Hannah Baesler hit for the cycle in game two, including a 3-run walk-off home run to help the Western Nebraska Community College softball team capture a 16-14 come-from-behind win over No. 18 Otero Junior College Saturday at Volunteer Field.
The first game saw Otero capture a 10-6 win.
The two teams will be back in action Sunday for another doubleheader beginning at noon in key conference contests.
WNCC head coach Katelyn Groves said the second game saw her team battle with clutch hits all through the lineup to get the thrilling win.
“That was a huge game for us in just fighting to come back after our backs were up against the wall,” she said. “It was one through 14 and then some on the bench. Our bench players stayed in there and kept rallying us and we won together.”
It was a game where WNCC easily could have folded but they didn’t. They used timely hits, clutch base-running, and took advantage of many Otero miscues in coming back from an 9-0 deficit after 1 ½ innings.
“There is a ton of potential with this team,” Groves said. “We talk about all the time that we never say die. When we get down, we keep swinging back. As long as we continue to do that we will be OK.”
The second game showed what the Cougar team is made of with that never-say-die attitude. WNCC trailed 10-2 after 2 ½ innings before the Cougars exploded for eight runs in the third to tie the game at 10-10.
Baesler got the scoring started in the third with a run-scoring double. Emma McMillan and Emma Glawson each followed with a sacrifice flies that scored runs to cut the deficit in half at 10-5. WNCC then earned four straight free passes with three hits-batsman and one walk to score another run. Michaela Kelly followed with a single that ended up scoring all three runs including herself with a couple throwing errors to tie the game at 10-10.
Otero came right back with three in the fourth to go up 13-10. WNCC answered with a solo blast from Glawson for a 13-11 Rattler lead. WNCC sliced the led to a single run with a run in the sixth as Glawson doubled in Baesler.
Otero added an insurance run in the seventh for a 14-12 lead. WNCC responded in the bottom of the seventh. Abriana Ramirez led off by reaching on an error. Kelly then walked to put two on. Bri George followed with a run-scoring single to cut the lead to 14-13. Baesler then took a one-and-one and hit a deep shot that hit the top of the rightfield fence for the walk-off game winner.
Otero outhit the Cougars in the game 15-11. Both teams also committed seven errors on defense.
WNCC was led at the plate by Baesler, who went 4-for-5 with a single, double, triple, and home run. She also scored four runs and had four RBIs.
Emma Glawson finished with three hits with a single, double, and home run, while scoring two runs and driving in four.
Michaela Kelly had two hits with three RBIs and three runs scored. Tylar Davis had the other extra base hit with a double.
Emma McMillan picked up the win in the circle in relief of Mickie Mills. McMillan went 6 2/3 innings in scattering 10 hits and allowing eight runs. She only walked two batters in tossing 104 pitches.
The first game saw WNCC trail 3-o after three innings before tying the game at 3-3 with a three runs in the fourth inning as Glawson had a solo home run and then Mills had a 2-run shot to tie the game.
Otero answered with four in the fifth and then had two more in the sixth to led 9-5.
Otero outhit WNCC 16-9 in the contest. Glawson led the way with three hits, including a double and home run with two RBIs and a run scored. Mickie Mills had two hits, both home runs with three RBIs and two runs scored.
Groves said her team needs to play well on Sunday to get two wins especially on defense.
“We have to play well tomorrow and we have to make way less errors,” she said. “We made way too many errors today that cost us runs that they capitalized on. They are a great team and if we keep making those errors, we will back ourselves in a corner.”
Otero 021 042 1 – 10 16 5
WNCC 000 321 0 – 6 9 4
LP – Emma Glawson.
2B – Emma Glawson.
HR – Emma Glawson, Mickie Mills 2.
Otero 631 300 1 – 14 15 7
WNCC 028 101 4 – 16 11 7
WP – Emma McMillan.
2B – Hannah Baesler. Tylar Davis. Emma Glawson.
3B – Hannah Baesler
HR – Hannah Baesler, Emma Glawson.