Cougars go 1-2 on day one
MIDLAND, Texas -- The Western Nebraska Community College softball team went 1-2 to open the season Friday at the Midland Tournament in Midland, Texas.
In the season opener, Shelby McGraw tossed six strong innings and Jessica Ball hammered a solo home in registering a 4-0 win over Western Texas College.
The second game saw the Cougars lose a heartbreaker, falling to No. 5 Howard College 6-5 in a game where the Cougars jumped out to a 5-0 lead.
The nightcap saw the Cougars fall iin a seventh inning home run to Midland 4-3.
WNCC will have to more games Saturday in the Midland tourney when they will face Clarendon College and Luna Community College.
The opener against Western Texas was a sterling pitching performance from McGraw, a sophomore. McGraw tossed six innings and allowed three hits and struck out two. Jordan Smith tossed the seventh in striking out three.
The Cougars scored twice n the third and had single runs in the fifth and seventh for their four runs. The big hit was a fifth-inning home run from Ball to put the Cougars up 3-0.
WNCC managed six hits in the contest, led by Ball with a 3-for-4 game with two runs scored and an RBI.
WNCC got the offense cranked up early against Howard College as RaVae Herrera doubled in Ball for a quick 1-0 lead.
The Cougars added three more runs in the second on three hits. McGraw had the big single, plating two runs.
WNCC added a single run in the third. Alysa Linford led off with a triple and scored after tagging up on a Morgan Varoz lineout for the 5-0 lead. After that, Howard came back to score two runs in the third, fourth, and sixth innings for the win.
WNCC managed 10 hits in the contest. Kelsey Bernhardt, Lindsay Guymon, and McGraw all had two hits. McGraw was 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs. Bernhardt and Guymon each scored a run. Bernhardt also had a stolen base.
Jessica Smith took the loss, giving up two runs while allowing a hit and striking out four. Madison Davis started the game, going 3 1/3 innings in allowing six hits, four runs and striking out three.
The final game was an hard fought contest as both teams were tied 1-1 after the opening inning. Midland took a 2-1 lead in the third only to watch WNCC retake the lead in the sixth on a 2-run scored double by Ball.
Midland came back to score a single run in the bottom of the sixth and then ended the game with a lead-off home run in the seventh for the win.
Gering managed just five hits in the contest. Ball led the way with a 2-for-3 game with a double and two RBIs.
WNCC 002 010 1 -- 4 6 0
W. Texas 000 000 0 -- 0 4 1
WP -- Shelby McGraw; HR -- Jessica Ball.
WNCC 131 000 0 -- 5 10 1
Howard 002 202 x -- 6 7 2
LP -- Jessica Smith; 2B -- McGraw, RaVae Herrera; 3B -- Alysa Linford.
WNCC 100 002 0 -- 3 5
Midland 101 001 1 -- 4 10
LP -- RaVae Herrera; 2B -- Ball.
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