WESTON, Mo. — North Platte ended up needing all seven innings but still came away with a double-digit win against a KCI Conference rival.
West Platte scored twice in the bottom of the fourth to fend off the run rule, but the Panthers pounded out 20 hits in a 14-3 win Thursday, Sept. 7 at Benner Park. McKenna Fulton and McKenzie Sams both had four hits, and Alley Rickel drove in three at the top of the lineup.
Janell Manville, a junior outfielder, had three hits and four RBIs from the No. 6 spot for North Platte.
“They just straight hit the ball tonight,” West Platte coach Bailee Giger said. “We had a few errors that we shouldn’t have made, some mental mistakes, but they out hit us.”
Having won just three times in Giger’s first season, West Platte surpassed that total in August and looked to knock off its chief rival for another sign of progress.
Instead, North Platte sophomore Jordyn Smith threw three no-hit innings to start, and the Panthers took a 10-0 lead after the top of the fourth with an RBI single. Fulton started a five-run fourth an RBI single, and Gracie Roach added an RBI double before scoring on Manville’s double to cap the rally.
West Platte’s first hit came from senior catcher Sikoya Richard to lead off the bottom of the fourth. The Bluejays opened with back-to-back singles before sophomore pitcher Karah Dunham hit a sacrifice fly to make it 10-1. Lea Moose eventually scored on a wild pitch.
“One thing I love about this team is that they never give up,” Giger said. “We have stretches where we don’t look great and we give up some runs but we haven’t been scoreless yet and that’s just the fact that they never give up. If they fight for me, I’m going to fight for them, too.”
North Platte’s offense resurfaced in the seventh against Moose, who came on in relief of Dunham.
A pair of two-out errors led to unearned runs, and Manville hit a two-run single to cap her big day in a four-run inning. West Platte loaded the bases in the bottom of the seventh down 14-3, but a baserunning miscue led to the final out.
Smith finished up with five strikeouts, allowing all three runs on six hits and a walk.
The win leveled North Platte’s KCI record at 1-1 after an opening loss to Lathrop. The Panthers were scheduled to continue league play Thursday, Sept. 14 at Mid-Buchanan.
North Platte is at 5-4 overall after beating North Andrew the day before the West Platte game and losing at Savannah on Monday, Sept. 11.
West Platte remained without a KCI win dating back to 2014 but has a 6-7 record overall, entering a Tuesday, Sept. 12 home game with DeKalb. The result was not available at The Citizen’s deadline.
So far at 0-2 in KCI play, West Platte was scheduled to host Hamilton on Thursday, Sept. 14.
West Platte 4, Stewartsville 2
The Bluejays scored three in the bottom of the third Monday, Sept. 11 to overcome an early deficit at Benner Park in Weston, Mo.
With a fifth win in a span of seven games, West Platte tied the game 1-1 on Moose’s two-out single to bring home Richard. Two more runs then scored on a pair of errors to make it 3-1.
The final run for West Platte came on wild pitch in the bottom of the fifth.
Dunham earned the win coming off a tough performance against North Platte. She struck out eight and spread out six hits and one walk in a complete game effort.
West Platte 6, Summit Christian 2
The Bluejays overcame an early deficit with two big innings in a nonconference game Tuesday, Sept. 5 in Lee’s Summit, Mo.
Summit Christian took a 2-0 lead on a single, a walk and a two-run error in the bottom of the first, the only runs the Eagles would get off of Dunham. West Platte came back with four manufactured runs in the top of the fourth to take the lead. Moose scored the Bluejays’ first run, advancing home on a throw to second trying to stop Josie Sweden from advancing to second.
Sweden scored along with Rachel Heili on an error, and after a second error extended the inning, Makayla Wardlow came home on a wild pitch.
West Platte’s two runs in the fifth were on Sweden’s squeeze bunt and a wild pitch. Moose and Richard started the inning with a walk and a single.
Dunham ended up allowing only four hits and a walk while striking out seven in a complete game. She also hit one batter.