The North Platte Community College softball team gave up 26 runs on Tuesday but found a way to score 29 runs, and swept Northwest Kansas Technical College 11-9, 18-17.
“It was a great day for ball, the weather was perfect and we came out with two wins, we couldn’t ask for anything more,” said North Platte Coach Janelle Higgins.
Hallei Morales (North Platte) went four-for-four with a pair of home runs and six RBIs to help fuel the Knight offense in the first game. In the second game Willow Chitty (North Platte) and Kayleigh Bucio (Rialto, Calif.) were a perfect nine-for-nine at the plate combined, scoring 10 times and driving in 10 to lead the 20-hit Knight attack.
“Hitting is contagious and once it gets going the atmosphere gets hyped and good things happen, Higgins said. “It’s great when we have athletes — who have been struggling in some aspect of the game — respond with a great at bat or great day on the mound or in the field.”
North Platte improves to 11-17 on the season and will be in action Saturday at home against Central Community College in games at 1 and 3 p.m. and on Sunday against Southeast Community College in games at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.
“Every day we are able to get games in we get stronger as a unit and we will only continue to get stronger as the season progresses,” Higgins said.
Game 1 – North Platte CC 11, Northwest Kansas Tech 9: Willow Chitty broke up a 7-7 game in the fifth inning with a go-ahead home run to propel the Knights to the win.
“We started out a little slow and tight in Game One but ended up hitting the ball well and our defense held strong to come out on top,” Higgins said.
Hallei Morales homered twice, doubled and singled in four at bats to help fuel the Knight offense. She doubled in the first, homered in the third, homered in the fourth, and singled in the fifth.
Emily Marsden (Papillion) was in the circle for Knights. She surrendered nine runs on 11 hits over seven innings.
“Our athletes showed a ton of grit today, they never stopped and never gave up. From the top of our order to the bottom to the dugout everyone was in sync,” Higgins said.
Kayleigh Bucio (Rialto, Calif.) had a four bagger in the fourth inning. Mikayla Gibson (West Valley, Utah) had a three-hit game. North Platte also got multi-hit games from Chitty, Bucio, and Alea Binkly (Council Bluffs, Iowa).
Game 2 – North Platte CC 18, Northwest Kansas Tech 17: With the game tied at 15-15 in the sixth inning, Kayleigh Bucio delivered a two-run triple (one of four hits she had in the game) to put North Platte in the lead for good.
The Knights had built a 13-7 lead in the fifth inning but Northwest Kansas Tech scored eight times in the sixth to take a 15- 13 lead.
Ashylnn Krueger (Littleton, Colo.) was credited with the victory for Knights. She went five innings, allowing ten runs on ten hits, striking out four and walking none. Hailey Wilkins (Tyler, Texas) threw two innings in relief out of the bullpen to earn the save for Knights.
Bucio went yard in the second inning. She tripled and singled twice scoring five runs in the game along with seven RBIs. Chitty went five-for-five, scoring five runs and driving in three. The Knights also got three-hit games from Emily Marsden and Maddie Liddell (Glenwood, Iowa).