FAIRBURY – The Centennial Broncos softball team earned a shot at the No. 1-rated Fairbury Jeffs after a 14-2 three-inning win over the David City Aquinas Monarchs in the opening game of the Class C, District 3 tournament on Wednesday morning in Fairbury.
In the Broncos’ early afternoon matchup with the Fairbury girls, the Jeffs got a huge two-run home run off the bat of Jaelle Johnson in the bottom of the second to cap a two-out, four-run rally that gave the Jeffs a 5-0 lead at the time.
Fairbury improved to 21-4 as it posted an 8-2 win over Centennial, scoring three more runs in the fourth to break the game open.
Against Aquinas, the Broncos scored four runs in the first, six in the second, and Chaylee Tonniges’ bases loaded double drove in three runs to give the Broncos a 14-2 lead. The game ended via the 12-run rule after three innings.
In Centennial’s late afternoon elimination game against Wilber-Clatonia, Hunter Hartshorn kept the Broncos’ season alive with a walk-off, two-run homer in the seventh inning.
Centennial 14, Aquinas 2 (three innings)
Centennial cracked out 11 hits and scored at will against two Aquinas pitchers in the win.
Leading the offense was Erika Cast with three hits in three trips to the plate. Cast had three singles and matched Tonniges for the team lead in RBIs with four.
Tonniges was 2 for 2 with a double and four runs batted in while Aurora Junge had two hits, including a second-inning two-run home run.
Aquinas took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first on a run-scoring double off the bat of Claire Wisnieski and plated its second run in the second.
Centennial starter Daylee Dey went the full three innings allowing four hits and two runs. She had one strikeout. Dey also had two hits in two plate appearances for the Broncos.
Fairbury 8, Centennial 2
Fairbury starter Jami Mans held the Centennial offense scoreless the first two innings, only allowing a leadoff single to Dey.
In the top of the third, Dey gave the Broncos their second hit and first run of the game when she homered to center field to make it 5-1.
After that, the next seven Centennial batters went down in a row, and in the meantime the Fairbury offense continued to add to its lead as it plated three more runs in the fourth, two of which scored on Johnson’s two-run double, her third and fourth RBIs of the game.
Centennial made it 8-2 in the fifth when Hunter Hartshorn laced a double and scored on Sydney Kinnett’s one-out double.
That would be all the Broncos could muster offensively, however, as Mans held Centennial to five hits and two runs, both earned, and recorded six strikeouts.
Fairbury’s eight-hit attack was led Mans, Cora DeBoer and Johnson, all with two hits. The top three batters in the Jeffs’ order combined to go 6 of 11 with two extra-base hits and five RBIs.
Cast took the loss as she pitched five innings, allowing seven hits and all eight runs.
Five Broncos errors did not help the Centennial cause.