Taylar Coleman, Willow Chitty and Kylie Engleman each hit three-run home runs for North Platte as the Bulldogs swept a doubleheader against Lexington on Tuesday. The Bulldogs won both games in four innings by scores of 10-0 and 12-2 at the Dowhower Softball Complex in North Platte.
After two scoreless innings in Game 1, North Platte (5-5) opened the scoring in the third when Tea Guerra scampered home on a fielders choice. Up next was the pitcher Coleman, who belted a three-run shot that easily cleared the fence to dead-center field, giving the Bulldogs a 4-0 advantage.
North Platte scored six runs in the fourth to end the game thanks to an RBI-double from Guerra, an RBI-single by Abby Jones and then the second three-run homer of the game by Chitty. Chloe Kreber tacked on the 10th and final run on a passed ball to end the game due to the high school run rule.
Coleman picked up the victory in the circle, throwing all four innings, allowing no runs, two hits, while walking none and striking out three.
MacKenna Johnson was tabbed with the loss for the Minutemaids (3-4), pitching 3¤ innings, allowing 10 runs on nine hits, while giving up seven earned runs, walking one and striking out none.
“[MacKenna Johnson] is a real nice pitcher. She doesn’t throw super hard but has some real nice movement on her pitches and I thought our girls did a real nice job of adjusting to her stuff once they saw her one time around,” North Platte head coach Rick Titus said. “Once they saw what she had, they really started hitting the ball hard and that’s when balls started going over the fence. They were patient and showed signs of a real good hitting team tonight and that was nice to see.”
In Game 2, the Bulldogs carried over that same approach at the plate against Johnson, putting up five runs in the first inning. The offense scored five more in the second, including Engleman’s three-run homer. and scored one run in the third and fourth to win the game and complete the sweep. The Bulldogs offense also benefited from six Minutemaid errors.
Sophomore Caitlynn Peterson got her first start at pitcher for the Bulldogs and earned the win in 1ª innings. Coleman came on to pitch the remainder of Game 2 after Lexington scored two runs off of Peterson in the second.
“I thought Caitlynn did a really nice job tonight. She had a couple tough breaks in the second inning but overall I thought she threw the ball well and did some nice things,” Titus said.
On the night, Chitty finished with four RBI, Coleman and Engleman each had three and Abby Jones two.
Already a third of the way through the season, Titus is pleased with the steady progress his young team has made.
“We’re starting to get a good feel as to where we’re at as a team. We’ve made some adjustments and we continue to make little tweaks here and there, but I like the progress we’ve made up to this point,” he said. “Our mistakes have gotten less and less and I think that shows maturity. We’ll have to keep getting better because we have a tough schedule ahead.”
The Bulldogs play Hastings and Lincoln East in Kearney on Thursday.