The 2019 softball season got off to a good start for the Centennial Broncos. CHS won a triangular at Bishop Neumann Aug. 24, beating Fillmore Central/Exeter-Milligan/Friend 9-0 and Bishop Neumann 6-3.
“It was a great start. I can’t ask for more,” Coach Jake Polk said.
The Broncos pounded 10 hits against FCEMF in the opener. Chaylee Tonniges, Erika Cast, Aurora Junge and Hunter Hartshorn had two hits each, and Daylee Dey hit a home run.
Polk was pleased to see his team score in all four innings. CHS also drew two walks and only struck out twice, which he was also happy with.
“You always want those to be similar,” he said of the two categories.
For some of the Broncos, it had been a month to a month and a half since they’d played softball for the summer season. However, Polk said, they were patient at the plate and worked long counts.
“They were able to do what they’re supposed to do,” he said. “That comes with a mature team.”
Centennial has five seniors on this year’s squad.
“That means less coaching and more trust,” Polk said.
Game two was tied 0-0 after three innings, and then both teams were able to get on the board. The score was 1-1 after the fourth.
Centennial scored five runs in the fifth inning. Maddie Avery singled to lead off, and pinch hitter Jillian Bailey hit a home run to centerfield.
“Jillian crushed a home run over the fence,” Polk said.
Bailey is a new student this year from Kentucky and hasn’t played softball in six years, the coach said.
Asia Nisly singled and took second on a sacrifice by Sydney Kinnett. A flyout by Dey was the second out of the inning.
After Nisly stole third, Tonniges walked and Hartshorn reached on a pop fly to shortstop to load the bases. Cast hit a ground ball and reached on an error that scored two runs.
Junge was 2-4 for the Broncos. Cast and Kailey Ziegler both pitched, each striking out one.
Centennial (2-0) was scheduled to play in a triangular at Kearney Aug. 26, travel to Lakeview Thursday, Aug. 29, and play in the Seward tournament Saturday, Aug. 31, starting at 9:30 a.m. Central City is the Broncos’ first opponent.
UPDATE: At Kearney, the Broncos beat Kearney Catholic 3-2 but lost to Hastings St. Cecilia 7-3.