TREYNOR, Iowa — While Sydni Huisman may not have had her best stuff of the season early in the Class 3-A Region 7 semifinal, she got stronger as the game wore on, and that was bad news for Sioux Center.
Huisman, who entered the game leading the state with 344 strikeouts, allowed four hits while striking out nine to lead host Treynor to an 8-0 win over the Warriors.
The Cardinals will host Southeast Valley, 4-3 walk-off winners over Carroll Kuemper in the other semifinal, in the regional final on Monday.
Huisman retired the last 10 batters she faced and 13 of the final 14 as she improved to 28-2.
Huisman credited her defense after the game.
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“Our defense was really good tonight. We really executed. We got the outs when we needed to get the outs and held them to zero runs, and that’s how you win,” she said.
The Warriors raised some eyebrows when they were able to make contact off Huisman and put together a threat in the first inning.
Annie Bullock and Chloe Harskamp each singled, but Huisman ended up striking out Lainey Pomrenke to get out of the jam.
Treynor coach Kara Huisman said she didn’t sense Sydni was dominating early on like she has so many times this season.
“She wasn’t as sharp as she has been, and they swing the bats well. We knew coming in that if she brought the ball and they hit ground balls, we needed to play good defense, and that’s exactly what they did,” coach Huisman said.
Sioux Center coach Kara Schmalbeck said that despite the shutout loss, her team fought at the plate and on the mound. Eighth-grader Tatum Schmalbeck pitched a complete game while striking out two for the Warriors.
“(Huisman) is a really, really good pitcher, and it’s fun for our eighth-grader to see someone like that and see what it takes,” coach Schmalbeck said. “We actually were blessed to have the opportunity to watch her.
“She averages about two strikeouts an inning, and we could have walked in and three-up, three-down each inning, and I felt like we had good at-bats, and our girls battled and fouled them off a lot.”
Treynor’s Konnor Sudmann reached third base with one out in the bottom of the first inning and tried to score on a Stella Umphreys grounder to third.
But Sioux Center third baseman Dana Den Herder threw Sudmann out at the plate to keep the game scoreless.
The Cardinals (29-3) went on to load the bases with two outs, and Reagan Darrah delivered with a two-run single.
The Cardinals added three more in the second on a two-run single by Umphreys and a run-scoring base hit by Huisman to make it 5-0.
Schmalbeck had a two-out triple for the Warriors (18-14) in the fourth, but Sioux Center was unable to get her home as Lizzie Van Es grounded out to third.
Umphreys put the Cardinals ahead 6-0 in the fourth inning with a grounder to shortstop that brought in Kayla Chapman.
Sioux Center (18-14)....000 000 0—0 4 2
Treynor (29-3).............230 111 X—8 11 1
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IF — Billie Andrews (honorary captain), Gretna, junior, .469: Despite a season-ending knee injury in late September, the Nebraska pledge already proved she was the state’s best player. No defender has been able to change the look of a game the way Andrews has the past two seasons, especially in 2018. Whether it’s one of those ‘Only Billie can do that’ defensive plays or crushing some form of an extra-base hit even when pitchers are trying to place a pitch way outside, Andrews leads by example on and off the field. Andrews hit .469 with 20 extra-base hits, including nine home runs. She also collected 26 RBIs, scored 28 runs and stole 11 bases.
P — Jordyn Bahl, Papillion-La Vista, sophomore, 24-2: She dominated opponents for the second consecutive season until Southwest got to her on Championship Saturday. The Nebraska pledge was 24-2 with 261 strikeouts. Opposing pitchers weren’t afraid to pitch around her but Bahl still hit .489 with 11 home runs and 47 RBIs.
P — Victoria Kniesche, Wayne, junior, 30-0: The last time a pitcher from Wayne was posting this many shutouts, the Blue Devils won back-to-back Class C state championships — Molly Hill was the Wayne ace. In addition to a 30-0 record with 374 strikeouts and a 0.28 ERA, she batted .513 with four home runs and 42 RBIs.
C — Brooke Dumont, Papillion-La Vista, sophomore, .602: She is the quiet leader who deftly controls games as Bahl’s battery mate. In her second season as the Monarchs’ catcher, Dumont made no errors. Dumont was hitting over .650 at midseason and finished at .602 with 48 RBIs.
C — Emma Kauf, Lincoln Southwest, Sr., .570: Able to post impressive offensive numbers despite being walked 42 times, she set season records for home runs (22) and runs scored (81). The Georgia Tech recruit finished her career with 59 homers, 226 runs scored and a .535 batting average.
IF — Brooke Andrews, Gretna, senior, .541: When her little sister’s season ended early, Brooke moved to shortstop and elevated her game. In district and state tournament games, Andrews hit .733 to finish the season at .542. Four of her 11 home runs came in the postseason, including two in Gretna’s first Class A state tournament appearance.
IF — Madeline Vejvoda, Papillion-La Vista, senior, .566: The potent Papio lineup consistently had big innings start and continue with Vejvoda. The Creighton recruit hit .566 with 19 doubles, 11 home runs and 52 RBIs. She scored 56 runs and had a 1.172 slugging percentage.
IF — Bailey Urban, Millard South, senior, .495: The Wichita State pledge showed she is ready for the college game. Urban was a four-year starter and hit .495 as Millard South’s leadoff batter with 21 home runs, 51 RBIs, 51 runs and a slugging percentage of 1.319.
OF — Abbie Squier, Lincoln Southwest, junior, .512: Squier made several of the most pivotal plays of the state tournament — a grand slam, a three-run home run, then throwing out what would have been the tying run at the plate from center field to preserve the win. Almost half of Squier’s hits this season were for extra bases (12 doubles, three triples and 15 home runs).
OF — Emma Rosonke, Omaha Burke, junior, .548: She’s the sixth player from Burke, and the first since 2005, to make the All-Nebraska team. Rosonke will take a 29-game hitting streak into next season. She hit three of her nine home runs in postseason play. As leadoff hitter, Rosonke hit .548 with a 1.065 slugging percentage, stole 25 bases, scored 52 runs, had 30 RBIs and collected 51 hits, 11 were doubles.
OF — McKenzie Steiner, Lincoln Southwest, senior, .479: Steiner was outstanding for the Silver Hawks both as a center fielder and a pitcher. She was 22-2 and her 1.98 ERA. In the state championship game, she was 3-for-4 with two home runs, and she pitched the final four scoreless innings. Batting leadoff, she hit .479 with 64 runs scored and 36 RBIs on 13 doubles, two triples and 10 home runs.
DP — Ellie McCoy, Hastings, junior, .529: It was a record-setting year for McCoy as she helped the Tigers back to state for the fourth consecutive season. Her 24 home runs broke the state record for most round-trippers in a season, and McCoy also set Class B records with 68 runs scored and 69 RBIs. With 14 doubles, 20 stolen bases and a .529 batting average, the Missouri State commit put pressure on opposing defenses all season.
DP — Mia Jarecki, Papillion-La Vista, sophomore, .516: Jarecki was another defensive stalwart who also swung a big bat. Jarecki is another speed demon on the bases, collecting 11 doubles and scoring 51 runs in 36 games. She also hit for power – six home runs – and came up clutch with 32 RBIs and an .871 slugging percentage.