Saturday, 26 May 2018
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Nemaha Central Softball Punches Ticket 3A Regional Title Game
By Mike Smith
Copyright: MSC Sports

Listen back to 3A Regional 1st round 92.1 KMZA broadcast - Sabetha vs Nemaha Central
Listen back to 3A Regional Semifinals 92.1 KMZA broadcast - Nemaha Central vs Beloit

Already assured the best season in the five years of the program Nemaha Central softball is still alive in the postseason and will play for their first ever Regional title on Tuesday night against host Marysville (game will be broadcasted on 92.1 KMZA). 

The Thunder started the Regional action off by facing rival Sabetha for the third time this year and after splitting their doubleheader earlier in the season Nemaha Central used 11 free passes to earn the 9-3 first round Regional win over the Bluejays. The Thunder got to Sabetha starter Lexie Phillips in the bottom the first inning using four walks partnered with an infield single and a hit batter to score five runs getting a pair of bases loaded walks in the inning. Nemaha Central made it 7-0 with runs in the bottom of the third scoring two on three walks, a hit batter and an RBI single by Abby Leonard. Sabetha after leaving base runners on in scoring position throughout the game broke through in the fifth with four consecutive hits to score three runs getting an RBI double from Karlie Spielman in the frame. The Thunder followed that up by sending eight to the plate in the bottom of the fifth and scoring two more runs to make it 9-3. Mattea Rettele led the inning off with a double and Makayla Sloop delivered a two RBI single in the frame. The Thunder finished the contest and earned their 11th win of the season and the first round Regional win 9-3 over Sabetha. 

Sabetha in the loss had a 2-3 day at the plate by Spielman who had two doubles, a run scored and RBI, while Maggi Hughes was 2-3 also with a triple and run scored. The Bluejays wrapped up their inaugural softball season with a 5-16 record. 

Nemaha Central in the win was led by Rettele in the circle who picked six innings giving up three runs on seven hits and three walks with 10 strikeouts, while Madison Emmons picked the final inning. At the plate Leonard was 2-3 with an RBI and run scored, while Sloop also went 2-3 with a pair of RBI's. The win moved Nemaha Central into the Semifinals versus Beloit who beat Hiawatha 10-0 in their first round game, while Marysville took Riley County in the other Semifinal after Riley County beat Minnepolis 15-5 in their first round contest. 

In the Semifinals a tough Beloit team stood in front of the Thunder and the Trojans threatened to score early against Thunder starting pitcher Emmons and the defense but Beloit left five on base in the first and second innings. The game remianed scoreless until Nemaha Central score in the Top of third on an RBI double by Claire Deters to make it a 1-0 game. The Thunder added to that lead in the fifth inning scoring another to make it 2-0 but in the bottom of the fifth three consecutive hits by Beloit including a two RBI single by Grace Morozas tied the game at 2-2. Rettele came in for the Thunder in relief in the fifth and the Thunder shut down Beloit's scoring opportunities including getting a fly ball double play by Makenzie Nordhus in the sixth to end that inning and scoring threat by Beloit. Nemaha Central regained the lead in the Top of the seventh scoring two aided by four Beloit errors in the inning and a RBI double Sloop and the Thunder went on to win 4-2. 

A 2-4 day at the plate by Sloop and Nordhus paced the Thunder as Nordhus scored three of the teams four runs and Sloop had a RBI and double. In the circle Emmons went a solid four-plus innings giving up two runs on three hits, five walks and three strikeouts, while Rettele picked the final three innings to earn the win. 

The win moves Nemaha Central to 12-10 on the season and in to the 3A Regional title game on Tuesday night versus Marysville who beat Riley County 12-6 in their Semifinal game. The Championship game is set for 5:00pm on Tuesday night and will be on 92.1 KMZA. 

©2018 MSC Sports
Hiawatha, KS 66434
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