STATE SOFTBALL -- Kniesche K’s 18 as Wayne opens state with 6-1 win
HASTINGS — Playing in near-freezing conditions Wednesday night, the Wayne High softball team opened the Class C Nebraska State Softball Championships with a 6-1 win over Cozad Wednesday night at the Smith Softball Complex.
The 32-0 Blue Devils scored single runs in each of the first three innings and broke the game open with three in the sixth to advance to Thursday’s 3 p.m. matchup against Bishop Neumann.
Wayne struck first in the opening inning when Kayla Fleming single and scored when Annie Kniesche’s single was misplayed in the outfield, allowing Fleming to come all the way around the bases.
Wayne scored again in the second when Allison Claussen walked and scored on a Kniesche double, then made it 3-0 in the third on Sidney Biggerstaff’s seventh home run of the season, a line drive that just cleared the left field fence.
Cozad became the first team in the last eight games to score on Wayne when they put up a run in the fourth, but Wayne would answer with three in the bottom of the inning, Kendall Dorey reached on an error and scored on a Maysn Dorey groundout, and Kniesche hit a two-run double to right center, scoring Claussen and Fleming.
That was enough for junior pitcher Tori Kniesche, who struck out 18, allowed two hits and walked three to pick up the complete-game win and improve to 27-0 on the season.