Hastings- The Hastings College softball team was able to punch a ticket to the Cypress Risk Management GPAC Softball Tournament Championship Series, and the NAIA National Championship Opening Round with a 7-5 win over the Concordia Bulldogs on Saturday.
The Hastings Bracket Finals started with the 3-seeded Concordia scoring in the 2nd inning off a wild pitch to take a 1-0 lead over the Broncos.
Concordia struck again with two runs in the top of the 4th on a single and a passed ball to take a 3-0 lead over the Broncos in the top of the 4th.
The bottom of the 4th was all that the Broncos need, as Lexie Linderman (FR/Omaha, NE) got a leadoff walk that set Kaitlynn Knott (SO/Flagstaff, AZ) up for a 2-run homer to make the Bulldogs lead 3-2 with no outs in the inning. Josie Bumgardner (SO/Hastings, NE) singled, Ashlynn Clifford (FR/Corona, CA) hit a sacrifice bunt, and Jessica Peterson (SR/Omaha, NE) reached on an error to bring Elyssa Kohmetscher (SO/Doniphan, NE) in to pinch run to get runners on the corners. With two outs, Cara Williams (SR/Omaha, NE) hit a pop-fly that would not be corralled and get Bumgardner in to tie the game 3-3. Chloe Boeka (SR/Gretna, NE) added in with an RBI-single to give the Broncos their first lead of the day. Corrin Ziepke (JR/Omaha, NE) walked to load the bases, which Linderman capitalized on with a 2-run single to give the Broncos a 6-3 lead over the Bulldogs.
In the bottom of the 5th, the Broncos added to their lead as Williams hit Clifford in with a single to make the score 7-3.
The Bulldogs showed life in the top of the 7th with a leadoff homer and a later a sacrifice fly to make the Broncos lead 7-5 with the tying run at the plate, but could not get that run in.
Offensively, Hastings was lead by Knott, who had her 2-run homer that started the 6-run 4th inning for the Broncos.
The Broncos (34-21) will now travel to Sioux City, Iowa on Monday to play a best-of-3 series against the top-seeded Morningside Mustangs, with game one starting at 11 a.m., game two starting at 1 p.m., and game three would start at 5 p.m., if necessary.