The 2019 softball season didn’t end with the outcome the Crete Cardinals wanted.
The Cardinals went 1-2 at the state tournament, beating Omaha Gross 10-2 but losing to Beatrice 16-8 and Omaha Skutt 4-2.
“Making state is our goal every year,” Coach Shawn Carr said. “We’re disappointed we didn’t win, but it wasn’t in the cards.”
Crete started out Wednesday with the win over Omaha Gross. Carr said CHS had a good game plan and was able to execute on offense. Leah Jurgens, Morgan Maly, Cassidy Skillett and Jeny Cardona had two hits each. Skillett hit a two-run home run in the sixth inning to end the game via the run rule.
“That was cool for her. She’s done some big things,” Carr said.
Lexi Mach struck out six to get the win in the circle.
The victory put the Cardinals in a rematch with Beatrice. Carr said the plan was to attack the Beatrice pitcher’s fastball and changeup. Crete built an 8-3 lead, thanks to home runs by Izzy Eltze and Morgan Maly and a triple by Kaitlyn Wendt.
The game went will until the bottom of the fifth inning. Beatrice scored three runs while recording its first two outs. With the game tied at 8-8, the BHS offense started rolling. A walk and two singles brought home the go-ahead run. Another walk and then three consecutive home runs, including a grand slam, pushed the lead to 15-8.
The final run scored on an error.
“I’ve never seen anything like that,” Carr said of the rally. “Beatrice hit the ball well, and we had no answer. It was amazing in a really bad way for us.”
The Cardinals came back Oct. 17 in an elimination game against top-seeded Omaha Skutt. The Skyhawks led 2-0 after three innings, and Crete tied the score with two runs in the bottom of the fifth. Skutt pushed across runs in the sixth and seventh to win 4-2.
Crete had runners on base and hit the ball hard, but Skutt made the defensive plays, Carr said.
Eltze and Karlee Henning had two hits each.
CHS finished the season with a 30-6 record. Carr said the team’s four seniors – Maly, Eltze, Jayda Weyand and Jeny Cardona – were a big part of the team’s success.
“We will have holes to fill, but we have a lot of good young talent coming back,” Carr said.
Eltze plans to play softball at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, and Weyand is also considering softball in college. Maly plans to play basketball at Creighton.