OMAHA – For the second time this season, the Wayne High softball team has come home with a tournament championship.
Solid pitching and defense were key for the Blue Devils, as they held three opponents scoreless, capped off by an impressive 1-0 win over Wahoo Neumann to take home the title of the Omaha Mercy Invitational.
Wayne opened with a 14-0 win over Schuyler, riding the hot bat of senior Kortney Keller, who had three hits, including a double, and five RBI’s to lead the way. Wayne broke the game open with a 10-run third inning to move on to the semifinals.
Sidney Biggerstaff and Ashten Gibson each had two hits in the win, while Jenna Trenhaile, Kennedy Maly and Hannah Belt each had two RBI’s. Belt threw a two-hit shutout, striking out six.
In the semifinals, the Blue Devils blanked the host Monarchs 8-0. Annie Kniesche’s two-run double in the first inning got the Wayne girls out in front. Kiara Hochstein had an RBI triple in the second and scored on a Trenhaile single. Trenhaile later came home on an error to make it 5-0. A Kniesche RBI single and a two-run single by Jamie Gamble closed out the scoring.
Keller had two hits in the win and Gibson twirled a one-hit shutout, striking out 11.
In the championship game, Wayne won a defensive battle with the Lady Cavs, getting a fifth-inning run by Gamble to earn a 1-0 win and take home top honors.
The game was scoreless until Gamble reached on a one-out single to right. She moved up two bases on an error, and Keller’s infield single brought her home for the game’s only run.
The defense was solid behind the pitching of Belt, who tossed a one-hit shutout, striking out nine and walking three.
Wayne is 11-3 on the season. They travel to Schuyler for a Monday triangular with West Point-Beemer and the host Warriors, then are back home Tuesday for a triangular with Pierce and Boone Central/Newman Grove at the Wayne Softball Complex.