Just about everything went right for the No. 3-ranked Hastings High softball team Thursday night in its 13-0 win.
Subsequently, just about everything went wrong for the opposing Adams Central team.
The Tigers wasted little time in the top of the first inning, with freshman Elle McCoy reaching second base safely after just two pitches from the Patriots’ Taylor Soucie. Following McCoy’s lead, Hastings ripped off a six-run inning and sent all nine batters to the plate.
The inning was capped by back-to-back RBI hits from senior Olivia Douglas and junior Tatiem Bender, who smashed a two-RBI ground-rule double into right center field and later scored on a wild pitch.
Despite not hitting for very much power, head coach Pete Theoharis said his team found other ways to score runs throughout the game.
“I’m not sure how many balls we hit hard tonight, but I thought we made a lot of things happen,” he said. “We worked some walks, which we’ve done a good job of lately, and we waited on a pitch we could drive.”
Following the six-run surge, it was senior Olivia Douglas’ chance to shine.
Douglas was dominant in the circle, tossing a three-inning no hitter, while allowing just two Patriots to reach base all night. The win pushes Douglas’ record to 12-3 on the year.
“Olivia did an outstanding job in the circle and defensively, we made every play behind her,” Theoharis said. “If we play like that, we’re going to be pretty tough.
With a 6-0 lead already in hand, the Tigers added seven more in the top of the second inning.
Senior Markki Frazier got the inning started with a one-out single, before Douglas came through with another timely RBI single to stretch the lead to eight.
Later in the inning, senior Jenna Garner slapped a blooper into right field that drove across two more runs. Patriots’ pitcher Taylor Soucie lasted just 1 1/3 innings and gave up five hits and eight runs.
Adams Central head coach Tim Marker said he believes the Tigers’ hot start affected his team’s ability to respond.
“They’re a great team and our cross-town rival. I think we came out probably a little bit nervous facing them and then they just got off to a great start,” he said. “We were just down a bit coming in after giving up so many runs in that first half inning.”
The win pushes Hastings to 16-3 overall, while Adams Central drops to 7-13.
Both teams are back in action on Saturday, with Hastings set to host the Hastings Invite, while the Patriots are slated for three games on Saturday at the Grand Island Northwest Tournament.