The North Platte Lady Bulldogs missed out on the state tournament last season by a miniscule margin in the wild card points from the NSAA. This year the Dawgs didn’t leave anything to chance by winning the district championship.
North Platte was the No. 1 seed and hosted the B-6 District Tournament at the Dowhower Softball Complex last Thursday and Friday. The Bulldogs had a first round bye then played No. 4 seed Cozad in the quarterfinals. The Haymakers rallied to beat No. 5 Scottsbluff 12-11 in the first round to advance.
The Lady Dawgs were in a battle against Cozad until late in the game when North Platte strung a few hits together and took advantage of errors committed by Cozad to get the 9-2 win and advance to the semifinals.
In the semis North Platte played McCook, a team they had a 2-2 record against this season. The second-seeded Lady Bison beat No. 3 Gering 9-1 to get to this point.
North Platte jumped out to a 3-0 lead early then held on as McCook scored two runs late to get the 3-2 win and advance to the district championship game.
The Dawgs would once again face McCook after the Lady Bison dropped down and once again beat Gering, who had come back through the consolation bracket. McCook was riding high after rallying for three runs late in the game to beat Gering 10-9.
Having come so close to the state tournament last year and not making it there was all the fuel the Dawgs would need as they dominated McCook 9-1 in the championship game to get the six-inning run rule victory. North Platte’s clean up hitter, Mikenzi Wiseman hit two home runs in the game and Kylie Engelman added another to lead the Lady Bulldogs.
North Platte now goes in as the No. 7 seed and will play No. 2 seed Omaha Skutt Catholic in the first round of the state tournament. The game is scheduled for 9:00 am Wednesday morning in Hastings and it can be heard on ESPN Radio 1410 and online at www.northplattepost.com with Robert Lovell on the call.
North Platte and Skutt Catholic have played twice this season with Skutt winning the first game 6-1 then North Platte winning the second, 4-1.