Bison softball team finishes season 26-6
at state tourney
HASTINGS -- The McCook Bison softball team suffered a 3-1 loss to Blair in the opening round of the Nebraska Class B Nebraska State Softball Tournament at Hastings.
The Bison allowed one hit and no runs in the top of first inning. In the bottom half of the inning, leadoff hitter Amanda Einspahr reached on an error by the first baseman.
Amanda Einspahr advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Jessica Einspahr. Austin Wilson followed with a base hit to left center field and stole second base.
The Bears would retire the side, stranding two runners at third and second. The Bison recorded a three-and-out defensive stop in the top of the second frame.
With one out on the Bison, Ashley Carfield was hit by a pitch. Marissa Wallace followed with a sacrifice bunt to advance Carfield. The Bears recorded their third out, with Carfield stranded at second base.
The Bears scored their first run in the third inning, off back to back errors by the Bison. Blair's left-fielder singled to advance the runner.
The following batter hit a ground ball to second baseman Cody Korus, who threw to catcher Austin Wilson for the tagged out and prevented another score by Blair. The Bison retired the side.
The Bears held the Bison with a three-and-out defensive stop in the bottom of the third, with Blair leading 1-0 going into the fourth frame.
The Bison recorded another three-and-out in the top of the fourth inning. With one out, Kirstie Hiatt singled to left field. Meagan Carfield entered as Hiatt's courtesy runner.
Meagan Carfield advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Korus. The Bison grounded out to end the inning, stranding one base runner.
Both team defenses held in the fifth inning, with one hit by the Bears and no runs scored by either team. Blair scored one run in the top of the sixth inning on two errors, a fielder's choice and a base hit.
Jessica Einspahr had a leadoff single in the bottom half of the inning, only to be stranded at first base as the Bison side was retired.
The Bears added one more run in the seventh, on two base hits, an error and a walk.
In the bottom half of the final frame, with two outs on the Bison, Marissa Wallace parked a home run over the left center field fence for the only score for McCook.
The Bears recorded the final out of the game, coming away with a 3-1 win over the Bison.
Hiatt picked up the loss, allowing two hits and one run, while striking out seven in four complete innings. Wallace allowed four hits, one walk and no runs, while striking out one in three complete innings.
In the elimination game, McCook faced Hastings, the hosts of the state tournament and a familiar foe for the Bison.
Bison pitcher Kirstie Hiatt struck out an impressive 16 batters, as McCook downed Hastings 7-1 to advance in the consolation bracket.
Neither team scored in the first inning. In the top of the second frame, Danae McCorkle led off with a base hit to left field, but was later called out trying to steal second base. Hastings retired the side.
The Bison recorded a three-and-out in the bottom of the frame.
In the top of the third inning, with one out, Wallace singled to left field. Kali Lyons was hit by a pitch. Both runners advanced on a sacrifice bunt by Amanda Einspahr.
Jessica Einspahr followed with a single, scoring Wallace. Wilson followed with a base hit, scoring Lyons. The Tigers would retire the side, stranding runners on second and first.
McCook held Hastings, allowing no hits and no runs in the bottom of the third, taking a 2-0 lead into the fourth frame.
Sarah Craw reached on an error by the shortstop and Carfield followed with a single. Wallace followed with a line drive hit to third base. Wallace's hit was caught and thrown to second base for a double play to retire the side.
Hiatt struck out all six batters she faced in the fourth and fifth innings.
In the top of the fifth inning, Lyons led off with a single and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Jessica Einspahr.
Wilson followed with a base hit to left field. McCorkle reached on an error by Hastings, with Lyons and Wilson both scoring on the miscue by the Tiger defense.
Hiatt followed with a single, advancing McCorkle. Craw followed with a base hit up the middle, scoring McCorkle.
The Bison grounded out to end their half of the inning and led 5-0 going into the sixth inning. Wallace reached on an error by the shortstop.
Lyons reached on a fielder's choice. Amanda Einspahr reached on an error by their first baseman, scoring Lyons on the miscue. Wilson followed with a single to left field. Einspahr and Wilson were both stranded as the side was retired.
Hastings scored its lone run in the bottom of the sixth inning on back-to-back singles and an error by the Bison defense.
In the top of the seventh, Hiatt singled to left-centerfield. Meagan Carfield entered as Hiatt's courtesy runner. Ashley Carfield reached on an error by the first baseman. Lyons followed with a single, scoring Megan Carfield and rounded out the scoring for the Bison.
McCook held Hastings as they recorded two base hits in the bottom half of the final frame. The Tigers stranded two runners to end the game, with the Bison coming away with a 7-1 win.
Hiatt picked up the win for the Bison, allowing four hits, one walk and one run, while striking out 16 batters.
In the next consolation bracket elimination game, McCook faced Ralston, the team which eliminated them last year at the state tournament.
The Rams defeated the Bison 6-0, eliminating them for the second year in a row.
The Bison held the Rams in the first three innings of play, recording three-and-out defensive stops in each inning.
In the first inning, with two outs on the Bison, Wilson hit a line-drive right back to the pitcher, which struck the Ralston pitcher on her right side.
The Rams' pitcher was down for several minutes, as athletic trainers assessed the injury. She remained in the game and struck out the side, stranding Wilson at first.
In the second inning, with two outs on the Bison, Ashley Carfield led off with a base hit. The Bison flew out to center field to retire the side, and stranded Carfield at first.
The Rams' pitcher struck out all three Bison batters she faced, in the bottom of the third.
In the top of the fourth, the Rams scored two runs on a ground rule double, a sacrifice bunt and two base hits.
The Bison went three-and-out in the bottom of the fourth, with the Rams leading 2-0 going into the fifth inning.
Ralston added two more runs in the fifth on a walk, a base hit and an error by the Bison defense. McCook went three-and-out, again, in the bottom of the fifth, with Ralston leading 4-0 after five complete innings.
Ralston scored one run in sixth on an error by the Bison defense and a double.
The Bison threatened to rally in the bottom of the sixth. With one out, Amanda Einspahr singled with a slap hit up the middle.
Jessica Einspahr followed with another slap hit down the third base line. Wilson walked, to load the bases. McCorkle flied out to center field for the second out.
With Hiatt up to bat, Ralston threw down to second, trying to put out Jessica Einspahr on her lead off the base. Amanda Einspahr attempted to score, but the shortstop threw her out at the plate for the third out. Ralston led 5-0 going into the final frame.
The Rams scored one run in the top of the seventh on a walk, a fielder's choice and a double.
Hiatt led off with a single, but the side was retired, stranding Hiatt at first and ending the game.
Kirstie Hiatt picked up the loss for the Bison, allowing four hits, one walk and four runs, while striking out four in five innings.
Marissa Wallace allowed two hits, one walk and two runs while striking out two in two innings.
McCook ended their season with a 26-6 record.
They will graduate eight seniors, who played their final game in a Bison uniform on Thursday night.
Seniors on the Bison team are Sarah Craw, Cody Korus, Jessica Einspahr, Kirtie Hiatt, Hailee Koetter, Marissa Wallace, Ashley Carfield and Austin Wilson.
The group posted a career record of 98-31.