North Platte High pitchers Sienna McEntire and Skylar Bedlan shut down Lincoln Southeast on Thursday as the Lady Bulldogs swept the Knights in a doubleheader.
The scores were 8-0 and 6-1.
“(We played) way better than Tuesday night (a 4-2 loss to Hastings St. Cecilia),” NPHS Head Coach Leah O’Donnell-Greeno said. “We came together as a team. We made lots of good plays, instead of errors. We made the plays we could make. (McEntire and Bedlan) came on strong. They pitched all the way through and they were excellent.”
North Platte (8-8) got ahead in the first game with a big second inning. They scored the first run when Alieze Moreno hit a one-out single to center field. Emma Shannon scored the next run when she laid down a sacrifice bunt. Brooklyn Deibert hit a ground ball that snuck past the glove of shortstop Ava Neumayer to score another run. Macie Freeze hit a single to center to make it 4-0, which made Southeast switch pitchers from Brooklyn Crouch to Sydney Kjeldgaard.
“That was amazing,” O’Donnell-Greeno said. “Our hits strung together. We’re playing as a team and we’re stringing along clutch hits when we need them.”
In the fourth inning, Heaven Hutchison hit a two-run single up the middle to expand the lead. An inning later, Moreno crushed Kjeldgaard’s pitch over the fence in right for a home run. The Bulldogs scored a run in the sixth to end it early with the run rule.
McEntire recorded the shutout for North Platte.
NPHS took the lead in the first inning of the second game when Deibert took home after catcher Kalainey Nickel made a wild throw getting the ball back into the infield after fielding a wild pitch by Kenna Scribner.
It remained 1-0 until the fourth inning when Bella Girard hit a three-run homer to center that put the Bulldogs in control again.
“That was a game-changer,” O’Donnell-Greeno said. “That 1-0 ballgame was tough. Bella came in, cracked that home run. That pushed us over the edge. It gave us that extra little bit of security and breath of fresh air.”
North Platte scored a run each in the following two innings to lead 6-0 going into the seventh.
Southeast (2-10) scored their only run of the day when Raina Waller hit a two-out single just over McEntire at third base. But Bedlan struck out the next batter to finish the sweep.
After starting 1-7, the Bulldogs have clawed their way back to .500 by winning seven of their last eight. Next, they will host Grand Island Northwest (5-5) on Sept. 11.
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