David City Diamonds 10 and Under softball capped one of the most successful season in program history with a runner-up trophy for Class C this past weekend at the USA Softball Nebraska State Tournament in Hastings.
The Diamonds finished the year 27-2, the highest finish in Class C for the program's 10 and Under age group. David City was fourth in 2016 and fifth in 2012.
The team will now separate into its two league teams to finish up league play with a tournament this weekend in Fairbury.
The Diamonds competed in six games total, winning four and dropping two. Only one game was played on Friday and Saturday, leaving the Diamonds with a four-game finish to the title game.
David City started 3-0 before a loss in the semifinals knocked the Diamonds down to the loser's bracket. They responded with a win before coming up short in the championship series.
The full slate of games included a 12-0 first round win over the Gresham Blackbirds, 9-6 second round victory over CC Stampede, 12-2 blowout of the North Plate Junior Belles in the quarterfinals, 5-2 loss to Blair Chaos in the semifinals, 6-5 bounce back win in the loser's bracket again over the Belles then an 8-2 rematch loss to Blair in the championship.
The two games with Blair were also rematches of the District 8 championship David City won, earning a first round bye and qualifying for the tournament.
"We kind of had one bad inning, and we didn't string our hits together as much as in the district game," coach Dawn Bohuslavsky said about the semifinal loss. "And their bats improved. Then the second time we played, we just ran out of gas. It's tough to come back once you get put in the loser's bracket.
Tough because David City faced North Platte again and needed a walk-off win before matching up again with Blair and needing two wins in the double-elimination format to win the championship.
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"And you are playing these all back-to-back in 100-degree heat," Bohuslavsky said. "If we play each of them fresh, we'd probably win five of 10."
To Bohuslavsky's point, the team played Friday at 7 p.m., Saturday at 5 p.m. then Sunday at 8 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.
Yet, while that's a difficult path to success for any group, Bohuslavsky believes the Diamonds gave themselves a chance because of the variety of ways in which the girls can win a ballgame.
"Overall, we played great, great pitching, very few walks, and our pitcher has good speed, and a changeu. Our catcher can throw people out, so we hold runners on base, and very few passed balls, good defense, very few errors. Every position is solid," she said. "Our bats were hot until the last game. We have big hitters, but we can also lay down bunts which adds an advantage to the game at 10U. I would say we have some of the best base running as a team one through nine. All of that came into play at state."
And as talented as the group is, Bohuslavsky said the team's success really comes down to the commitment her players, her staff and the parents show during the season, and in some cases, all year.
"Most of this group practices at home or takes pitching lessons, even some batting lessons," she said. "The players are competitive and willing to work at it.
"To see their work pay off makes us all very proud."
Nate Tenopir is the sports editor of The Banner-Press. Reach him via email at DVDsports@lee.net.