Park in Dearborn, Mo. She opened with a shutout vs. West Platte and added a big day at the plate in a comeback win against East Buchanan.
North Platte ended up 2-1 on the day after the 5-0 loss.
West Platte managed just three hits and no walks in a 3-0 loss to open the tournament, delayed a couple of hours due to heavy rains the night before. Smith struck out seven and earned the win after the Panthers stuck for a run in the first inning.
McKenna Fulton went 2-for-3 with a double, a stolen base and a run scored, while Kyra Patch — North Platte’s new catcher — and Miranda Daniel drove in a run apiece.
East Buchanan took a 3-1 lead on three unearned runs during the middle game of the round robin. An error in the third inning resulted in a big inning for the Bulldogs against Smith, who allowed only five hits and didn’t walk a batter.
Smith helped her own cause with three hits, including a leadoff double to start the bottom of the fifth.
With North Platte down 3-2, Smith stole third and scored on sophomore Janelle Manville’s one-single to the game. Manville moved up to third on a steal and a wild pitch, and Daniel hit the game-winning single just before the game reached the imposed time limit to give the Panthers a 4-3 win.
Lexington used a pair of extra base hits in the third inning to take a one-run lead, and hopes of a comeback were dashed in the fifth with a pair of North Platte errors leading to three runs.
The Minutemen added a solo home run in the sixth and went on to complete the shutout.
Smith went 2-for-3 with another double in the loss, accounting for two of the Panthers’ three hits.
West Platte went 0-3 and will have to wait to end a losing streak dating back to the 2014 Class 2 District 15 championship game. The Bluejays scored four runs in three games but were outscored 20-4.
Karah Dunham, a freshman, started all three games for first-year head coach Bailee Giger, taking over for Angelica Maxwell.
In the loss to North Platte, Sikoya Richard recorded a pair of singles against Smith, while Lea Moose and Alyssa Knox were both 2-for-2 in an 11-1 loss to Lexington in the middle game. Moose’s day at the plate included a double.
Richard added two more hits against East Buchanan, and Dunham contributed a pair of hits in a 6-3 loss.
North Platte 5, Stanberry 1
Alley Rickel keyed a four-run ninth inning to help the Panthers add a win in a lengthy pitchers’ duel Monday, Aug. 22 in Stanberry, Mo.
In the sixth, Rickel hit a one-out triple and scored on Patch’s well-placed squeeze bunt to tie the score and force extra innings. Rickel didn’t bat again until the ninth when she hit a leadoff single, moving to second on a sacrifice and to third on a passed ball.
Smith’s groundball to third base managed to score Rickel, who just beat the throw home after a slight bobble from Stanberry’s third baseman. Manville added a two-out single to bring home Smith, and the rally continued before Daniel hit a two-run single to cap the big inning.
Smith threw a complete game and allowed only four hits and one walk with Stanberry scoring a single run in the bottom of the fifth.