Central rallies behind Niezgodski’s homers to quiet Canada, 12-1
USA Central put their Day 1 loss behind them as they came out on Monday to polish off a 12-1 victory over Canada behind Kalie Neizgodski’s two home runs. The District 11 All-Star team out of South Bend, Ind., got things started right in the first inning, as Jamie and Cassie Young each scored to give Central an early 2-0 lead. Canada worked their offense, too, in the first, as an error allowed Shelby Koschuck to close the margin within one.
Central moved ahead 6-1 by the second inning, though, as Alison Luft scored off of Van Tornhout’s single to the right-field gap. Jamie Young’s ensuing single brought Van Tornhout home before Morgan Alison and Jackie Logsdon each helped runners make it around.
Neizgodski kept the offense going with a leadoff homerun in the third inning, then again in the sixth, bringing in a total of three RBI’s for USA Central. A sacrifice fly padded the lead for Central in the fifth, and Sierra McDonald grabbed two RBIs with a single in the sixth. Kristi Kirkpatrick, Cassie Young, Alison, and Van Tornhout each had an RBI.
The South Bend team leveled their tournament record with a 12-1 win that ended before the seventh, on the 10-run rule. Central pitcher Jackie Logsdon snagged the win, after tallying five strikeouts in the first three innings.
“After yesterday’s loss, I definitely didn’t want the girls to get their heads down,” said Central manager Brad Alison. “They did a great job bouncing back, and we’re doing what we have to do. We have a lot of confidence in our lineup from top to bottom, and today was Kalie’s day. We needed a big game from her, and she brought it.”
Niezgodski returned to the Senior League Softball World Series this year with four other girls whose dreams were stopped short last August.
“We’re trying to improve this year and bring home the championship,” she said.
“For now,” said Alison, “I want the girls to enjoy the win and enjoy the day off tomorrow. Over the next two days, we’ll be back to make memories and ready ourselves for a tough tournament.”
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