Ahead just 3-2 Saturday during their second game of the Blair Youth Softball Association Classic, the Blair Wilds Swings were motivated to add insurance runs during the fourth inning.
The age 14 and younger team wanted to beat the North Bend Ambush, but it came down to more than just that.
“This is our home, too,” Makenna Nielsen said. “It feels good to win.”
The Wild Swings tallied six runs during the fourth frame and won by seven, 9-2, in five innings. With the win, they improved to 2-0 in pool play before finishing it 2-2 Saturday night. The home team also beat the NE Force Elite, but fell to Omaha Quakes and Elkhorn Edge teams.
BYSA Classic bracket play continued Sunday.
Against the Ambush, though, it was Nielsen who started the six-run fourth inning with one out. Her double set off the rally.
“I knew that we needed to get a hit,” No. 11 said. “We had an out, so it felt good to get that hit.”
Nielsen later scored on a wild pitch before Blair's Morgan Archer plated another on a bunt. Catcher Jacy Schueth then pushed the lead to 6-2 with an RBI triple.
“We were only winning by one so it was good to get back up,” she said of her team's effort in the fourth.
Abby Leggott's bloop, Ally Sullivan's single and a Nielsen RBI bunt scored three more runs before North Bend finally ended the Wild Swings' fourth on a popout.
“It always feels good to get tight games like this because it feels better when we win,” Nielsen said.
Maddie Smutny also notched a Blair RBI during the home team's second game of the nine-team, 14U tourney. Energy, Leggott said, was key to the Wild Swings' success.
“We always have energy when we go up, and we all have a lot of connection,” she noted. “So, keeping each other up helps us to keep winning the games.”
The pitcher — who split time with Smutny against the Ambush — was pleased with her team's play, but knew the tournament was far from over Saturday morning.
“We're playing really well these games,” Leggott said. “But I think we just need to keep trucking. These next (games) are going to be hard.”
The summer season rolls on through June as well.