HASTINGS – They had to do it the hard way, but the Guardian Angels Central Catholic softball team came out of the Class C state tournament on Friday as champions, defeating Kearney Catholic in two games, 7-3 and 12-0.
The Bluejays entered the tournament as the #1 seed and were upset in the first round on Wednesday, losing to Central City 6-4.
GACC then had to win three games on Thursday, and they did so, defeating Auburn 6-3, Malcolm 5-1 and last year’s champ Fairbury 9-1.
The Bluejays started off Friday in the semifinals, were they beat Bishop Neumann 9-1. Erin Franzluebbers had another stellar pitching performance in the game, allowing the one run on just two hits and three walks, while striking out five. Jenna Schinstock and Leah Jansen each hit two-run home runs.
GACC began the finals needing to beat Kearney Catholic twice in order to win a state title.
The Bluejays won the first game 7-3. Schinstock and Aubrey Kreikemeier each had two hits and two RBIs, with Kreikemeier recording a double. Franzluebbers struck out seven more batters.
GACC owned the second championship game, downling Kearney Catholic 12-0 in three innings.
The Bluejays led 1-0 after the first inning and 5-0 after the second. They then hit four home runs in the third and scored seven runs on their way to the win and the 2020 Class C state Softball Title.
Avery Kreikemeier, Aubrey Kreikemeier, Kayla Fischer and Leah Jansen all hit home runs for GACC, with Franzluebbers recording three more strike outs.
For the tournament, GACC hit 13 home runs and Franzluebbers struck out 61 batters.
GACC ends the season at 29-3, taking home their first state title since 2014.