SMITHVILLE — Kearney softball found itself with not enough firepower in the district semifinals for the second straight season after the Bulldogs fell 11-1 against Class 4 District 8 host team Smithville on Wednesday, Oct. 14.
Smithville senior Veronica McNeece led the way with five RBIs, helping the Warriors rack up a 7-0 lead by the bottom of the third. Kearney was only able to get on the board with a line-drive double from senior Lillie Filger in the top of the fifth.
The Warriors scored four runs in the third inning to put the game out of reach early. McNeece, junior Deyton Odneal and sophomore Lily Wornson each scored RBIs in the inning. McNeece and senior Makaela Carr led the team with three hits while Odneal, sophomore Raelyn Tanner and Katie Robinette also had multiple hits in the game.
Kearney sophomore Miranda Michael lasted 2 ⅔ innings before being replaced by sophomore Elysia Hand for the rest of the game, although neither pitcher was able to slow down the Warriors’ bats.
On the other end of the pitching duel, Carr frustrated the Bulldogs hitters with a 10 strikeouts performance as she allowed only two hits and one run in six innings.
Kearney (13-10) beat Winnetonka 16-1 in the first round of district play to finish the season 5-3 over its last eight games.
The Bulldogs only losses in that stretch came against the Warriors and Platte County, the two teams in the district title game and co-champions of the Greater Kansas City Suburban Conference Blue Division.
Smithville will face Platte County in the district final 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 16 at Smithville High School.