GRAND ISLAND -- York displayed plenty of offensive firepower in Monday’s matchup of top-five teams at George Park.
The Class B No. 4-rated (Omaha World-Herald) Dukes hammered out 15 hits, including six for extra bases, on their way to a 12-4 victory over No. 5 Northwest. The game was halted after five innings due to an eight-run rule.
"The single biggest factor tonight was how York hit the ball," Northwest coach Dave Prokesh said. "They were just on top of it all night long. They hit it solid and they hit it in the gaps.
"We played very clean on defense — we only ran past one ball in the outfield — but other than that, we were errorless, so it was just one of those nights where York was absolutely on."
Jordyn Stearns, Adrienne Gocke and Hayley Nienhueser all went 3-for-4 at the plate to lead York (16-1). Taylor Kadavy and Morgan Meyer had two hits apiece for the Dukes.
"Our girls came into this game very confident," York coach Danyel Seevers said. "We knew we could hit the ball. They got up to the plate, were selective, got the walks when we needed them and we had some great hits that got our momentum going and we didn’t let up."
Seevers said the Dukes were definitely motivated to play well.
"Northwest has kind of become a softball rival for us," Seevers said. "Our kids have been preparing and looking forward to this day and they performed great both offensively and defensively. I’m very proud of them."
Prokesh said the Vikings didn’t match York’s intensity.
"We learned some things about character and competing," Prokesh said. "I don’t think our kids had the fire in their eyes. You could see a noticeable difference between the dugouts as the game played on.
"That’s an area that we’ll have to shore up if we want to make a run down the stretch."
York got things rolling quickly, scoring four runs in the top of the first inning. Veronica Botts started things by drawing a one-out walk and later Stearns had single and Gocke doubled in the frame.
Already leading 5-1, the Dukes knocked Northwest starting pitcher Alyssa Vanosdall out of the game in the top of the third as Nienhueser lined a hard shot off Vanosdall’s thigh. Vanosdall, who pitched 2 1/3 innings, was replaced by reliever Maddi Jussel.
The Dukes wound up scoring two runs in the third, two more in the fourth and three runs in the fifth. That was plenty of run-support for Kadavy, who scattered six singles over five innings pitched, struck out eight, walked one and hit a batter to earn the win.
"Taylor did a great job and had good movement on her pitches," Seevers said. "We had the scouting information that we needed and she hit the spots that she needed to hit."
Mikaela Keene singled, stole a base and scored a first-inning run for Northwest (12-2). Ashley Scherer (single and a walk) and Shelby Schacher (single and hit by pitch) each reached base twice for the Vikings, while Hannah Rathke had a single, reached on an error and scored twice.
The loss snapped Northwest’s eight-game winning streak.
"If there are some things you need to learn about yourself, then the sooner the better," Prokesh said. "Hopefully, we’ll take some things away from this tonight."
York (17-1) .................................. 412 23—12 15 1
Northwest (12-2) ........................ 101 02—4 6 1
W—Kadavy. L—Vanosdall. 2B—York: Riley, Gocke 2, Meyer. 3B—York: Maronde. HR—York: Kadavy.