After losing an extra-inning heartbreaker on Thursday night, the Wayne High softball team responded by winning two out of three to claim fifth-place honors at the Hastings Adams Central Invitational on Saturday.
The Blue Devils opened with a 16-9 loss to Hastings St. Cecilia, got a walk-off homer to edge Pole County 5-4 and won a wild high-scoring championship game with a 17-14 win over Gering to take the title and improve to 15-6 on the season.
In the opener, Wayne jumped out to a 5-1 lead before St. Cecilia lit it up for 10 runs to take control of the game.
Aliah Schulz hit the first of three home runs on the day in the opener and finished with a homer, double, three RBI’s and three runs scored. Taytem Ellis had three hits to lead the Wayne attack, while Kendall Dorey and Hope O’Reilly lboth had two hits and Ellis and Taytum Sweetland each had two RBI’s.
Wayne trailed 4-2 in the bottom of the sixth in the second game before coming back with three in the bottom of the last inning to steal the win. The Blue Devils opened the inning with singles by Michaela McManigal and Liberty Titiml, and Schulz followed by taking an 0-2 pitch over the wall in center field to seal the win. Dorey struck out 11 and allowed four walks to get the win.
In the final game, Wayne blew a 14-5 lead when Gering scored nine in the bottom of the sixth to tie the game, but made up for it with three in the top of the tie-breaker inning. Brooklyn Kruse opened the inning with an RBI single that scored Brianna Nissen, and with two out in the inning, Schulz lined a shot into right field and circled the bases for a two-run inside-the-park homer.
Nine players each had at least one hit as Wayne cranked out 17 hits in the win. Ellis had three hits and five RBI’s, Dorey, Kruse, McManigal, Sweetland, Virginia Kniesche and Kierah Haase each had two hits, Schulz and Kniesche both had three RBI, Schulz and Haase each scored three times while McManigal, Sweetland, O’Reilly, Kniesche and Nissen each scored twice.
The 15-6 Blue Devils return home Thursday for a matchup with Guardian Angels Central Catholic.