WNCC softball team tops Luna in close games

WNCC softball team tops Luna in close games
April 14th, 2024 | WNCC Sports Information

The Western Nebraska Community College softball loves keeping their fans on the edge of their seats and that is exactly what they did Saturday as they captured a conference doubleheader against Luna Community College Saturday at Volunteer Field.

In the first game WNCC fell behind 7-2 and later 12-5 before plating 12 runs in the fifth and sixth innings to claim the 17-15 win.

The second game was a complete team effort as Jenika Fuentes went the distance in scattering 11 hits and allowing just three hits while striking out three. WNCC had 13 hits in the 7-3 win as Mykah Klumpp had a home run.

The Cougars have won four straight and moved to 7-11 in conference play while Luna drops to 4-14. WNCC is just three wins out of third place after both McCook and Northeastern dropped games Saturday. Both of those teams are 10-8 in conference.

WNCC and Luna will be back in action Sunday for another conference doubleheader beginning at 11 a.m. at Volunteer Field.

Devyn Priselac, who went 3-for-4 with four RBIs in the first game, said the team did what they needed to do to get the wins.

“We played really well together. I would say we played like a team,” Priselac said. “We backed each other up and went out there and won two ball games.”

Priselac, of Ft. Collins, Colorado, said the first game was a hitter’s contest while the second one was a package of great defense, pitching, and timely hitting.

“We are just one of those comeback teams that can pick it up pretty quick once we all start working together and passing the bats. It just feels pretty good,” she said. “The second game we held them a lot better than we did that first game. We just came out and won that one as well.”

The first game saw the two teams combine for 32 runs and 24 hits as both Luna scored in five of the seven innings, while the Cougars scored in five of the six innings they batted in.

Early on the Cougars’ bats weren’t clicking as Luna jumped to a 7-2 lead after three innings. WNCC plated one run each in the first and second innings. The first inning saw Katelyn Czerpak get on via an error and scored on a Bailey Legere single. The second inning saw Baylie Krueger get a double and scored on a sacrifice bunt by Randi Mitchell to give WNCC a 2-1 lead.

Luna came back with six runs in the third inning for a 7-2 lead. WNCC responded with three in the fourth to cut the deficit to 6-5. The fourth saw WNCC get three runs as Mykah Klumpp get a single and score on a Chayse Cronquest hit. Cronquist came in to score on a Priselac single and Mitchell scored after a free pass.

The fifth inning saw the two teams plate a combined 12 runs. Luna scored five in the fifth to take a 12-5 lead. WNCC responded in a big way by putting up a seven spot to tie the game at 12. The fifth saw Klumpp get plunked by a pitch followed by a Cronquist single. Krueger scores one on a single. WNCC loaded the bases after Mitchell was hit by a pitch. Priselac then roped a single to right field that scored three runs with Priselac using her speed to get to third on throwing errors to make it 12-9.

Priselac scored on a Czerpak hit that resulted in an error and then Czerpak scored on a Hilgner single. WNCC tied the game at 12-12 as Jenika Fuentes doubled home Hilgner.

Luna came right back to go back in front 13-12 with a run in the sixth, but the Cougars answered with five in the bottom of the frame. Krueger got the inning started with a walk and scored on a Mitchell triple. Priselac then roped a ball through right-center and raced to third for a run-scoring triple and then came in to score on a wild pitch. WNCC made it 16-13 Czerpak scored on a Hilgner single. WNCC loaded the bases and scored another run on a fielder’s choice hit to lead 17-13.

Luna scored two in the seventh all with two outs before Kayli Cooper got the final out on a lazy ground out to herself in the circle to end the game.

WNCC outhit Luna 15-9. Luna had three home runs in the first game while WNCC had two doubles and two triples. Priselac led the team with her 3-hit performance along with a triple, four RBIs, and two runs scored. Hilgner, Fuentes, Krueger, and Mitchell all had two hits each. Hilgner had three RBIs, while Krueger had three runs scored with a double and Mitchell had three runs scored with a triple.

Cooper came in to relieve Bella Pacheco to get the win. Cooper went 4 2/3 innings with five strikeouts while scattering four hits.

Game two saw WNCC lead from start to finish by plating a run in five of the six innings.

It was also a game where the defense made big plays to thwart Luna scoring opportunities.

On offense, WNCC had 13 hits as Czerpak led the way with a 3-for-3 game with a double, three runs scored, and four stolen bases. Hilgner, Legere, and Krueger all had two hits. Legere, Hilgner, and Cronquist all had two RBIs.

WNCC scored single runs in the first three innings. In the first, Czerpak walked and steals both second and third before scoring on a groundout hit. The second inning saw Klumpp lead off with a solo home run to centerfield for the 2-0 lead.

After Luna scored a run in the third, WNCC answered with a run of their own with Czerpak leading off with a double and scoring on a Hilgner single.

WNCC went up 6-1 with three in the fifth. Czerpak and Fuentes each got singles. Hilgner scored on a sacrifice fly by Legere and Klumpp came in to score on a Cronquist double.

WNCC added an insurance run in the sixth when Czerpak singled and scored on a Legere double.

Game 1
Luna                     106 051 2 – 15 9 8

WNCC                 110 375 x – 17 15 0
WP – Kayli Cooper.

2B – Baylie Krueger, Jenika Fuentes.

3B – Randi Mitchell, Devyn Priselac.

Game 2
Luna                     001 001 1 – 3 11 0
WNCC                 111 031 x – 7 13 3
WP – Jenika Fuentes.
2B – Bailey Legere, Chayse Cronquist, Katelyn Czerpak.

HR – Mykah Klumpp.


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