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Class C state softball preview: Matchups, players to watch, two questions for Hastings
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Class C state softball preview: Matchups, players to watch, two questions for Hastings

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Bishop Neumann vs. Freeman, 10.4

Bishop Neumann's Macy Sabatka throws a pitch against Freeman during a C-3 subdistrict final Oct. 4 at Hackberry Park in Wahoo.

Class C

First-round matchups

All games at Hastings' Bill Smith Complex

No. 1-rated Bishop Neumann (30-2) vs. No. 10 Cozad (24-11), 2 p.m.

No. 2 Yutan/Mead (27-5) vs. No. 5 Malcolm (23-9), 2 p.m.

No. 4 Guardian Angels CC (22-7) vs. No. 7 Freeman (22-7), 2 p.m.

No. 3 Hastings SC (28-7) vs. No. 6 Kearney Catholic (29-6), 2 p.m.

Players to watch

Mary Chvatal, Bishop Neumann, sr.: The Cavs have a lot of impact bats and gloves, and Chvatal (.484, 27 RBIs, 53 runs) leads the way.

Shaylynn Campbell, Yutan/Mead, jr.: The first-year Patriot is 16-4 with 2.09 ERA and is hitting .500.

Alyssa Fortik, Malcolm, jr.: Athletic shortstop also sparks offense (.402, 30 RBIs, 36 hits).

Kayla Fischer, GACC, sr.: Has stepped in nicely (21-6, 2.86) in circle for the departed Erin Franzluebbers.

Shaye Butler, Hastings SC, sr.: The best catcher in Class C, hitting .495 with eight blasts and 52 RBIs.

Bralen Biddlecome, Kearney Catholic, sr.: Hitting .495 with 60 RBIs and is 28-6 in the circle.

Two questions for Hastings

Just how deep is this field? We'll answer this one. It's deep. In fact, this may be the most talented batch of Class C teams to come together in Hastings.

Bishop Neumann, Yutan/Mead and Hastings St. Cecilia don't have holes, and teams such as Malcolm, defending champion GACC and last year's runner-up Kearney Catholic have a lot of state experience.

All five teams mentioned above also are playing their best softball. Buckle up.

Can the pitchers shine? Typically at the Class C level, the hitting can be far more advanced than the pitching, which leads to some high-scoring games.

But there will be a crop of pitchers in Hastings capable of throwing zeros.

Yutan/Mead has two pitchers in Campbell and Ella Watts (7-1, 1.91 ERA) who can get a lot of swing and misses. Neumann's Macy Sabatka (25-2, 2.97) has a lot of experience.

Freeman's Paige Mahler (18-6, 2.43) has good stuff, and she's a big reason why the Falcons are here.

Buzzword(s): First-day frenzy

There are some great first-round matchups starting with Yutan/Mead and Malcolm. The winner could see Bishop Neumann, if the Cavaliers get past a strong-hitting Cozad team, later in the day.

A potential Hastings SC-GACC matchup also looms on Day 1. St. Cecilia has won 17 of 18.

Reach Clark Grell at 402-473-2639 or cgrell@journalstar.com. On Twitter at @LJSSportsGrell.

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