GOTHENBURG — The Gothenburg Lady Swedes will be looking for their fifth trip to the State Softball Tournament in the past seven years today, as they move into the C-6 District final with a 10-0 semifinal win over St. Paul in four innings.
Gothenburg’s Amanda Barkmeier had a dominating performance on the mound. She blanked the Lady Wildcats with three strikeouts, on only two St. Paul hits, and didn’t walk anyone while facing only 15 batters.
“Not bad,” Gothenburg coach Roger Neujahr said of Barkmeier’s performance. “We spotted her pitches pretty good.
“We had about two pitches in the first two innings that we missed. Other than that we were right on.
“I thought maybe with us scoring a few runs, we didn’t attack it as hard as we could have in the last inning, but we were able to get the outs, so it was a good pitching performance — yes.”
The Lady Swedes put up a run in the bottom of the first on an RBI single to left by Emily Franzen. Shay Wear walked to open the inning, stole second and came around on Franzen’s hit.
Gothenburg loaded the bases in the third with the help of infield hits by Ashley Eskew and Wear but were unable to score.
The Lady Swedes didn’t miss their opportunity in the fourth, as they put another three runs on the board. Gothenburg took advantage of three costly St. Paul errors and put together three hits in the inning.
Franzen singled to center to get the Lady Swedes inning started. Kyndal Holmes then lined a single off the leg of pitcher Alyssa Goldfish putting two aboard.
Rebecca Riley missed on a bunt attempt with the runners moving, and an error on Emilie Wolfe’s throw to third, scored courtesy runner Kylee Beyea.
Three batters latter, Holmes and Riley would score as a throw to first pulled Shelby Smith off the bag.
Although the Lady Swedes were able to put up some runs, Neujahr wasn’t necessarily happy with his team’s offensive performance.
“No, not really,” the coach said. “We aren’t because we need to adjust to slower pitchers. I know it’s easy to say — just wait and wait, and keep your weight back. It is so hard.
“The kids are human beings. We’re playing with high school kids — they want to hit it and they don’t keep their weight back at all times.”
The Lady Swedes would end the game in the fourth, as they scored six runs with the benefit of only one hit off relief pitcher Jasmine Lewis. After two walks to begin the inning, Riley doubled to center to score Franzen. Holmes, who also walked, scored on a wild pitch that bounced out to the first baseman.
Lewis walked six of the next seven batters, scoring the final five runs to end the contest, sending the Lady Swedes to the finals and dropping the Lady Wildcats into the consolation bracket.
Minden and Southern Valley/Alma will play in a 10 a.m. match-up with the winner playing St. Paul at 11:45. The winner will play Gothenburg at 1:30 p.m. in the finals, needing to defeat the Lady Swedes twice.
“I can honestly say I haven’t looked at the brackets — who’s left in it,” said Neujahr following the game. “I’m not sure. I know [St. Paul] is [in the finals]. We’ll have to be ready, whoever we play.”
Gothenburg hits: Riley 1 (double); Franzen 2; Eskew 1; Wear 1; Holmes 1; Schwanz 1.
St. Paul hits: Beck 1; Mudloff 1
Pitching: Barkmeier, W; Goldfish, L
District results: Game 1 — Chase County 14, Chadron, 5; Game 2 — St. Paul 10, Southern Valley/Alma 3; Game 3 — Minden 7, Blue Hill 4 (8 innings); Game 4 — Gothenburg 11, Chase County 0 (4 innings); Game 5 — St. Paul 14, Minden 2 (3 innings); Game 6 — Southern Valley/Alma 2, Blue Hill 1; Game 7 — Minden 14; Chadron 13; Game 8 — Southern Valley/Alma 10, Chase County 5; Game 9 — Gothenburg 10, St. Paul 0 (4 innings).