Comets clip Woodward-Granger’s wings, 7-0

CONRAD – Woodward-Granger hadn’t been shut out in a long time. Not since May 31, in fact.

Enter the dual-threat pitching staff of BCLUW.

The 12th-ranked Comets got a combined four-hit shutout from Nicolette Simpson and Olivia Callaway, keeping the Hawks off the board for the first time in 29 games with a 7-0 victory in Friday’s Class 2A Region 6 softball semifinals.

BCLUW (24-9) will face fifth-ranked Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont (23-5) in Monday’s regional final at Colfax. The Comets will be bidding for their first trip to state since winning back-to-back titles in 2009 and 2010.

Becca Steckelberg was 2-for-3 with a double and three RBIs, spearheading BCLUW’s 12-hit attack to eliminate the Hawks (23-11) from postseason play.

Kendall Scurr, Sara Sharp and Callaway each contributed two hits as well, while the Comets overcame two errors and limited their fifth consecutive opponent to one run or fewer.

“This was one of the best games that we’ve played this year,” said BCLUW coach Casey Moberly. “Defensively we were pretty solid.”

Simpson held the Hawks to four hits over six innings, striking out six, and Callaway struck out one in an inning of relief work. Neither pitcher issued a walk.

BCLUW broke the scoreless tie with two runs in the third, benefitting from one of Woodward-Granger’s errors to cross home first. Kayla Benjamin singled to start the third and her pinch runner Kaylee Goecke eventually scored on a botched rundown between third base and home.

A single by Steckelberg followed, and the Comets led 2-0. They upped the advantage to 4-0 in the fifth, and Steckelberg’s two-run double highlighted a three-run single.

Mallory Vawter was 1-for-4 with an RBI and scored three times. Kate Goecke and Simpson both added a single as well.

Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont defeated CMB 3-1 in their regional semifinal on Friday night. The Rockets have won four in a row since losing to 3A No. 3 Clarke of Osceola.