WAVERLY – Waverly softball finished with a record of 2-1 as it hosted a quadrangular at Lawson Park joined by Crete, Ashland-Greenwood and Wahoo, Saturday, Sept. 7.
In the opening game, Waverly showed no signs of early morning stiffness in its bats as it scored in every inning in a 9-1 win over Wahoo.
Four Vikings had multi-hit games. Junior Sydney Griffin and senior Kendall Hartley led the team with two RBIs each.
Senior pitcher Kennedi Claycomb pitched a complete game, allowing six hits and one earned run while striking out five Warriors in the win.
Going into the fourth inning the Vikings would hold a slim 3-1 lead over the Warriors. With two outs in the bottom of the fourth, junior outfielder Kelsey Cordes was hit by a pitch and would set off a big rally.
Two doubles, an error and a single later and the Vikings had put up five runs to blow the game open.
In game two, Ashland-Greenwood would struggle to catch up with Claycomb’s pitching before making it interesting in the seventh.
In the bottom of the third inning, Griffin started another rally. A leadoff double was followed by a fielder’s choice that led to the Bluejay shortstop freezing and getting no outs.
A wild pitch would advance both runners and then Hartley would continue her pace at the plate with a two-run single up the middle.
Two batters later, freshman Malia Thoms would triple, scoring Hartley from second and putting the Vikings up 3-0.
Waverly would add two more in the fourth, highlighted by a sophomore Tenley Kozal homer, and looked to be cruising to another easy win when the Bluejays finally caught up to Claycomb.
Claycomb had already registered two outs in the seventh when the Bluejays tried a rally of their own.
A single to left, a double and a home run all came within the span of six pitches and the Bluejays had drawn within two.
Claycomb then pulled it together after walking the next batter on four pitches and registered her tenth strikeout to end the game.
Game three was not so pleasant for Waverly.
After two wins, the final game set up as a clash between two ranked teams in Class B.
#3 rated Crete had won its first two games, just like the Vikings.
The games in quick succession finally caught up to Claycomb and Crete took advantage of her fatigue.
The Cardinals put up two crooked number in the first two frames to pull away from the Vikings and never look back.
Three Viking errors didn’t help Claycomb’s cause as she finished her day after the third inning, giving up seven runs, only four earned, registering four strikeouts and no walks.
The Vikings would try and stage a comeback but the Cardinals would tack on six more runs in the top of the seventh to seal the game.
With the loss the Vikings ended their week with an overall record of 7-5.
All five of their losses have come from Class A or rated teams in Class B.
Head Coach Amanda Schaefer said that the tough schedule is not on accident.
“I would rather see tough competition all year long because then we know we’re battle tested when it comes to the postseason,” Schaefer said.
Some observers have obviously noticed as the Vikings moved up from unrated to #8 in the Sept. 5 Omaha World-Herald softball ratings despite the lack of a head-turning record.
Schaefer said that ratings aside it’s about building towards the end of the season and sometimes losses can be more beneficial than wins.
“We knew that we were going to face some losses and I thought they responded really well in that they’re looking to find ways to improve,” Schaefer said.