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Panther Softball At Fairbury Invitational

FC/E-M 6, Centennial 5

In a battle of SNC powers, the Panthers overcame some shaky defense with timely hitting to come out victorious to improve to 6-3. Centennial was able to claim a 2-0 lead in the top half of the first. They used two consecutive singles and a Panther error to plate their two runs.

FC/E-M tied the game up in their half of the second. Macy Jones reached on an error and scored on Logan Zeleny’s RBI double. Zeleny advanced to third on a past ball and was driven home on Meredith Emshoff’s sacrifice fly.

The Panthers took their first lead of the night in the fourth. Zeleny started the inning with a single, Emshoff was able reach on an error and both were driven home on Lauren Hopken’s RBI double.

The Broncos were able to reclaim the lead in the fifth as they scored three runs after the Panthers committed an error with two outs. “We should have been out of the inning in the fifth without allowing any runs," Panther coach Steve Adkisson said. "The girls need to stay focused on every out so these type of plays don’t happen."

To the Panthers credit, they were able to tie the game in their half of the fifth. Ellie Korbelik lead off the inning with a walk, after consecutive singles by Jones and Zeleny. Courtesy runner Morgan Olson scored on a fielder’s choice by Emshoff. Setting the stage for the exciting finish.

The game entered the seventh tied 5-5, after solid defensive plays by Lauren Hopken and Meredith Emshoff, the stage was set for the Panthers. Jones earned a one-out walk and then Zeleny drove a 2-0 pitch to right center, her fourth hit of the night, to score Jones and give the Panthers the hard fought win.

“What a great offensive night for Logan, she went 4-for-4 with two doubles and two RBIs," Adkisson said. "I have been waiting for her to break out of her slump and she could not of picked a better time. Macy also pitched a very solid game. We allowed too many runners to get on by errors and need to become more solid as the year goes on.”

Fairbury Invite

Game 1

FC/E-M 11, Friend 6

A game that usually is a pitching dual between the two rivals ended up being a slugfest in the opening round of the Jeffs Invite. FC/E-M got out of the shoot with four runs in the first. A single by Aubrey Adkisson and two hits batsman loaded the bases setting the stage for hot hitting Logan Zeleny. She did not disappoint the Panthers fans lacing a three-run triple to deep center field.

The Panthers then saw the error bug bite again as they allowed Friend to claim a 5-4 lead after four innings.

“Granted the weather was tough this first game as the ball was wet and hard to grip," Adkisson said. "But, we made too many mistakes not knowing what to do with the ball. I need to do a better job of putting the girls into these situations in practice."

FC/E-M was able to reclaim the lead in the fifth. Meredith Emshoff had a RBI single and Lauren Hopken added an RBI double in the inning.

In the sixth inning, the Panthers put the game out of reach scoring six runs on six hits. Kelsey Yates, Shelby Schelkopf, and Aubrey Adkisson all singed to start the inning. With the bases loaded and no outs, Elly Korblik stroked a double to left center scoring courtesy runner Maitlyn Thomsen and Schelkopf. Logan Zeleny and Lauren Hopken then delivered RBI singles to close out the scoring.

“We really got a lot of girls to contribute at the plate in this game as eight different girls had hits," Adkisson said. "I thought the top of our line-up— Kelsey, Shelby and Aubrey did a great job of getting on base. This is so important as the middle of the line-up has been really hitting the ball well. Lauren Hopken has shown great improvement from last year at the plate and will be a key to us as the season progresses. Macy threw a lot better then what the score indicated."

Game 2

Elkhorn South 4, FC/E-M 0

FC/E-M was not able to capitalize on some early scoring opportunities and came up short to the Storm 4-0. Shelby Schelkopf lead the offense with two singles. Kelsey Yates, Aubrey Adkisson, Macy Jones, Meredith Emshoff and Lauren Hopken all had hits in the game as well.

“This was by far one of our better games in the field," Adkisson said. "Juli Capek made two outstanding plays in right field and Logan Zeleney in left made two as well."

Game 3

FC/E-M 12, Freeman 1

In the invite's third-place game, the Panthers pounded out 14 hits to easily defeat Freeman in four innings. FC/E-M scored five runs in the first inning and never looked back.