Centennial’s Hunter Hartshorn

Centennial’s Hunter Hartshorn makes solid contact and drives the ball to the outfield in last Saturday’s game against the Fairbury Jeffs in Fairbury. Hartshorn hit her third home run of the year in the second game of Tuesday night’s triangular in Utica.

UTICA – The Centennial Broncos softball team picked up a pair of wins at its home triangular on Tuesday night, and both games were totally different from each other.

In the first game, a stellar pitching performance by Erika Cast offset a weak performance at the plate in a 1-0 win over the Central Valley Cougars.

In the second game against the Wilber-Clatonia Wolverines, the Broncos’ offense came alive as the hosts sprayed 10 hits all over the field and pulled away for a 10-4 win.

Centennial 1, Central Valley 0

The Cougars outhit the Broncos 7-3, but a fourth inning RBI single off the bat of Hunter Hartshorn scored Daylee Dey for the only run of the game.

In the circle, senior Erika Cast scattered seven hits, struck out two batters and walked one.

Central Valley’s offense was led by Kilee Ackles with two hits while Kayla Boutin had the only extra-base hit of the game, a double.

Centennial head coach Jake Polk said his team was fortunate to get such a great outing from Cast.

“Erika Cast pitched the complete-game shutout. We had a very poor game at the plate. We were very antsy and impatient hitters,” Polk said. “Central Valley did a nice job of keeping us off balance and we were fortunate to have a great outing from Erika on the mound.

“Our defense was tough and played clean. Central Valley has some nice pieces and they competed and made us work hard for the victory. We were glad to get the win but needed to make some adjustments to our approach at the plate before our second game of the triangular.”

Centennial 10, Wilber-Clatonia 4

The Broncos’ offense awoke from its nap in game two as they scored five runs and posted numbers in every inning after that.

Wilber-Clatonia pushed across one run in the second and three in the top of the third to trim the lead to 7-4, but Centennial responded with two in the third and extended its cushion to 9-4.

Centennial finished with 10 hits as Chaylee Tonniges had two, including a double, and drove in a run. Cast also had two hits, which included a double and a pair of runs batted in, while Asia Nisly drove in three runs with one hit.

Hartshorn slammed her third home run of the year and drove in a pair of runs.

The win went to Kailey Ziegler, who pitched five innings and allowed eight hits, four runs of which two were earned, and three strikeouts.

“I was proud of the adjustments the girls made to their approach at the plate,” Polk said. “We were more disciplined, worked deeper counts and hit the ball to all parts of the field. The hitting in the Wilber game looked more like what we’ve seen all season than what happened in the Central Valley game.

“It was great to get the win and see the girls hit the ball hard as we have two tough tests on Thursday in York with games against Adams Central and the Dukes.”

Class C No. 5-rated Centennial (11-4) will take on Adams Central in the second game of the York Triangular on Thursday at the York Ballpark Complex, then faces the Dukes (2-4) in the nightcap.

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