The Western Nebraska Community College softball team likes to add drama to its games and Sunday afternoon was no different.
A day after the Cougar softball team won on a 3-run walk-off home run by Hannah Baesler in Saturday’s 16-14 win, the Cougar softball team used some late inning magic on Sunday to post two wins over No. 18 Otero Junior College at Volunteer Field.
The first game saw WNCC get some clutch hits in the eighth inning from a game-tying solo home run by Bri George and a run-scoring double by Emma Glawson that scored Baesler from first with a heads-first slide into home plate for the game winner and the 11-10 extra inning win.
The second game saw WNCC pound out 15 hits with a five RBI game from Michaela Kelly which included a 3-run home run that hit the second fence on the fly for the 12-9 win.
WNCC won three of four over Otero over the weekend and moves to 11-5 in the conference standings, one loss ahead of Otero, which dropped to 14-6 in conference play. The Cougars moved to 19-17 overall.
WNCC coach Katelyn Groves said she will take the wins any way they come.
“They were wins,” Groves said. “We always talk about the Ws and that is what they were today Ws. We got two wins and they weren’t pretty, but we fought tooth and nail to win two ball games against a really good ball club. It was fun to watch our kids compete and go toe-to-toe, but we have to stop giving up runs late in the ball game. We like to make things super exciting and our fans get their monies worth, so on Friday if you want to take a day off and watch us [against Trinidad], you are guaranteed a good ball game because we don’t like to make anything easy right now.”
WNCC controlled both games early but let Otero back in the games with late runs in both games. The first game was a lot of offense. The two teams combined for 21 runs and 30 hits in the contest.
WNCC outhit Otero 19-11 and had nine extra base hits. The Cougars hammered seven doubles, including two from George and three from Glawson. George led the way at the plate with a 5-for-5 day with two doubles, a home run, five RBIs, and three runs scored. Glawson went 4-for-5 with three doubles and three RBIs.
Also collecting two hits were Abriana Ramirez, Baesler, and Lindsey Allie. Ramirez haad a double, while Kelly had a double.
Mickie Mills started the game with a solo home run. Kelly followed with a double and scored on a George single. George came around to score on a 2-out double by Glawson for the 3-0 lead.
Otero tied the game with three runs in the second before WNCC went back in front 7-3 with four in the fourth on three hits. Emma McMillan and Lindsey Allie each singled to load the bases. Tylar Davis scored the first run after she was force in after Mills was hit by a pitch. With two outs, George scored two with a double and the 7-3 lead.
Otero scored two in the fifth to cut the lead to 7-5. WNCC answered with two in the sixth. Otero scored four in the seventh to force extra innings.
In the extra frame, Otero scores one in the eighth to take their first lead of the game. WNCC tied the game in the bottom of the extra inning as George blasted a home run. Baesler than singled and scored on a Glawson double for the win.
Glawson picked up the win in relief of Mills. Glawson tossed the final two innings allowing two runs and three hits. Mills went six innings in allowing eight hits and eight runs.
Game two also had a lot of offense as the two teams combined for 28 hits. WNCC had the upper hand, totaling 15 hits with four extra base hits.
Kelly led the way with two hits including a double, home run, five RBIs and a run scored.
Six other players also registered two hits each. They include Mills, Ramirez, Baesler, McMillan, Allie, and Tylar Davis. Ramirez and Davis each had two RBIs and two runs scored. Allie and McMillan scored two runs.
Emma McMillan picked up the win, going four innings in allowing four runs and six hits. The sophomore also struck out three and walked one. Glawson started and went three innings and allowed five runs with seven hits.
WNCC had two innings in thee game where they scored five runs. The second inning, the Cougars scored five runs on four hits. The inning started with back-to-back singles from Baesler and Glawson. McMillan then walked to load the bases.
Allie and Davis came through with a run-scoring singles to put WNCC on top 2-1. After Adriana Ramirez scored one, Kelly got a double that scored two for a 5-1 lead.
Otero came back to tie the score at 5-5 with three runs in the fourth. WNCC retook the lead in the bottom of the fourth as Baesler singled in Ramirez for the go-ahead run.
The Cougars followed that up with five runs in the fifth that saw Mills score one on a double and Ramirez had a run-scoring single. Kelly then blasted a 3-run home run that was a no-doubter that hit the second fence at Volunteer Field on the fly for a 11-5 lead.
WNCC added a single run in the sixth as an insurance run.
WNCC will be back in action on Friday as they host Trinidad State Junior College. Groves said itt feels nice to be leading the conference, but they still have plenty of games left.
“We have a lot of ball games left. McCook is playing well right now and we still have six games against them,” she said. “Trinidad took two games from us and we have them Friday and then we have four against McCook. NJC took one from Trinidad and they are playing well. They have hot bats and it is a conference that if you don’t show up every single day anybody can win. We just have to do the things we do well and minimize mistakes late.”
Otero 030 020 41 – 10 11 1
WNCC 300 402 02 – 11 19 3
WP – Emma Glawson.
2B – Bri George 2, Emma Glawson 3, Michaela Kelly, Abriana Ramirez.
HR – Bri George, Mickie Mills.
Otero 011 301 3 – 9 13 3
WNCC 050 151 x – 12 15 4
WP – Emma McMillan.
2B – Michaela Kelly, Mickie Mills.
3B – Emma McMillan.
HR – Michaela Kelly.