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In game with 30 strikeouts, No. 1 Omaha Skutt downs No. 3 Marian
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SOFTBALL

In game with 30 strikeouts, No. 1 Omaha Skutt downs No. 3 Marian

Omaha Skutt and Omaha Marian will have to wait another day for their defenses to be tested.

That’s because Marian ace Maddia Groff and Skutt senior Ruby Meylan combined for 30 strikeouts Saturday in the SkyHawks’ 2-0 victory in the season opener for both teams.

Groff had 18 strikeouts but gave up a pair of solo homers in front of estimated 250 at Marian. Meylan, meanwhile, survived a shaky start and gave up two hits but none in the final five innings while striking out 12.

When the season is done in mid-October, both teams may reflect on opening day as one of the toughest and best-played games of the year.

Skutt is the No. 1 team in the all-class Top 10 and Class B while Marian is No. 3 in the Top 10 and No. 2 in Class A.

After Bennington ended Papillion-La Vista’s state-record winning streak at 73 Saturday with a 10-4 victory at the Bellevue East Invitational, Skutt now has the state’s longest active streak at 19 games.

The state’s three best pitchers all played in Saturday’s game. Lauren Camenzind, who shares duties with Meylan, committed to Arkansas. Meylan is a Washington commit.

While Groff is a junior and can’t field official offers until later this year, she has been getting attention from Division I schools on the club circuit. Nebraska coach Rhonda Revelle was one of the spectators at the game.

“She is one tough pitcher,” Skutt coach Keith Engelkamp said of Groff. “When she’s living on the outside of the plate, she’s tough to hit. Now maybe our kids will listen to us when we tell them to work on protecting the outside part of the plate.”

Marian coach Chad Perkins said he thought the new-look Crusaders — Marian has new players at every infield position and two new outfielders — did a good job challenging Meylan. Eight of the nine starters put the ball in play at least once.

“We didn’t have a jamboree game last week, so this was our first time seeing live pitching,” Perkins said. “Ruby did a great job, but I liked the way our kids battled her. That’s how you learn, and I know we’ll get better.”

Skutt center fielder Hannah Camenzind — Lauren’s twin who also will play at Arkansas next season — had three of the SkyHawks' five hits, including a first-inning homer to straightaway center. Perkins estimated the ball traveled 240 feet before touching down.

Skutt’s other run came on a solo shot by junior catcher Kaitlin Foral to lead off the fourth inning.

Marian opened the game when Rylinn Groff reached on a two-base error, Emma Humpel singled and Dani Schlader walked.

The SkyHawks worked out of the jam when Groff was thrown out at third, Reagan Dreibelbis flied out to right and Maddia Groff struck out to end the inning. The final hit was a second-inning single by Omaha Burke transfer Charity Curtis.

Meylan faced the minimum 15 batters in the final five innings, striking out nine, coaxing a fly ball and getting five consecutive infield groundouts.

Skutt is scheduled to host Papio at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in a battle of defending state champs. Marian travels to Columbus Park to play Omaha Central at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Omaha Skutt (1-0)............100  100  0—2  5  1

At Omaha Marian (0-1).....000  000  0—0  2  0

W: Ruby Meylan, 1-0. L: Maddia Groff, 0-1. HR: OS, Hannah Camenzind, Kaitlin Foral. A: 250 (est.).


Omaha World-Herald: Nebraska Prep Zone

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Steve covers swimming, softball, track and field, the Omaha Lancers and more for The World-Herald.

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