The visiting Soldotna softball team improved to 2-4 overall with a 23-15 victory over Kenai Central on Thursday. The game was called after six innings due to the mercy rule as the Kardinals fell to 1-7.
The game went back and forth until Soldotna delivered the knockout punch in the sixth inning. The contest was tied at 2 after an inning, SoHi led 6-5 after the second inning, Kenai led 8-7 after the third inning, Kenai led 12-11 after four innings and the game was tied at 15 after five innings.
In the top of the sixth inning, the Stars sent 12 batters to the plate in scoring eight runs. SoHi’s bats did the majority of the damage in the frame — collecting six hits — while a walk and a pair of errors helped the Stars along.
Taking the 23-15 lead into the bottom of the sixth, the Stars needed to hold the Kardinals scoreless to invoke the mercy rule and did just that. Soldotna starter Miah Mead, who had control issues in the middle of the game, steadied herself to work out of a one-out, bases-loaded jam by recording a strikeout and ground-out.
Kenai’s Caitlin Crabb and SoHi’s Mead went the entire game on the mound.
Walking seven, Crabb forced the Stars to hit the ball. SoHi banged out 19 hits, led by a monster game from Ashlyn Asp. Asp had a towering, two-run home run to right-center field in the first inning and never let up. She finished 4 for 4 with seven RBIs and four runs.
Also for the Stars, Emily Hinz was 3 for 5 with four runs, Brook Fischer was 4 for 5 with two runs and two RBIs, Katie Hinz scored three runs, Harlee Thomas was 2 for 4 with two RBIs, Mead was 2 for 5 with three runs and two RBIs, Makynzi Deborski was 2 for 5 with three runs, and Bailey Conner was 2 for 4 with two runs and two RBIs.
Mead walked 18 in the game, but was able to minimize the damage by stranding 12 Kenai runners on base. By contrast, Soldotna left on seven. The Kards collected seven hits.
Libby Brinner was 2 for 4 with two runs, Crabb was 2 for 3 with three runs, Hermoine Lanfear had three runs, Taylor Carver had three runs, Shelby Burman had three RBIs, Zaharah Wilshusen had two RBIs, Kyana Griskevich had two RBIs and Andie Galloway scored two runs.
Kenai Central girls soccer 7, Nikiski 0
The host Kardinals celebrated senior night by improving to 1-4 in the Peninsula Conference and 2-8-1 overall. The Bulldogs drop to 0-4 and 0-10.
The Kardinals honored senior captains Bethany Morris and Julia Hansen and seniors Karley Harden and Taylor Pierce on the night.
“They all had really good games,” Kenai coach Dan Verkuilen said. “It was a neat atmosphere with the parents there.”
Kenai led 2-0 after the first half, with Kori Moore scoring on an assist from Neveah Olson and Kylee Verkuilen scoring on an assist from Karley Harden.
In the second half, Harden scored on an assist from Morris, Olson scored unassisted, Morris scored on an assist from Chloe Goldsby, Moore scored unassisted and Morris scored unassisted.
“It was a nice opportunity,” coach Verkuilen said. “We had a little more time to settle and move the ball and build up from defense forward.”
The coach said it also was nice to have scoring opportunities because those are hard to replicate in practice.
“Nikiski battled hard,” Verkuilen said. “They didn’t give us anything.”
Kenai Central boys soccer 6, Nikiski 1
The host Kardinals marked a senior night sweep over the Bulldogs by moving to 3-1-2 in the league and 6-3-2 overall, while the Bulldogs drop to 0-4 and 0-8.
Kenai took a 4-0 lead after the first half and led 6-0 in the second half before Gavin White had a late strike for Nikiski.
Leif Lofquist recorded a hat trick for the Kardinals, while James Baisden had two goals and Koa Diorec added one.
“The guys moved the ball really well,” Kenai boys coach Shane Lopez said. “There was good passing and good team goals.”
The seniors honored were Marek Grieme, River Tomrdle, Lofquist, Baisden, Aidan Milburn, Riley Updike, Tucker Vann, Lucas Tunseth, Jackson Cross, Kody McCanna, Caden Fields and Diorec.
Lopez said he’s proud of the group for the attitude they have shown through the pandemic. He also said the seniors have been great leaders, grooming the underclassmen for future success.
“It’s definitely a great group of seniors,” Lopez said. “I’m proud of them for the work they’ve put in, especially the starting group. They’ve been contributing to some really solid teams since their freshman year and have been a part of a couple of state championships.”
Homer girls soccer 9, Houston 0
The host Mariners moved to 5-1-1 overall with a nonconference victory over the Hawks.
Izzy Dye had a hat trick for Homer, while Sela Weisser and Laura Inama had two goals apiece. Kappa Reutov and Jess Sonnen added tallies.
Felicia Weisser had the shutout.
Homer girls coach Mike Tozzo said his girls too often have played to the level of their competition this season.
“The message tonight was to go out and dominate no matter who the opponent is,” Tozzo said. “We definitely did that tonight. We made passes and communicated and did all the little things that made a team good.”
Tozzo said he played all 20 varsity players, making the consistent effort even more impressive.
Palmer baseball 9, Soldotna 5
The visiting Stars fell to 5-4 overall with the loss to the Moose.
SoHi led 2-1 after the second inning, but Palmer led 5-2 headed to the fifth. The Stars cut it to 5-4 in the top of the fifth, but Palmer scored three in the bottom of the inning.
Palmer went up 9-4 after the sixth, then SoHi scored a run in the top of the seventh.
Daltyn Deborski was 2 for 4 with two runs for the Stars, while Levi Mickelson and Gavin Jones added two RBIs apiece.
Atticus Gibson worked the first five innings for the Stars, giving up eight runs — four earned — on eight hits while walking three and striking out three.
Dylan Davidhizar pitched the final inning, giving up a run on a hit while walking one.
Colony baseball 13, Homer 1
The visiting Mariners dropped to 1-9 overall in the game, which was called after 4 1-2 innings.
Homer actually jumped out to a 1-0 lead when Harrison Metz singled in the first and was driven home by Josiah Raymond. Those would be the only two hits Homer had all game.
Coda Wood got Homer out of the first with the lead, but the Mariners gave up eight runs with two outs in the second inning and never recovered. Wood gave up the 13 runs in three innings, yielding eight hits and four walks while striking out one.
“He did his job,” Homer coach Rich Sonnen said. “We just missed a few plays in the second inning.”