Kate Smith blasted two home runs, Columbus scored more than 10 runs for the second time in three games and the Discoverers moved above the .500 mark with a 13-8, back-and-forth win over Omaha Westside on Thursday night.
Smith led off the scoring with a two-run shot in the second then put her team back ahead to stay in the fifth on another deep drive with two runners on.
The Discoverers are now 3-2 ahead of a weekend tournament in Lincoln.
“She’s got a good stick. She’s put a lot of work into her hitting. She’s one of those kids who really took to heart what we were trying to accomplish at practice the last few days,” coach Paul Braun said. “She’s made herself better. Kate has taken what we’ve told her, and she’s applying it in games.”
Columbus had control through the first three innings, building a 4-0 lead on the two-run home run from Smith and RBIs by Katie Stachura and Macee Trotta in the third.
Smith slammed a two-out, one-on pitch over the centerfield fence to open the scoring. Stachura made it 3-0 with the bags full the next inning on a squeeze bunt up the third base line. Trotta followed her with a sac fly to deep left field.
Larisa Rother started in the circle, and had kept the Warriors scoreless through three, but had to deal with runners in scoring position in two of those innings.
After stranding a two-out single on a pop up in the first, she faced two on and two out in the second then a runner at third with two down in the third.
She eliminated the first threat on a strikeout swinging then was the beneficiary of an interference call at third base on a pop up in foul territory.
Her luck ran out in the fourth on a leadoff single, four-pitch walk and one-out free pass. A line drive through the middle made it 1-0 followed by a bases-clearing triple and a 4-4 tie in the next at bat.
Rother was replaced by Stachura who’s first pitch was deposited over the fence in left center by Westside catcher Rylee Cain.
A lineout to third then a pop out to second finally ended the jam with Westside suddenly leading 6-4.
Columbus answered right away on a two-out, two-run single by Tayler Braun. The freshman evened Columbus back up scoring courtesy runner Savannah Nelson and Alyssa Turner.
Stachura stranded the bases full in the fifth then Smith came up and smashed another two-out pitch over the wall with two on.
Trotta drove in two more in the sixth. Two others came across on passed balls.
“I think this type of a game helps you a lot. It shows the girls even if you get behind or face a little adversity, you have the ability to come back as a team and win games,” Braun said. “To me it’s kudos to the girls. The resiliency this team has, especially right now, to me is amazing.”
Nate Tenopir is the Sports Editor for the Telegram. Reach him via email at email@example.com