HASTINGS, NE – Last season, one of the biggest surprises in the Nebraska state softball tournament was No. 7 seed Crete knocking off No. 2 seed Hastings 5-2 on opening day.
This time around, it was No. 5 Hastings (27-12) who pulled the upset, hitting two home runs and three doubles to top No. 4 Crete 6-2 in first round of action at the Class B state softball tournament in Hastings on Wednesday afternoon.
The Cardinals (26-10) were held scoreless through the first three innings before junior catcher Morgan Maly launched a single-shot homer to left center in the top of the fourth inning.
Hastings, who’s now won 14 games in a row dating back to Sept. 22, led 4-0 after three innings. Junior shortstop Ellie McCoy and freshman designated player Kaelan Schultz led off the top of the third with back-to-back single-shot dingers.
McCoy now has 24 home runs this season, while Schultz has 15.
Schultz finished 3-for-4 at the plate with two runs scored, two RBIs and a double. Sophomore centerfielder Sophie Cerveny also went 3-for-4 for Hastings with three singles and an RBI.
Hastings outhit Crete on the day 8-4.
The Cardinals had only one base runner through the first three innings. Crete had runners on first and second with two outs in the bottom of the seventh, but junior shortstop Jayda Weyand struck out to end the rally.
Junior right-hander Elle Douglas (15-9) was the winning pitcher for Hastings. In seven innings, Douglas threw 85 pitches, eight strikeouts and zero walks.
Sophomore Alexis Moch (26-10) took the loss in the circle for Crete. Through a full game’s work, the right-hander finished with 129 pitches thrown, five strikeouts and two walks.
Moch also surrendered eight hits and six runs (five earned).
Crete will fight to keep its season alive on Thursday afternoon. The Cardinals face No. 8 North Platte (22-15) at 12:30 p.m. The game will be streamed live on Ol’ Red 99.5, with coverage beginning at 12:15.
North Platte put up a strong fight, but lost to No. 1 Elkhorn (27-6) on Wednesday, 5-4.
Other Class B finals:
#3 Beatrice 8, #6 Blair 0
#2 Omaha Skutt 7, #7 Omaha Gross 3
#3 Beatrice (27-7) vs. #2 Omaha Skutt (27-7), 12:30 (1450 AM, 94.7 FM KWBE)
#1 Elkhorn (27-6) vs. #5 Hastings (27-12), 12:30
#6 Blair (16-13) vs. #7 Omaha Gross (17-11), 12:30
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