OMAHA – Plattsmouth athletes gained more than just a runner-up plaque for their work at Saturday’s Omaha Mercy Invite.
They also collected confidence and camaraderie from their winning trip to Dill Softball Complex.
The Blue Devils captured second place in the tournament with a pair of victories. Plattsmouth defeated Platteview 8-5 in the first round and then knocked off top-seeded Wayne 3-2 in the semifinals. Bishop Neumann edged Plattsmouth 2-1 in the championship game.
Plattsmouth head coach Tabitha Keating said she was happy with the team’s effort throughout the day. The Blue Devils committed zero fielding errors, produced key hits and were energetic in their dugout.
“Overall we played like a team for the first time this year,” Keating said. “Our attitudes were up the entire day and we were 100-percent together in the dugout and on the field. I’m very proud of what the girls did today. They competed hard and did a nice job against some really good teams.”
Keating said the Blue Devils (6-10) achieved their silver medals against top competition. Wayne (10-2) had been on a nine-game winning streak before meeting Plattsmouth, and Bishop Neumann had entered the tournament with 11 victories. PHS became just the fourth team to hold the Cavaliers to two or fewer runs.
“Wayne came in here with just one loss and I believe Bishop Neumann was 11-3, so those were great teams that we played,” Keating said. “That was a great win against Wayne and we played Bishop Neumann really tough too. Our bats died a bit against Bishop Neumann and we had some baserunning errors, but we were in the game the whole time and competed hard. The girls can feel good about that.”
Plattsmouth 8, Platteview 5
Plattsmouth stopped the Trojans in four innings in the first-round game. The Blue Devils burst out to a 6-0 lead in the second inning and held off Platteview’s rally attempt.
Paige Druskis helped Plattsmouth’s offense with two doubles, two runs batted in, one run scored and one stolen base. Jessica Meisinger generated one double, one walk, one steal, one run and two RBI, and Chloe Anson contributed two singles, two runs and one steal.
Josie Knust produced two singles and one RBI, Kaley Clark had one single and two RBI and Courtney Ehlers posted one walk and one sacrifice bunt. Hailey Montes walked and had one RBI, Grace Vandenburgh tallied one single and Hanna Welstead was struck twice by pitches.
Knust and Vandenburgh combined on the pitching victory. They had five strikeouts against the Trojans.
Platteview 002 3 – 5 7 0
Plattsmouth 152 x – 8 9 0
Plattsmouth 3, Wayne 2
Plattsmouth advanced to the title game with a dramatic victory over Wayne. The team scored the winning run in the bottom of the sixth inning.
Druskis began the game with a leadoff triple to center and came home on Meisinger’s sacrifice bunt. Plattsmouth tied the game in the fifth inning after Welstead drew a leadoff walk. Courtesy runner Aimee Dasher stole second and third and slid across the plate on Anson’s RBI sacrifice bunt.
Plattsmouth took home the victory in the final frame. Meisinger led off the inning with a single and stole second base. She scored after Wayne committed an infield throwing error.
Meisinger finished the game with one single, one run, one RBI, one steal, one sacrifice bunt and two defensive assists. Druskis blasted two triples and scored once, Knust had one single and Clark reached once on an error. Welstead walked once and Dasher scored once.
Vandenburgh and Knust teamed up on the victory in the circle. Vandenburgh allowed two hits and one earned run in the first two innings. Knust worked four innings and allowed three hits with six strikeouts.
Wayne 010 010 – 2 5 1
Plattsmouth 100 011 – 3 5 0
Bishop Neumann 2, Plattsmouth 1
The Cavaliers won an intense battle in the championship game. Bishop Neumann tagged out three PHS runners on the basepaths and made several other defensive plays during the contest.
Plattsmouth tied the game at 1-1 in the top of the fifth. Anson drilled a double to the fence in center field with one out. Ehlers brought her teammate home with a RBI single down the right-field line.
Bishop Neumann scored the go-ahead run in the bottom of the fifth. Mary Chvatal reached base on a fielder’s choice and swiped second and third after that. She scored on Aubrey Sylliaasen’s two-out RBI single to center.
Bishop Neumann pitcher Macy Sabatka retired Plattsmouth in order in the sixth and seventh innings. She finished with four strikeouts in her complete game.
Ehlers led Plattsmouth’s offense with one double, one single and one RBI. Anson had one double and Meisinger, Knust and Vandenburgh all posted singles. Clark caught three line drives from her spot at third base and Meisinger made three defensive assists at shortstop.
Vandenburgh and Knust each saw time in the pitching circle. They gave up a combined four hits and four walks to the Cavaliers.