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Beatrice blasted three home runs on their way to a first round win over Blair Wednesday in the NSAA State Softball Tournament.

It's the same formula Beatrice has used on offense all year. Jaci Berke, Olivia Aden and Hannah Lytle all hit home runs in the 8-0 win in five innings over the Bears.

Two of those home runs came in the bottom of the second inning. Singles by Ashton Sandman and Tavia Hausman set the table for a three-run home run by Jaci Berke, making it 3-0 early.

The Lady O wasn't done in the second inning. Carley Leners kept the inning going by reaching on an error and she would score on Olivia Aden's two run home run, making it 5-0. That would be the first two of four RBI's for Aden in the game.

Beatrice head coach Gary Lytle said his team was anxious at the plate in the first inning, but they settled down in the second inning.

"We were swinging early in that first inning, but when Jaci (Berke) squared one up in that second inning, it calmed everybody else down," Lytle said. "Everybody relaxed after that and swung more confidently and Olivia (Aden) was able to follow up right after that."

Lytle said Berke's home run set the tone for the rest of the game.

"She was really anxious on the first couple pitches of that at bat and she was jumping and lunging," Lytle said. "Her heart was going a little quick, but she came back with a really nice swing

Beatrice's offense would go back to work in the fourth inning. Singles by Hausman and Berke followed by a two-RBI double by Aden extended the Beatrice lead to 7-0. 

Hannah Lytle put the finishing touches on the game when she blasted a solo home run in the fifth inning, making it 8-0 and enforcing the run rule.

Several of Beatrice's losses have come because of letting leads slip away late, but that wasn't the case on Wednesday. Addie Barnard pitched all five innings and gave up no runs on three hits while striking out nine and walking four.

"Addie threw well and we played defense behind her and we executed," Lytle said. "In the losses we've had, we had lapses late, but as long as we execute and take care of business, we should be OK."

The Lady O advances in the winner's bracket and will play at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday against Omaha Skutt.

Lytle said there's a lot of good teams and they'll have to pitch well and keep squaring the ball up and hitting it.

"We've got a strong lineup with seven or eight girls that can hit the ball any day," Lytle said. "We know most of the pitchers we are going to see, so we know what we have to do, we just have to execute."

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