HASTINGS – Twice before in the 2018 season, Crete had done just enough to get by Beatrice.
On Sept. 17, Crete erased a five-run deficit in the bottom of the 7th to win 11-10, and the Cardinals also edged the Lady Orange 6-5 at districts in David City on Oct. 5.
This time around, Beatrice got revenge and a little extra.
The No. 3 Lady Orange (29-8) smacked three home runs, including a grand slam, to beat No. 4 Crete 12-2 in a Class B elimination game at the state softball tournament in Hastings on Thursday evening.
The loss ends Crete’s season at 26-11. The Cardinals fended off elimination earlier in the day Thursday, beating #8 North Platte 9-5.
Beatrice wasted no time putting Crete behind. Junior third baseman Olivia Aden led off the game with a single-shot home run to center field. The Lady Orange added two more runs in the top of the frame.
Crete responded in the bottom of the first. Junior catcher Morgan Maly hit a two-run shot to left field, cutting Beatrice’s lead to 3-2.
Maly finished with three home runs in three games at the state tournament.
Beatrice took control in the top of the 2nd. Senior first baseman Ashton Sandman launched a grand slam into deep center, giving the Lady Orange a 7-2 lead.
Sandman finished the game, going 3-for-4 at the plate with two runs scored and six RBIs.
Beatrice added three more runs in the top of the third and two more in the top of the fifth. Junior shortstop Addison Barnard hit a two-run homer to center to put the Lady Orange up 10.
Barnard, who entered the state tournament with a .516 batting average, was intentionally walked by Crete in her first three at-bats. She still scored three runs and finished with a pair of RBIs also.
The Cardinals had no answer offensively, being outhit by Beatrice 14-3.
“Addison is a stud, going to Wichita State,” Crete head coach Shawn Carr said. “She’s in the heart of their line up and really makes them go. They have a great supporting cast. They have some great bats in the heart of their order.”
Sophomore Alexis Mach (26-11) finished a terrific season by taking the loss in the circle. The right-hander was pulled after 2.2 innings. She finished with 69 pitches thrown, surrendering 10 hits, nine earned runs, four walks and two strikeouts.
Senior Bailey Green (13-3) made her first start of the state tournament for Beatrice in the circle on Thursday afternoon, and had an efficient outing. Green threw 60 pitches, allowing only three hits, one earned run, two strikeouts and one walk. She also hit one batter.
Beatrice will face No. 7 Omaha Gross (19-11) on Friday morning at 9 a.m. That game will be carried live on KWBE 1450 AM and 94.7 FM. Gross eliminated No. 5 Hastings, 12-11, in walk-off fashion on Thursday.
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