Platte County coach Rob Davenport expected some of the growing pains, so there was no reason to panic after a disappointing opening tournament.
The Pirates quickly bounced back with a 13-2, five-inning win against Grandview in Suburban Conference Blue Division play Monday, Aug. 28 at Platte County High School. Janessa Barmann drove in three, and sophomore third baseman Paige Rocha added two more extra-base hits in a much-needed win.
With no seniors on the roster, Platte County went 2-3 in the Greater Kansas City Tournament while playing freshmen in several key positions.
“We’ve got a lot of them, a lot of freshmen and a lot of sophomores, so they’ve got to play big,” Davenport said. “Happy with where they’re at. We’ve had some nerves that you can see out there but this is our sixth game now so we’re starting to get behind that.”
A freshman and sophomore continued to share pitching duties.
Platte County freshman Emma Koeneke started and gave up two runs in four innings, while Gracie Erickson — a sophomore returning starter — pitched around a single in the fifth to complete the win. The Pirates put up five in the third and seven in the fourth to create the run-rule scenario.
Koeneke allowed four hits and walked two while striking out four.
“She did a much better job at getting ahead of batters,” Davenport said. “We let our defense work and avoided situations where they can’t just tee off on you so she looked a lot sharper tonight.”
Rocha tripled in a run in the five-run third, and Erickson followed with a run-scoring single for one of her two RBIs.
Barmann singled to score junior first baseman Shayla Kohler to put Platte County up 6-0 in the third. Grandview responded with both of its runs on a two-out double in the top of the fourth, but the Pirates sent 11 to the plate in the seven-run fourth.
Taylor Farr, a junior outfielder, led off with a double and scored on Rocha’s double. Erickson again followed with a single and later scored on a passed ball to make it 9-2.
The first five batters reached safely in the inning for Platte County, and Farr capped the inning with a two-run, two-out single.
Platte County improved to 3-3 and started the Blue Division season at 1-0. The Pirates were scheduled to host Winnetonka in another league game Tuesday, Aug. 29, but the result was not available at The Citizen’s deadline.
“We know that we’re young; we know we’re going to take some lumps, and we’re trying to teach as we go so I think this team has potential to be good,” Davenport said. “Every day, we’re just working to get better, but we’re excited for our future — not just at the end of this year. We’re excited about next year too.”