CRETE -- The Class B No. 2 ranked Beatrice softball team slugged its way to a B-5 Sub-istrict Championship on Tuesday.
The Lady O hit four home runs on their way to a 10-2 win in five innings over Class B No. 3 Crete. It was Crete's third loss of the season -- all of which have come against Beatrice.
It was a game mostly about bragging rights as both teams had already locked up home field advantage in this weekend's district finals.
With the win, Beatrice did lock up the No. 2 seed in the 16-team district finals field. They will host the No. 15 seed in a three game series later this week. The winner of that series advances to state.
District finals series were originally scheduled to take place on Friday, but officials are discussing the possibility of moving the games to Saturday due to the forecast of inclement weather on Friday. That decision, though, has not been made. See Thursday's Daily Sun for that schedule.
With the wind blowing out on Tuesday, Beatrice had seven hits against Crete -- four of which were home runs. Tavia Hausman had two home runs, three RBI's and two runs scored. Hannah Lytle had a home run, three RBI's and one run scored and Reganne Henning had a solo home run.
Morgan Mahoney and Avery Barnard each had doubles in the game while Olivia Aden had a single.
Beatrice benefited from nine walks, four of which were dealt to Addie Barnard, meaning she's still sitting tied for the all-class career home run record. Barnard did score three times in the game.
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"All the girls swung the bat well today other than Addie since she doesn't get to swing the bat," said Beatrice Coach Gary Lytle.
Addie Barnard pitched all five innings, giving up two earned runs on four hits while striking out seven and walking two. She benefited from solid defensive plays behind her from Whitney Schwisow, Hannah Lytle and Avery Barnard.
Lytle said he's most proud of how the defense stepped up during sub-district play.
"Our defense is always tough and that keeps us in games even when we're not swinging the bat well," Lytle said. "It was just really good defense and Addie threw the ball well, which gave our defense the opportunity."
Lytle said his team is clicking on all cylinders at the right time of the year. He described it as "flipping a switch."
"I felt like we were coasting for a while, but these last couple days we have played really well," Lytle said. "Some teams have the mentality to be able to do that and this group of kids -- I don't know why -- but they've always been able to do that in the big games."
Beatrice has been sitting at No. 2 in the Class B rankings behind Omaha Skutt for a good chunk of the season, but they haven't qualified for state yet. Lytle said they can't afford to have a letdown this weekend.
"We need to keep doing what we did here the last two days," Lytle said. "We need to focus on doing our job, play some defense and swing the sticks. As long as we take care of business, we should be alright."