Papillion-La Vista South continued its hard-hitting ways Thursday night in a 10-4 Metro Conference softball victory over Omaha Benson.
The 17-10 Titans banged out 13 hits and scored five runs with two out in the top of the first inning to produce an insurmountable cushion at Gallagher Park.
Papio South had four extra-base hits — a double by Kacy Leuck, a triple by All-Nebraska outfielder Paige Nekola and home runs by Bailee Jensen and Jayci McGill — to go with a solid pitching performance by Madison Finley.
Finley scattered six hits, surrendered no walks and set the 17-8 Bunnies down in order in three innings, including the sixth and seventh. Finley has shouldered most of the pitching load the past month since junior Jackie Jaramillo was hit in the helmet by a pitch.
Titans coach Dan Hogan said he wasn't sure if Jaramillo would be back in time for district tournament play that begins Oct. 10. Papillion-La Vista South is hosting the District A-7 tournament at Halleck Park in Papillion.
Hogan was happy with the way the Titans took advantage of the opportunities presented to them, especially so early in the game against the No. 7-ranked Bunnies.
“There were some fortunate things that happened for us and we made the most of them,” Hogan said. “Our kids are working very hard and I have to give them a lot of credit because they've battled through a good amount of adversity this season.”
McGill got the first-inning scoring started with a single that, along with an error in the Benson outfield, scored Paige Dennis and Brittany Schmiedt for a 2-0 lead.
That single to left kicked off a string of four hits that was capped by an RBI double from Leuck to give Papio South its 5-0 advantage.
Benson got one of those runs back in the bottom of the first, and then McGill got that run back by leading off the third with the second of her three singles. She scored on a sacrifice bunt by Jeanne Bramhall.
The Bunnies cut the Titans' lead to 6-3 on a two-run home run by third baseman Mileah McKelvy to right-center field. Papio South added single runs in the fourth and seventh and two more in the sixth courtesy of Jensen's two-run blast.
“We've got to make some plays,” Benson coach Bob Woodworth said. “We fought back but they hit the ball really good. I'm really proud of the way they came back from that early adversity.”
Papio South (17-10) ............................ 501 102 1—10 13 1
Omaha Benson (17-8) ............................ 102 010 0— 4 6 1
W-Madison Finley. L-Kayla Guerrero. 2B-PLVS, Kacy Leuck; OB, Tashiana Coffeil-Nelson. 3B-PLVS, Paige Nekola. HR-PLVS, Bailee Jensen, Jayci McGill; OB, Mileah McKelvy.