Swedes fall to hosts in tourney title game
GINW prevails 4-3.
A day of mixed performances ended with the Swede softball team losing the championship game of the Grand Island Northwest Invitational in eight innings.
It marked the second time this year that the Swedes were knocked off by the tournament hosts. It happened previously at McCook.
Gothenburg is busy on the diamond this week. The Swedes traveled to St. Paul Tuesday. They will play Gering and Scottsbluff at Ogallala on Thursday before hosting their own invitational Saturday.
Boone Central falls 7-3
Gothenburg’s less than polished defensive play from Thursday continued in the first game Saturday, but it wasn’t bad enough to result in an upset.
“We played like we did in the bottom of the eighth against Holdrege on Thursday night,” Swede coach Roger Neujahr said. “We were just not sharp defensively.”
Gothenburg committed five errors in the game.
The Cardinals took a 1-0 lead in the first inning, but Gothenburg tied the score in the second and grabbed a 3-1 edge after three.
The Swedes made it 5-1 after four, but allowed Boone Central a couple of runs in the fifth.
Karen Franzen led off the seventh with a double and Alisha Ballmer followed with a single. One run scored on Brittyn Munster’s sacrifice bunt and another came home on a sac fly by KaTrina Winter.
Amanda Barkmeier went the distance on the mound for her third win.
Best game of the year
Gothenburg blanked Aurora 5-0 in the next round to advance to the championship game.
“The game may have been one of the best games we played all year,” Neujahr said. “They had two hits—and just two base runners—the whole game. We had a couple of key hits and played good defense.”
Gothenburg’s bats came alive in the first inning, but four singles netted only two runs.
The Swedes loaded the bases in the fourth inning and Roni Putnam capitalized with a bases-clearing triple to left field making it 5-0.
After giving up a single to the first Aurora batter, Bre Messersmith retired the next 16 straight before another single broke up the string in the sixth inning. Jordyn Haake relieved her in the seventh and coaxed two ground outs before fanning the final batter of the game.
Messersmith boosted her season mark to 10-2.
Swedes have just 3 hits
Despite gaining only three hits, Gothenburg rallied with a run in the seventh to force an extra inning in the title contest.
Former Gothenburg resident Kelsey Scherer drove in a run for Northwest in the bottom of the eighth for the 4-3 victory.
Northwest scattered 11 hits for the game, but managed just three runs through seven innings of play.
“Maybe we shouldn’t have even been in it, but we were,” Neujahr said. “It was a credit to our kids.”
The Vikings scored solo runs in the first, second and third innings.
Gothenburg stayed close with single runs in the fourth and fifth.
Vanessa Linegar singled in the fourth but a couple of errors allowed her to reach third. She came home on Karen Franzen’s sacrifice bunt.
KaTrina Winter reached on a fielder’s choice in the fifth and eventually scored on a passed ball.
Errors helped Gothenburg force an extra inning. Jordyn Haake reached on an error and pinch runner Brittyn Munster later came home on a throwing error.
Gothenburg had a chance to score in the eighth. Ali Abramson moved to third on a passed ball after starting the inning at second. Roni Putnam bunted but was struck by the ball in fair territory for an out.
A line drive out by Bre Messersmith and a controversial ground out by Shelby Eggleston ended the threat.
Amanda Barkmeier was the losing pitcher in relief of Messersmith.