The Central Conference has been known as a powerhouse conference for many years when it comes to softball. The Schuyler Central Warriors found that to be the case again last Thursday when they competed in the Crete Triangular against Crete and Aurora.
In the first game of the afternoon, Schuyler faced the Crete Cardinals and were dealt a 12-0 shutout defeat.
Karlee Hanning threw a three-inning, no-hitter for the Cardinals, striking out eight Schuyler batters while walking only one. Only one of Schuyler’s outs was on a ball put in play. The rest were strikeouts.
Crete struck for five runs in the first inning, three in the second, and four in the third to end the game early on the mercy rule.
Lucy Mendez was the starting pitcher for the Warriors. Of the 12 runs that she allowed, only seven of them were earned runs as Schuyler committed four errors in the contest. She didn’t strike out any Cardinal batters, but she only walked three batters. Mendez had a difficult time finding the strike zone on a consistent basis during the 2020 season, but she has improved greatly thus far during the 2021 campaign.
"We didn’t seem ready to play against Crete," Schuyler head coach Jordan Haas said. "We played very flat. I don’t know if it was because of the hour-long bus ride or what, but we did not seem ready to play. Lucy (Mendez) did pitch well, but we made four errors behind her and got no hits at the plate."
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In the second game, Schuyler surprised Aurora with two runs in the first inning. Elizabeth Harding reached on a one-out walk then scored two batters later on a single by Jedlicka. Lissi Martinez scored from third base on a wild pitch with two outs in the inning.
Aurora came back in the bottom second with a 14-run barrage to take a 14-2 lead.
Schuyler couldn’t muster any hits in the second inning, but had singles stroked by Martinez and Jedlicka. Unfortunately, those hits didn’t lead to any more runs and the Huskies won 17-2.
Jedlicka was the batting star for the Warriors, going 2 for 2 at the plate with a pair of singles. She was also credited with an RBI.
Mendez took the loss in the circle with 17 runs allowed on 15 hits and one walk. Once again, due to errors, only five of those runs were earned.
“We did play better against Aurora,” Haas said. “There was a lot more energy and we scored twice in the first inning. Aurora came back quickly though with 11 hits in the first inning. They were very disciplined and capitalized on our mistakes as we had four errors in the first inning.”
The Warriors host Lakeview at the Schuyler softball complex at 5 p.m. this Thursday and then compete in the David City Invitational this Saturday. Schuyler opens against Yutan in their first game set to begin at 10:45 a.m.
Doug Phillips is a freelance writer for the Schuyler Sun. Reach him via email at SCHsports@lee.net