SHS softball - Haley Marshall vs Waverly

Seward first baseman Haley Marshall focuses on the batter during the Bluejays' season opener Aug. 22.

The Seward softball team opened its 2019 season with a win over Waverly Aug. 22 and a runner-up finish in the Freeman Invitational Aug. 24.

“Overall, I’m proud of how we played all weekend,” Coach Rich Eber said.

The season began at home against Waverly, a game Seward won 2-1. Waverly got on the board first, scoring in the fourth inning, but Seward took the lead in the sixth.

Grace Hamling singled and stole second, and Haley Marshall doubled to tie the score. Sydney Parra laid down a sacrifice bunt, and Hannah Benedict singled to drive in Marshall.

Claire Karel, Marshall and Benedict had two hits each in the game. Parra struck out eight in seven innings.

“It was a big first win. Waverly is always tough,” Eber said.

Seward competed in the Freeman Invitational Saturday and went 2-1. SHS opened with a 4-3 win over Wahoo. Eber said he thought his team hit well, finishing with seven hits in the game, and had a handful hit into the wind that got to the warning track but were caught.

Parra struck out nine Warriors and allowed just one earned run. Marshall was 2-3 with a double.

In game two, Seward shut out Freeman 11-0, ending the game early with a 10-run third inning.

Jordin Battaglia led off the game with a home run on the first pitch, Eber said.

“She hit it a long way,” he said.

Gillian Mettenbrink pitched an inning of relief and struck out two in her first varsity pitching appearance.

“That was awesome to see,” Eber said, adding that the senior is a great teammate and has worked hard.

In the final, Seward lost 4-3 to NEN, a co-op between Wisner-Pilger, Bancroft-Rosalie and Lyons-Decatur Northeast. Because of the time limit, the seventh inning was played using the tiebreaker – each team started with a runner on second.

NEN scored two runs in the seventh, and Seward scored one.

“It was a great game. Both teams played extremely well,” Eber said. “It was a tough loss.”

Lauryn Parra’s pinch-hit home run in the fifth tied the score at 2-2.

Eber said the Jays are still working on timing at the plate, but added that it will come as the season progresses.

Up next, the Jays (3-1) are scheduled to visit York Aug. 27 and host Crete Thursday, Aug. 29, at 6:30 p.m. before hosting their home tournament Saturday, Aug. 31, starting at 9:30 a.m. SHS then hosts Columbus Tuesday, Sept. 3, at 6:30 p.m.

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