NORFOLK — The Columbus High softball team swept the competition Saturday to win its first tournament title since 2014.
CHS beat Class A, No. 4 Millard West, Kearney and Norfolk to claim the championship at the Norfolk Invite.
“The girls played amazing today, best all-around performance we’ve had so far this year,” CHS head coach Paul Braun said. “We had all three phases of the game — offense, defense, pitching. We put pressure on the other teams and played loose.”
Columbus started the tournament with a quick 1-0 deficit against Millard West, then exploded for seven runs in a third inning that included five straight hits.
Millard West, which committed three errors in the contest, scored two more runs but couldn’t get any closer as the Discoverers and pitcher Katie Stachura earned the 7-3 victory.
Stachura recorded seven strikeouts in the win.
“She kept them off-balance all game,” Braun said.
Alyssa Turner led the CHS offense with a 2-for-3 performance at the plate, scoring a run and driving one in, before taking the mound in Game 2 against Kearney.
Turner got plenty of run support early as Marika Spencer blasted a two-run homer in a three-run top of the first inning.
Kearney got a run back in the second inning before Spencer went deep again and Stachura drove in Abby Gerber to put Columbus High up 5-1.
The Discoverers went on to win 5-3 to reach the championship game against Norfolk.
Turner, who struck out seven batters over two games, found herself in a pitchers’ duel versus the Panthers.
Norfolk scored a run in the second inning on Columbus’ lone error, then Turner shut the Panthers out the rest of the way.
Columbus plated two runs in the sixth inning when Spencer drove in Turner and Kennedy Jones to get the 2-1 victory.
The Discoverers committed just two errors in the three games and came up with 21 hits.
“Defensively, we played mentally strong, stayed the course and didn’t allow the other team to string hits together,” Braun said. “We took care of the ball.”
Spencer finished the tournament with four hits and five RBIs and Gerber had four hits, three runs scored and an RBI.
Turner had three hits, two runs scored and an RBI, Macee Trotta recorded three hits along with a run scored and an RBI and Stachura drove in one run on her three hits.
“As a staff, we cannot give the girls enough credit for the total team performance,” Braun said.
Columbus (7-8) plays a doubleheader Tuesday at fifth-ranked Lincoln East.