NORTH PLATTE – The Western Nebraska Community College softball team made Easter Sunday an offensive showcase in tallying 35 hits and three home runs in sweeping by North Platte Community College at North Platte on Sunday in two close contests.
WNCC needed extra innings in the opener but tallied clutch hits in registering the 11-10 win in nine innings. The second game saw the Cougars get home runs from Jasmine Wessel and Julia Suchan in posting the 13-10 win.
The Cougars move to 34-13 on the season. WNCC will next be in action Tuesday when they travel to McCook Community College for a conference doubleheader. The Cougars will then host Northeastern Junior College on Sunday in sophomore recognition day and Diabetes Awareness Day against Northeastern Junior College. Uniforms for Sunday's game will be auctioned off on Saturday on Facebook.
Sunday's contest, however, were a battle with WNCC controlling the games for the first part only to watch North Platte make seventh inning comebacks.
The opening game saw WNCC held a 7-2 lead entering the seventh inning. That was when North Platte put together a rally, scoring five times on one hit and two errors to force extra innings.
The Cougars score three times in the eighth. Cassie Jones scores on a sacrifice fly by Celyn Whitt. Julia Suchan reaches on an error and Madi Jackson follows with a double. Lauren Oxford comes through with a 2-run single to put WNCC up 10-7.
North Platte comes back with three in the bottom as Ana Kaniho singles in one run and then Sarah Beaton hits a 2-run home run to force another inning.
Cassie Jones comes through with a single to score Emily Selby for the go-ahead run. WNCC's defense comes up big in the bottom of the frame, holding North Platte from tying the game as Ashley Thomas gets two ground balls and a strike out for the win.
WNCC pounded out 17 hits in the nine-inning contest. Suchan, Wessel, and Guymon each had three hits. Suchan had a double, three runs scored and a RBI. Wessel finished with a home run, three RBIs, a run scored, and two walks. Guymon had two doubles, two RBIs, and a run scored.
Whitt, Jackson, and Jones each finished with two hits. Whitt and Jackson each had a double.
Thomas picked up the win, going all nine innings in allowing six earned runs and striking out three. Thomas walked two. Thomas allowed 10 hits, including a double to Shelby Beltoni and a home run to Beaton.
WNCC jumped out to a 7-1 lead after scoring three times in the third and fifth inning. The big hits in the third included a run-scoring double by Jackson and a 2-run single by Wessel. The fifth's big hits included a 2-run home run by Wessel and a run-scoring single by Guymon.
North Platte came back to cut the deficit to 7-5 with four runs in the fifth. The Cougars bats, however, stayed hot by scoring three more runs in the sixth and seven for a 13-5 lead.
The sixth saw Suchan blast a one-out solo home run followed by run-scoring single by Emily Selby and Guymon.
The seventh inning saw run-scoring singles by Oxford and Selby for the 13-5 lead.
North Platte tried a late rally, scoring five runs in the seventh, but it wasn't enough as Sarah Linford picked up the complete game win.
Jackson paced the Cougars with four hits with two doubles, four runs scored, a RBI and a stolen base. Suchan finished the game with three hits. Suchan had a home run, three runs scored, two RBIs, and a stolen base.
Whitt, Wessel, Oxford, Guymon, and Selby each had two hits. Whitt had a double with two runs scored and a stolen base, while Wessel had a home run, five RBIs, and two runs scored.
Linford picked up the win in the circle, allowing 10 hits and striking out one. Linford allowed just two extra base hits, a double to Ana Kaniho and a home run to Beaton, her second on the day.
WNCC 102 011 231 – 11 17 4
North Platte 010 100 530 – 10 10 3
WNCC 103 033 3 – 13 18 2
North Platte 010 040 5 – 10 9 1