Lakeview softball falls just short of district final
Lakeview softball put together three wins at the district tournament in Wisner and came within one victory of the championship series, but ultimately lost twice to the eventual runners-up.
As a result, it was eliminated from postseason play in a 10-0 defeat to No. 9 Bennington on Friday.
Lakeview opened the district with a win Thursday morning over South Sioux City 12-0, lost a 13-0 game to Bennington in the second round, worked its way through the loser’s bracket with a 10-0 victory over North Bend, then a 3-2 win Friday over NEN before falling 10-0 once again to Bennington later that afternoon.
Bennington then dropped a rematch with Blair 9-2 in the championship series to leave Lakeview in third place. The Lady Vikes finish the season 15-15.
“I don’t think the last game out we played up to our full potential. I don’t know if the girls had it in their minds that (Bennington) was the better team, but I would say we did not play 100 percent when we played them both times. The other three times, I thought we played great,” coach Erica Zywiec said. “The NEN game was probably the best game we played all year. We definitely weren’t going down without a fight.”
Lakeview opened district play hot, scoring six in the first inning against South Sioux City, adding another run in the second and then put the game away early with five more in the third.
Kaylea Bailey led at the plate going 2 for 3 with a double and driving in four runs. Kassidy Soulliere threw all four innings only allowing one hit and striking out six.
Bennington sent Lakeview into the loser’s bracket just a few hours later with its own six-run first inning, then seven in the fourth. Only Emma Williams managed to get a hit.
Lakeview stayed alive with another shutout of North Bend after taking the Tigers down 12-0 on Sept. 25. The Lady Vikes finished it in just four innings, with four runs in the first and second innings, then two in the third. Kelli Schoch and Abbie Scholl each had three hits, Schoch drove in one and Scholl three and Soulliere again picked up the win while only allowing three hits and striking out eight.
Lakeview set up a rematch with Bennington, trailing 1-0 after the top of the six, taking a 2-1 lead then allowing a NEN run in the seventh.
The walk-off win began with a single by Delaney Snyder followed by a one-out single by Williams, error in the outfield of the bat of Schoch and Nevaya Metcalfe game-winning RBI on a grounder to the shortstop.
The throw came home but Snyder beat it for the win.
Bennington ended the Lakeview season by jumping out to a 4-0 lead in its very first at-bat, then riding the pitching of Avril Blume, who only gave up two hits, walked one and struck out seven.
“I wish we could have seen Blair see how we matched up against them, but, obviously, they won it and took down the team that beat us twice,” Zywiec said. “But I think we ended up in a good spot. I would like to say we could have done better than we did, but we played really well. I’m happy with third. That’s the best we’ve done in districts in a few years.”
Lakeview says goodbye to eight seniors, seven of which were regular starters.
“This group I’ve had for the last four years has always been super competitive,” Zywiec said. “Their drive, determination and work ethic is what they leave behind.”
Seniors include Bailey, Caitlin Buck, Nevaya Metcalfe, Jordan Runge, Schoch, Soulliere and Williams.
“They’ve always taken direction very well; they’re probably my most willing class of seniors to fix what was wrong and they were often with the younger girls trying to help them get better,” Zywiec said. “They are just great girls on and off the field.”
Nate Tenopir is the sports editor for The Columbus Telegram. Reach him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org