Dawgs win North Platte Softball Classic

Tatum Montelongo of North Platte pitches against Gering during the North Platte Softball Classic on Saturday at Dowhower Softball Complex in North Platte. The Bulldogs won the tournament by defeating Lexington and Gering.

Top-seeded North Platte defended home turf and won the North Platte Softball Classic on Saturday at Dowhower Softball Complex.

After a first-round bye, the Bulldogs (15-9) started the day with a bang, trouncing Lexington 18-2 in three innings due to run rule. North Platte followed that up with a 4-2 victory over Gering in the championship game. The Bulldogs have now won four straight games and 10 of their last 11.

Semifinal vs. Lexington: The North Platte offense got to work in a big way right off the bat against Lexington, scoring nine runs in the first inning.

They weren’t done.

After a scoreless second inning, the Bulldogs again plated nine in the third inning.

Meanwhile, Bulldogs starting pitcher Kendra Mitchell kept the Minutemaids off the board, throwing all three innings, allowing two earned runs on four hits, walking one and striking out two.

Offensively, the Bulldogs had 13 hits, eight walks and just one strikeout. Five Bulldogs had multi-hit games.

Tatum Montelongo went 2-for-2 with a walk, and the highlight of the game with a third-inning grand slam to center field, and finished with a game-high five RBIs. Abby Orr was a perfect 4-for-4 with a double and an RBI, Sydney Barner was 2-for-3 with a walk and an RBI and Aspen Nelson was 2-for-2 with two walks, two RBIs and a game-high four runs scored. Shelby Yoshida had one hit, one walk and two RBIs and Ellie Hanson was 2-for-3 with two RBIs.

Championship vs. Gering: North Platte again jumped on the opposition when pitcher Tatum Montelongo helped her own cause with a two-RBI double, scoring Nelson and Orr for a 2-0 lead.

A Barner RBI double scored Yoshida in the second, extending the North Platte lead to 3-0.

After Gering plated a pair of runs in the third, North Platte clung to a 3-2 lead, but Cassidy Ratliff changed that in the top of the fifth with a solo home run, extending the lead to 4-2. The home run was disputed by Gering coaches and players, who thought it was a ground-rule double. Upon appeal, the umpires kept the call a homer.

Montelongo ended the game by striking out Brylee Dean, preserving the victory for North Platte.

The Bulldogs are back in action on Tuesday when they play

at McCook.

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