LAS VEGAS, N.M. – The Western Nebraska Community College softball team split with Luna Community College Tuesday afternoon at Las Vegas, New Mexico, in conference action with each team winning one-run games.
The first game saw Luna get a seventh inning home run to register the 4-3 win. The second inning saw WNCC’s Makenzie Bakel register four RBIs as the Cougars won 12-11.
The second game was an offensive contest as the two teams combined for 23 runs and 31 hits. Each team scored in six of the seven innings. WNCC failed to score in the fifth, while Luna missed out scoring in the second.
Both teams scored two in the first. WNCC recorded three singles in the first with Bakel scoring on an error and Bella Coffman singling in Lexi Butterfield for the 2-0 lead.
After Luna tied it in the bottom of the first, WNCC plated three runs in the second inning for a 5-2 lead. Chloe Cronquist led off with a single followed by Bailey Blanchard reaching on a walk. Bakel then tripled to scored two and Butterfield followed with a single to score Bakel for the 5-3 lead.,
WNCC added a single run in the third to go up 6-2 as Cronquist scored on a Bakel single.
Luna scored one in the third to cut the Cougar lead in half, 6-3. WNCC followed with two in the fourth for an 8-3 lead. Coffman led off with a double followed by a single by Emma Schweitzer. Coffman came around to score on a passed ball while Chayden Chong singled home Erin Hanafin.
Luna added a single run in the fourth and two in the fifth to cut the deficit to 8-6. WNCC answered those three runs that Luna scored by scoring three in the sixth. Hanafin led off with a walk followed by Briana Henson getting a single. Hanafin scored on a passed ball and then Henson came in on a Cronquist single. Cronquist scored on a Bakel sacrifice fly for a 11-6 lead.
Luna kept scoring as well, plating two in the sixth to trail 11-8.
The seventh inning proved to be the deciding inning for who won. WNCC scored one run, which would later be the run that would win the game. Coffman led off the seventh with a single and game in to score on a Henson single for the 12-8 lead.
Luna almost made a seventh inning comeback. The Rough Riders loaded the bases with one out. Then scored three runs on a double. Luna had two runners on before Chong got the second out on a pop fly to second baseman Blanchard and then the game-ending grounder to third baseman Henson for the win.
WNCC registered 16 hits in the win. Bakel went 3-for-4 with a triple, four RBIs, and two runs scored. Butterfield also had three hits with a double, run scored, and RBI. Coffman was a perfect 3-for-3 with a double and two runs scored.
Cronquist also had three hits in the win. Cronquist had a RBI with three runs scored. Henson had two hits with a run scored and a RBI.
Chong picked up the win going seven innings while giving up 15 hits and 11 runs.
The first game was a battle to the end as well. Both teams scored in the first. WNCC plated two first-inning runs as Bakel walked and then Coffman delivered a 2-out home run for the 2-0 lead.
Luna answered with a single run in the first. No one scored again until the fourth when the Rough Riders scored two in the fourth for a 3-2 lead.
WNCC tied the game at 3-3 with a single run in the sixth. Hanafin walked and then scored on a Chong double to tie things.
Luna won the game on a first batter home run to walk off the win.
Each team had nine hits in the contest. WNCC was led by Coffman with three hits including a home run with two RBIs and a run scored. Hanafin had a triple in the game while Chong had a double.
Butterfield suffered the loss in the circle, going six innings in striking out five and allowing nine hits and four runs.
The two teams will conclude the four-game series on Wednesday with another doubleheader.
WNCC 200 001 0 – 3 9 0
Luna 100 200 1 – 4 9 0
LP – Lexi Butterfield.
2B – Chayden Chong.
3B – Erin Hanafin.
HR – Bella Coffman.
WNCC 231 203 1 – 12 16 4
Luna 201 122 3 – 11 15 4
WP – Chayden Chong.
2B – Lexi Butterfield, Chayden Chong, Bella Coffman.
3B – Makenzie Bakel.