KEARNEY — The Kearney Catholic softball team made its return to Patriot Park after a three-week road trip. The Stars continued its home winning streak during their triangular with the Polk County Slammers and Gothenburg on Tuesday.
The Stars remain unbeaten at home with a 15-4 victory over the Slammers, and a 10-5 win during their nightcap with the Swedes. Not only are the Stars are 5-0 at home, each of those wins ended by a run-rule.
“We’ve protected this place since we started and we’re going to continue to do that,” KCHS coach Sydnee Tidwell said. “So, it’s always nice to have a good home crowd, so it was really nice to be here.”
The Stars started their triangular with Polk County. They were up 3-0 in the first inning and led the whole way. The Slammers were able to make it a respectable game when they added three runs in the second and third innings to only be trailing 6-3. The Stars’ runs started flowing in the bottom fifth. The Stars produced nine runs, enough to clinch the victory over the Slammers.
“The fact we could make timely hits together and we get people on base whether it’s our No. 1 hitter or our No. 9 hitter they can produce runs,” Payton Schirmer said.
Against Gothenburg, it almost looked as if the Stars were going to escape with another run rule after five as they led 10-2. The Swedes had different plans.
With two outs left, the Swedes made a comeback attempt plating three runs off four hits as they trailed 10-5. Kami Kaski made her first appearance as a reliever for Bralen Biddlecome in the final two innings. It was a bit shaky at first for the sophomore pitcher.
“When I came to pitch, I was really nervous coming in,” Kaski said. “When I got a walk or something, it felt really good for my teammates to pick me up, and I knew they were behind my back.”
The more Kaski pitched, the better she got. She was comfortable after her first strikeout. The Stars shut out the Swedes in the top of the sixth. Kaski did enough to give Briddlecome another win in the circle.
“When my coaches encouraged me to fix the things that I wasn’t working on, and when I fix them, it ended up going a lot better for me, and I started to throw more strikes and that really helped,” Kaski said.
Kearney Catholic was led by their top hitters in Krista Lee, Live Nore and Biddlecome. Against the Swedes, Nore was 3 of 3 at the plate and had two RBIs. Lee homered without having to knock the ball out of the park. Her breakaway speed made up for it as she had an inside-the-park home run to set the tone in the first inning for the Stars. Biddlecome led with 4 RBIs off her only hit at the plate. Against Polk County, she was 2 of 3 with three RBIs, tying with Carleigh Eurek.
Biddlecome added 12 total strikeouts as the starting pitcher for both games.
“A run rule is great, but we’re looking for the W, and we’re looking to play hard, we’re looking to stay focused from start to finish,” KCHS coach Sydnee Tidwell said. That was the goal going into the season and obviously communication.”
Kearney Catholic improves to 16-2 on the season and returns to the road for a triangular at Twin River, and a weekend invitational at North Platte.