JV softball takes on Mustang

Millard West drops game to Millard North after late score


Wallor pitched in the first inning, trying to get as many outs as possible, and trying to produce weak hits. Overall, Waller gave up five hits over three innings while giving up four earned runs. “I wanted to try and keep the innings as short as possible to try and limit the amount of runs,” Wallor said. “Coming back in for relief I kinda knew what to expect with Millard North’s hitting so I was more prepared.”

Emily Calpin, Staff Reporter

On Oct. 2, the Millard West JV softball team participated in the Millard South Invitational tournament, with a final score of 10-0 in their previous game against  Grand Island. They were now ready to take on the Millard North Mustangs. 

Starting off the game, the Wildcats were the visiting team. Lead off hitter freshman Avery Kephart started the game with a single to the third baseman. Throughout the game, Kephart, freshman Gracey Meinert and junior Maddy Wallor all racked up the most hits, each contributing three. Having the most hits, both Meinert and Wallor were also able to hit a home run in the 2nd and 6th inning respectively. 

“When I was up to bat, my strategy was just trying to get base hits and to keep it simple,” Wallor said. “My strategy with pitching was to try and produce many outs and limit the amount of people on base. I tried to have people just get base hits and ground balls.”

By the middle of the first inning, with no runs scored, Millard West’s starting pitcher, Wallor, took the circle with junior Lily McCrae behind the plate. Wallor pitched the first three innings, with four earned runs and five strikeouts.  The Mustangs were able to start the inning by making contact and driving three ground balls, following with two fly outs. The inning ended on the base paths with McCrae picking off the third base runner. By the end of the first inning the Mustangs were able to rack up two runs. On and off the field, it is very important for players to step up and become a leader. Having leaders on the team ensures for better communicating while playing. 

“I was able to be a leader on the field by communicating to the players on the field and being supportive to my pitcher,” McCrae said. “I was also able to be a leader by making plays like picking someone off of third base while catching.” 

By the second inning, already down by two, the Wildcats were playing catch up. With a soaring home run by Meniert, a single by sophomore Taylen Key and double by Wallor, the Wildcats were able to tie the score at 2. Starting the third inning, Sophomore Clara Nihsen took the mound. For both the Mustangs and Wildcats, the defense was able to hold strong and not let any runs tally. North’s defense was still able to retain, while they held West to no runs by the end of the third inning. The Mustangs lead off hitter  was able to homer on a fly ball to center field to start the inning. With Nihsen giving up one earned run, the Wildcats made a pitching change, and Waller was able to take the mound once again. Striking out two, Wallor was able to dominate and cut the second inning short. With Nihsen starting the third inning, it is good to go in with a high-minded mentality. 

“Having the mentality of working smarter and not harder and just having fun helps me out while I’m pitching,” Nihsen said. “The defense helped me out by being there when I missed a spot and someone got a hit and they got out for me. I also need to have a good mentality of saying I can do this to motivate myself before I go on the field.”

The bottom of the third consisted of three hits allowing one run to score tying the score to 3. By the fifth inning, the Wildcats commanded the field with hit after hit scoring five, putting the Wildcats back in the game. The sixth inning began, and the Mustangs really took control. They started the inning off with two doubles, and an error by the Wildcats. This put the score at 7-6 with the Wildcats still taking the lead. With two people on base, Mustangs right fielder #9 smacked the ball over the fence with a walk-off home run, putting the final score at 9-7. Although the Wildcats were not able to hold their lead, the Cats totaled 15 hits throughout the game and held with the Mustangs until the last inning.