The Columbus High School softball team enters its first weekend off this season sitting at 8-11. The Discoverers just completed a week that included a 13-1 win over Omaha Central on Tuesday then a 9-0 loss to Wayne on Thursday.
With a few days away from the diamond before resuming action on Monday at Fremont, coach Paul Braun said he hopes the time away allows his group the chance to reset as CHS prepares for the most important part of the season.
“We just need to refocus and make a push for conference and districts,” Braun said in comments sent to the Telegram on Thursday night. “It needs to start with a good, positive practice tomorrow, enjoy Saturday off then get after Fremont on Monday.”
Braun’s comments about refocusing came after the team’s fourth shutout loss of the season. Columbus had scored at least two runs in the previous 10 games since the last shutout loss on Aug. 27 to Millard West.
On Thursday, only Tayler Braun and Becca Hazlett managed a hit while Wayne pitcher Tori Kniesche controlled the Columbus lineup.
The Blue Devils scored a run in every inning through the forth then added two in the fifth and three in the sixth. Kniesche mostly kept the base paths empty with 14 strikeouts.
The Discoverers’ only legitimate chance came in the third, but after Hazlett singled and Alyssa Turner walked, the next three hitters struck out.
“When you play a team like this you have to minimize mistakes and put pressure on their defense,” coach Braun said. “We just made too many mistakes, and Wayne took advantage of them.”
Tuesday was a much different story.
Tayler Braun, Macee Trotta and Katie Stachura each had two hits, Trotta drove in three RBIs and smashed a double and Stachura drove in two runs as well.
Central stuck first after back-to-back walks, then back-to-back errors in the first. Columbus answered by sending 17 hitters to the plate.
“We are doing a lot better job with pitch selection,” Braun said. “We used our momentum from the plate to right the ship in the field. Larisa Rother settled in in the circle, the defense relaxed and things took care of themselves."
Nate Tenopir is the sports editor for the Columbus Telegram. You can reach him via email at email@example.com