Millard South’s latest hitting clinic produced the same result against a familiar foe Tuesday night.
For the second time in three days, the second-ranked Patriots defeated district rival Millard West 9-1. Millard South also defeated the Wildcats by the same score in the championship game Saturday of the Westside Invitational.
Tuesday at Millard West, the Patriots pounded out 13 hits — including nine in the final two innings — while their ace Jordan Johnson scattered four hits and got the Wildcats out in order in two of the five innings.
“She never gets too high and she’s never too low,” Millard South coach Steve Kerkman said. “Sometimes you have to have that as a pitcher. It really helps during the course of a game.”
Both teams also played error-free ball, a good sign for both Kerkman and Millard West coach Don Brummer as postseason play begins in just over two weeks.
Millard South showed it’s poised to make a run at a third consecutive Class A title from the first pitch. Junior second baseman Emily Hove sent that offering from Kristen Van Hoosen over the left-field fence.
The No. 3 Wildcats answered in the bottom of the first when sophomore shortstop Emily Klosterman sent the equalizer to straightaway center field with two outs.
After that blast it was all Patriots, though they stranded nine runners, including leaving the bases loaded in the second inning and two apiece in the first and fourth frames.
Millard South scored one run in the second when first baseman Paige Gerdes scored after reaching on a one-out single. Things started to get rough for Millard West in the fourth when the Patriots scored three runs on four hits.
All-Nebraska catcher Madi Unzicker had the big blast — a two-run triple that hit the top of the fence in right-center field and plated Val Kinney and Hove, who had reached on singles. Unzicker’s courtesy runner, Maddie Siedlik, scored on a single by center fielder Leah Kalkwarf.
“A team like Millard South, with the weapons they have, they’re just relentless,” Brummer said. “When we’ve played them, they didn’t have a kid who’s had a bad at-bat.”
The Patriots also didn’t have many in the fifth when they scored the final four runs to end the game two innings early. Hove finished 3 for 3 with a home run and double, Unzicker was 2 for 3 with four RBIs and Kinney was 3 for 3.
“We’re getting more confident hitting the ball the other way,” Kerkman said. “That’s been a process where we couldn’t do it, then we would make contact and now we’re hitting it.”
Millard South (16-3) .......... 110 34—9 13 0
At Millard West (11-7) ....... 100 00—1 4 0
W: Jordan Johnson. L: Kristen Van Hoosen. 2B: MS, Leah Kalkwarf, Emily Hove, Madi Unzicker. 3B: MS, Unzicker. HR: MS, Hove. MW, Emily Klosterman.
Elkhorn South 1, Blair 0
Freshman Olivia Ferrell tossed a no-hitter for the Class B No. 1 Storm against their Eastern Midlands Conference rival.
The only run for Elkhorn South (19-2) was a home run in the fourth inning by senior third baseman Corrin Ziepke.
Ferrell struck out 14 to end Blair’s 14-game winning streak after a 2-4 start.
Blair (16-5) ........................... 000 000 0—0 0 1
At Elkhorn South (19-2) ....... 000 100 0—1 4 0
W: Olivia Ferrell. HR: ES, Corrin Ziepke.