The Seward softball team stormed through subdistricts Oct. 2, beating Schuyler 12-0 and Crete 15-3 and hosted Waverly Oct. 7 in the B4 district final.
Seward won game one 9-6 but then lost game two 8-2 and game three 16-8 to finish the season one win short of the state tournament.
“We ran into them at the wrong time of the season for us,” Coach Shawn Carr said.
He said the Jays had hoped to face someone besides Waverly, a team they had defeated Sept. 25. Upsets in subdistricts put the Vikings in the visiting dugout.
In game one, the Jays jumped out to a 4-0 lead after three innings, and Seward was ahead 8-1 after the fifth.
Waverly put up four in the sixth to make things interesting, but Seward added an insurance run in the sixth.
Lauren Frihauf was 3-4 with a double, and Dalaney Anderson and Lovely Hibbert had two hits each. One of Hibbert’s was a home run.
Mckenna Sides pitched all seven innings and struck out five.
In game two, Waverly pulled away in the third inning, extending their lead to 6-2. Karlee Baack hit a double, which was the only extra base hit for the Jays.
Sides struck out four over 4.1 innings, and Bell Herring pitched the final 1.2 in relief.
That set up game three and a win-or-go-home outcome for both teams.
Both scored two in the first inning and four in the third. Then Waverly scored four in the fourth and three each in the fifth and sixth and held the Jays to two in the sixth. The Vikings hit four home runs in the game.
Hibbert was 2-3 with her 10th home run and 10th double of the season in the loss. Anderson and Sides also had two hits each.
Sides pitched 5.2 innings and struck out four while allowing 15 hits. Herring got the final out.
Overall, Carr said, Seward got timely hits and played well in the first game.
After that, “every time we thought we had momentum, the tide turned,” he said. “That was how the day went. Credit Waverly. Both their pitchers pitched as well as they have all year.”
In the win over Schuyler, the Jays had just two hits – triples by Lauren Frihauf and Hibbert – but drew 12 walks and were hit three times.
Against Crete, Frihauf went 3-4 with a double and drove in two. Hibbert was 2-2 with two home runs and four RBIs, and Sides was 2-3 with two home runs and five RBIs. Coral Collins also had two hits.
Seward (25-7) will graduate four – Anderson, Hibbert, Collins and Emmalee Herring.
“They are a great group,” Carr said. “We wanted to go another week. We wanted to make a big run.”