OMAHA — After her twin sister Lauren lifted a two-run homer to center field against Norris, Hannah Camenzind was next to bat.
On a 1-1 count, she hit a softball high into the air and it carried over the fence in right field during Class B No. 1 Omaha Skutt’s 10-1, five-inning win over No. 6 Norris (7-5) on a top-10 evening Thursday at Skutt High School.
“I mean, it goes through my head, but I’m not trying to hit one,” said Hannah when asked if she was trying to match her sister. “But it was cool to have it back-to-back.”
For the eighth time this season, the SkyHawks (11-0) scored eight runs or more, and they had their big three — the Camenzind twins and Ruby Meylan — leading the way. The senior trio combined for six of Skutt’s eight hits. The Camenzinds combined for five RBIs and six runs scored.
But like it did in a comeback win against Class A No. 2 Gretna on Saturday, Skutt got help from the bottom portion of the lineup.
Freshman Izzy DiMari, the No. 9 hitter, drew a walk in the second inning, which turned the lineup over to the three first-team Super-Staters. They followed with three consecutive singles to pad the Skutt lead.
In the third, the Nos. 8 and 9 hitters got on, and Skutt put the game out of reach on the back-to-back homers.
“It was nice (to) spread out because we’re a little top-heavy sometimes,” Skutt coach Keith Engelkamp said. “The top of our lineup is very tough but to see everybody put the bat on the ball is really nice.”
In Saturday’s Papillion-La Vista South Invitational final against Gretna, Skutt rallied to win 4-3 on Hannah Camenzind’s three-run homer. The rally was sparked by the bottom of the order.
“I think it’s really dangerous,” Hannah Camenzind said of the lineup. “I think it shows people that they can’t just pitch around us and they have to through our whole lineup.”
Speaking of back-to-back, with Hannah and Lauren Camenzind (Arkansas recruits) and Meylan (Washington) leading the way, Skutt is seeking a second straight Class B state championship. The SkyHawks are not only showing they’re the best team in Class B at the moment, but the best team in the state. Six of their 11 wins have come against Class A teams, including Nos. 1, 2 and 3.
But the SkyHawks continue to find ways to maintain their edge and not get complacent.
“I think you always have to challenge them to say our biggest opponent is ourselves,” Engelkamp said. “If I ever hear them talk about a team, ‘Coach, their record is this,’ I say, ‘No. It takes one day for them to play the best day and the target’s already on you.’
"‘What you need to do is play your game, shut them down and score first.’"
With three of the state’s top hitters penciled 1-2-3 in the lineup, scoring runs early has come frequently for the SkyHawks, who also have Meylan and Hannah Camenzind, who pitched Thursday and allowed only four hits, keeping runs off the board while in the circle.
Skutt is expected to get catcher Paige Roessner, an Elkhorn transfer, in the lineup beginning this week.
Around the bases
* Class B No. 4 Beatrice got another strong pitching performance from senior Riley Schwisow in a 4-1 win against No. 10 Seward. Schwisow struck out seven and scattered six hits while producing a couple of hits from the lead-off spot.
* The top-seeded teams took care of business during the opening rounds of the Metro Conference Tournament. Friday's quarterfinal matchups are No. 2 Gretna-No. 8 Elkhorn South, No. 4 Millard North-No. 7 Millard South, No. 6 Millard West-No. 9 Papillion-La Vista and Omaha Burke-No. 1 Omaha Marian.
Reach Clark Grell at 402-473-2639 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter at @LJSSportsGrell.