LAS VEGAS, N.M. – The Western Nebraska Community College softball team put together two solid games in taking a Region IX conference doubleheader from Luna Community College Wednesday afternoon in Las Vegas, New Mexico.
The first game saw Lexi Butterfield and Bella Coffman each hit seventh-inning home runs to help the Cougars come back from a 3-2 deficit to earn the 5-3 win.
The second game saw Chayden Chong toss a 3-hitter and the Cougars belted three home runs to earn the 9-0 win.
WNCC won three of four games against Luna during the series and moved their record to 8-15 on the season.
Emma Schweitzer, who finished with two home runs on the day, said the team played well.
“The team played amazing and we finally played together,” she said. “I think as a team we played for each other and not ourselves.”
It was a complete team effort, too, with the offense getting big hits and defensive making plays when they needed. The pitchers Lexi Butterfield and Chayden Chong threw well and let the defense make the plays when they had a chance.
“Our pitchers did amazing and really hit their spots when they needed to,” Schweitzer said. “Our pitchers kept them off balanced and our defense had their backs. We made the outs we really needed to keep the shut out.”
The first game was a defensive contest. Luna scored single runs in the first and second inning to take a 2-0 lead. WNCC didn’t bust onto the scoreboard until the fifth inning when they scored a run off of Emma Schweitzer home run.
WNCC tied the game at 2-2 with another run in the sixth. Butterfield doubled and scored on Schweitzer sacrifice fly. Erin Hanafin followed with a double and Brianna Henson a single, but that was all the runs WNCC could manage.
Luna came back to grab a 3-2 lead on a pair of singles.
WNCC had their backs to the wall but found a way to get the win. Bailey Blanchard delivered a one-out single. Butterfield then stepped to the play and recorded a 2-out, 2-run home run to put WNCC up 4-2. Bella Coffman followed with a solo home run for an insurance run and a 5-3 lead.
WNCC outhit Luna 10-8. Butterfield and Hanafin each had two hits in the win. Butterfield had a double, home run, two RBIs, and two runs scored. Hanafin had two doubles. Schweitzer also had two RBIs in the contest.
Butterfield picked up the win in the circle, going seven innings while scattering eight hits and allowing three runs. Butterfield struck out two and did not walk a batter.
The second game saw WNCC dominate on both sides of the ball. But it was the offense that really stepped up.
Schweitzer said in both games, the hitters made adjustments when they stepped into the batter’s box.
“In our games, our offense was making the adjustments we needed and always staying up in the dugout,” she said. “We kept each other going and supporting one another.”
Defensively, Chong tossed a 3-hitter in not allowing a run in getting the win from the circle.
Offensively, the Cougars finished with 13 hits including three home runs and four doubles. Bakel led the offense with a 4-for-4 game with three runs scored and a double. Blanchard and Butterfield each had two hits. Butterfield had two doubles with three RBIs and a run scored, while Blanchard had a home run with two runs scored and two RBIs.
Coffman and Schweitzer each had two RBIs with each getting a round-tripper.
The Cougars started the offensive early, scoring three runs in the first inning. Bakel started things with a single and scored on a Butterfield double. Butterfield waltzed across the plate as Coffman blasted a 2-run home run for the 3-0 lead.
WNCC added another three runs in the third as Blanchard led off the third with a solo shot. Bakel followed with a double. Schweitzer made it 6-0 as the catcher delivered a 2-out, 2-run home run.
WNCC added to the lead with three more in the fourth. Chong doubled to lead off the frame and scored on a Blanchard single. Bakel followed with a single. Both Blanchard and Bakel scored on a Butterfield double for the 9-0 lead.
That was all that they needed as the defense thwarted Luna’s potential scoring abilities to get the shutout win.
WNCC will be back at in action on April 17 and 18 when they will play their first home contests of the year when Otero Junior College comes to town for a four-game series.
“We are so excited to play at home to really show what Cougar softball is about,” Schweitzer said. “Being on the road as much as we have can be a lot but we have pushed through and I think finally being able to play at home will push us to compete.”
WNCC 000 011 3 – 5 10 1
Luna 101 001 0 – 3 8 0
WP – Lexi Butterfield.
2B – Mackenzie Bakel, Lexi Butterfield, Erin Hanafin 2.
HR – Lexi Butterfield, Bella Coffman, Emma Schweitzer.
WNCC 303 30 – 9 13 2
Luna 000 00 – 0 3 0
WP – Chayden Chong.
2B – Mackenzie Bakel, Lexi Butterfield 2, Chayden Chong.
HR – Bailey Blanchard, Bella Coffman, Emma Schweitzer.