BEATRICE – When the Dukes left the field at the York Ballpark Complex on Tuesday after their 11-1 win over Aurora in the B-7 subdistrict softball final, they were not only ready to face their next opponent, but were bracing for what was a very brutal weather forecast for Friday.
Even head coach Danyel Seevers said, “Let’s play – rain, sleet wind, our girls will be ready to face the elements and I guess we will see if they will be too.”
The NSAA decided on Wednesday that all Class B district final games would be moved to Saturday instead, when the weather is supposed to be a lot better.
York (15-11) will travel to Hannibal Park in Beatrice where they will take on Beatrice (27-4) in a best-of-three format starting at noon on Saturday.
Beatrice took down No. 3 Crete twice in the subdistricts and come in as a heavy favorite to make the Class B state championship game next week.
York made the trip to Beatrice back on Sept. 10 and dropped an 11-1 decision to the No. 2-rated and No. 3 top-ten Lady Orange.
The Dukes, however, have shown some resiliency in rematches as they also lost a 10-2 decision to Seward earlier in the year, but came back for a 9-1 win over the Lady Jays at the Hastings tournament.
York is currently on a four-game win streak and has outscored its opponents 51-15 over that stretch. Seevers knows that Beatrice is a whole different kind of beast that the Dukes will be facing on Saturday. She talked about what the teams and her coaching staff would do to get the girls ready.
“Us coaches will get a hold of some more scouting reports and see what weaknesses we can find. We are going to have to get creative, but the girls just have to carry the confidence and compete like they did today and yesterday and who knows what could happen,” Seevers said. “This is a great group of kids and they are having fun and I know they are feeling great and looking forward to the challenge.”
Beatrice comes into the matchup with a team batting average of .414, and it’s led by senior Addison Barnard with a .699 average. She also leads the team in home runs with 15. Barnard plays the outfield, shortstop and is a pitcher with a record of 13-4 and an ERA of 3.68. She has also stolen 17 bases in 17 attempts.
Five girls on the team have batting averages of .400 or better, including Olivia Oden (.474), Claire Hausman (.415), Hannah Lytle (.414) and Rylee Pangborn (.409).
Pangborn is the team’s No. 1 pitcher with a record of 11-0 and a 3.26 ERA.
York and Beatrice are dead even in runs scored per game with both teams scoring at an 8.1-per-game clip. The difference comes on defense, where the Lady Orange is giving up 2.9 and the Dukes 5.8.
York has a team average of.355 and is led by Lauren Newman with a .500 average. Senior Alexis Linder is batting .476 and junior Meaghan Rowe is at .405.
York has hit 19 home runs while the Lady Orange has belted 47. The Dukes have stolen 13 bases to 62 for Beatrice.
York freshman Lauryn Haggadone has been the workhorse in the circle, logging 112-plus innings and coming in with an ERA of 5.28. Rowe has seen some work (15 innings) and has given up 8.49 runs per game.
Beatrice had 14 hits in the first game between the two teams while York was able to pick up four.
The winner moves on to the Class B state tournament next Wednesday through Friday at the Bill Smith Softball Complex in Hastings. The loser wraps up their season.