SoHi softball routs Kenai; Homer tops Skyview

Just days before she is due to graduate, Serena Prior showed why Soldotna will be missing her next year.

Behind a sterling pitching performance and powerful batting Tuesday from Prior, the Stars routed Kenai Central 18-2 in four innings at the Kenai softball fields to sweep the Northern Lights Conference season series and improve to 4-4 on the year (3-2 conference). Kenai continued its winless season by dropping to 0-7 overall (0-5 conference).

“I just go out and have fun,” Prior said. “Sometimes I get down but my teammates back me up and make me feel better.”

Prior hit 3 for 3 (two triples) with three RBIs and two runs. On the mound, Prior gave up one hit while delivering seven strikeouts.

To top it all off, she will be walking the graduating stage with her fellow seniors Monday. It will be an exciting time, but the senior managed to contain her excitement Tuesday on the mound.

“I felt like I did pretty well with my pitches today, just kept them down the middle like we needed,” she said.

Soldotna coach Kelli Knoebel had high praise of Prior and all her players, saying that they got hits when they needed them most.

Amber McDonald hit 2 for 3 with three RBIs, Delaney Schneider hit 2 for 2 with two RBIs, Jessica Hanna hit 3 for 4 with three RBIs, and Ila Cobb hit 3 for 3 with two RBIs.

“(Prior) dominated the game,” Knoebel said. “That really helps on offense. Even when they scored, we came back and were aggressive on the plate. It really sets the tone of the game.”

Knoebel said she told her players to come out aggressive, and they must have listened. The Stars took an 8-0 lead in the first inning with four singles, a double and an inside-the-park home run from McDonald that scored three. Hanna, Cobb and Kenley Kingrey all found contact in their first at-bat.

In the second inning, Prior scored on a passed ball, then Hanna hit a single that brought Kayla Bauter home for a 10-0 lead.

At the top of the fourth, the Stars scored seven runs, as runners streamed in off of two triples from Prior and Schneider, two doubles from McDonald and Cobb, and a single from Allison Nelson.

“I was most proud of my second to last triple because I knew it was going big,” Prior said. “That one, I went full on.”

Havan Shaginoff received the loss pitching for Kenai, giving up 16 hits but striking out four batters.

Kenai coach Mark King was at a loss to explain the lack of hitting from his team. King said Kenai was averaging over .400 batting the first week of the season, but has slumped since then.

“The first week we hit the ball really well,” King said. “Now it’s maybe .200.

“Some of it’s mechanics, they’re just not really watching the ball.”

Shaginoff hit a double in the bottom of the third that brought NyQolle VanDegrift and Patricia Catacutan in to score, but that was practically all the offense that the Kards could muster.

“We just need to get our confidence back up,” King said. “Once we get back to what we were hitting in the first week, we’ll be fine.”

Homer 9, Skyview 4

The Mariners got even with a win over the Panthers on Tuesday evening in Homer.

After losing to Skyview 6-4 two weeks ago in a Northern Lights Conference matchup, Homer took advantage of seven errors by Skyview and turned in some insurance runs late to hold off Skyview and improve to 3-1 in the conference (3-13 overall).

McKi Needham took the win on the mound, getting eight strikeouts and giving up seven hits. Skyview’s Sam Reynolds also gave up seven hits and struck out three. Of the nine runs that Homer scored, only one was earned.

Needham and Maggie LaRue both were 2 for 4, and LaRue had two RBI.

Reynolds, Lynne Hesse and Mikaela Rybak each went 2 for 4 at bat for Skyview, and Rybak batted in three runs.

Skyview took a 1-0 lead in the first inning when Hesse hit a fly ball single that brought Reynolds home.

However, Homer would tie it up in the bottom of the first when Needham scored on a wild pitch. Larsen Fellows scored the go-ahead run when Reynolds walked Kyla Pitzman with the bases loaded.

Homer scored a run in the second inning, three in the third and three in the sixth, while Skyview added a run in the third and two in the fifth.

More in Sports

Kenai Central's Sawyer Vann controls Nikiski's Wyatt Maguire at 125 pounds Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2021, at Nikiski High School in Nikiski, Alaska. Vann notched a 7-6 victory. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Area wrestlers collect mat time before Thanksgiving break

Area wrestlers got in some mat time Tuesday before the Thanksgiving break.… Continue reading

Soldotna junior Liam Babitt holds a grip on South Anchorage’s Britten Hamilton during the 215-pound final of the Lancer Smith Fall Varsity 2021 Invite on Saturday, Nov. 20, 2021 at the Menard Arena in Wasilla, Alaska. (Photo by Jeremiah Bartz/Frontiersman)
Soldotna crowns 4 champions at Lancer Smith

The Soldotna wrestling team finished fourth Friday and Saturday at the Lancer… Continue reading

Kenai River Brown Bears forward Bryce Monrean tries to find a way through the defense of the Springfield (Illinois) Jr. Blues during a first-period power play Friday, Nov. 19, 2021, at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Jr. Blues come back to take series from Bears

The Springfield (Illinois) Jr. Blues lost not only a 2020-21 season to… Continue reading

Assistant coach Taylor Shaw leads the Kenai River Brown Bears during a game Thursday, Nov. 18, 2021, against the Springfield (Illinois) Jr. Blues at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Brown Bears start search for new head coach

The Kenai River Brown Bears issued a press release Friday about staff… Continue reading

tease
Hockey roundup: SoHi sweeps in Kodiak; West wins End of Road tourney

The Soldotna hockey team swept Kodiak in the first high school games… Continue reading

A brown bear feeds on a salmon. (Photo by C. Canterbury/USFWS)
Refuge Notebook: Bears, uniquely built to respond to winter

With the new snow and temperatures dipping into the single digits, you… Continue reading

Kenai Central's Caden Warren surveys the ice against West at the End of the Road Tournament at Kevin Bell Arena in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Sarah Knapp/Homer News)
Kenai, Homer hockey lose to open tourney

The Kenai Central and Homer hockey teams both opened the End of… Continue reading

Caden Triggs of the Kenai River Brown Bears celebrates his first-period goal against the Springfield (Illinois) Jr. Blues on Thursday, Nov. 18, 2021, at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Brown Bears topple Jr. Blues

By JEFF HELMINIAK Peninsula Clarion The Kenai River Brown Bears received two… Continue reading

Michael proposes to Sarah at the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge on Sunday, Nov. 7, 2021. (Photo by Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Out of the Office: Falling in love one snowflake at a time

Do you want to know what I’ve been looking forward to the… Continue reading

Kenai River Brown Bears forward Caden Triggs carries the puck against Anchorage Wolverines defenseman Campbell Cichosz on Friday, Nov. 5, 2021, at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Brown Bears to host 1st place Jr. Blues

The current stretch of the schedule for the Kenai River Brown Bears… Continue reading

Soldotna's Isaac Chavarria wrestles to a major decision over Kenai Central's Andrew Gaethle at 152 pounds during a dual meet at Kenai Central High School on Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2021, in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
SoHi wrestlers take dual meet from Kenai

The visiting Soldotna wrestling team defeated Kenai Central 69-6 in a dual… Continue reading