The North Platte Lady Dawgs role-played different acts in Tuesday’s doubleheader against Lexington at Dowhower Softball Complex.
North Platte (5-6) showcased an overpowering blend of offense and defense in their opening act with a 12-0 win, but playing the role of comeback kids in the second game backfired in a 5-4 extra-innings loss against the Minutemaids.
"It’s disappointing," North Platte head coach Jeff Barner said. "We came out and took care of business in that first game and got a run-rule on them, but then we just let down our guard, and Lexington definitely took advantage of it."
Led by Abby Orr’s six RBIs and two home runs through two games, the Lady Dawgs swung for the fences in the opening game of the doubleheader.
After a quiet first inning in which North Platte clung to a 1-0 lead, the Lady Dawgs poured in five runs on four hits in the bottom of the second, which was highlighted by Orr’s first homer of the day.
"The girls came out focused, ready to play and they did really good attacking the ball," Barner said of the first game.
And the runs continued in the bottom of the third for the Lady Dawgs, who tacked on another six runs on three hits while keeping Lexington without a hit — cementing North Platte freshman Tatum Montelongo’s no-hitter in a three-inning run-rule victory.
But things changed to start the second game for both teams.
Lexington brought in new pitcher Amaya Stewart, who gave the Lady Dawgs trouble early, while Kendra Mitchell pitched the first four innings for North Platte.
The Minutemaids attacked first, opening with a pair of hits that resulted in an early 2-0 lead in the top of the first. After another scoreless inning in the bottom of the second for North Platte, the Minutemaids tacked on another run on an Alyssa Winter RBI double.
The Minutemaids added yet another run on a North Platte error, retiring in the top of the third with a 4-0 lead.
"We made some errors the second game that cost us," Barner said. "They added up and allowed Lexington to hang in the game. We need to figure out how to get rid of those mistakes because that made all the difference today."
North Platte tried to swing the momentum in the bottom of the third, getting in scoring position after an Aspen Nelson single moved Sydney Barner to second base.
North Platte, however, only came away with a run to trim Lexington’s lead to 4-1.
Then it happened again.
Aspen and Barner found their way back to first and second base in the bottom of the fifth, only this time Orr’s second homer of the night drove in the game-tying run.
"We were telling them to sit and go opposite field," Barner said. "She came up big for us when she finally did it to tie the game late, but we just couldn’t string any hits after that to win."
Both teams went scoreless in the seventh, forcing extra innings.
In the eighth, Lexington’s Jordyn Jeffries hit an RBI double to break the tie, giving the Minutemaids a 5-4 lead.
North Platte hit a few deep balls in the bottom of the inning, but Lexington held them off for a three-up-three-down frame to end the game.
North Platte travels to Hastings for a doubleheader on Thursday.