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Rural softball dominant in season-opening sweep of Hayden

EmmersonCopeSophomore Emmerson Cope was the winning pitcher and hit a three-run homer in the second game of Washburn Rural's doubleheader sweep Tuesday at Hayden. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

By RICK PETERSON

TopSports.news

 Washburn Rural's softball team had a lot of new faces in its opening day lineup Tuesday at Hayden, but the result was what the Junior Blues have grown accustomed to, with Rural rolling to a 11-1, 12-1 sweep over their Centennial League rivals.

The Junior Blues broke open a close first game with an eight-run fifth inning and took command of the nightcap with a five-run first.

Washburn Rural had 21 hits on the day (11 in the opener), including six extra-base hits and a pair of home runs.

Senior Olivia Bruno and sophomore Emmerson Cope starred at the plate and on the pitching mound for the Junior Blues.

Bruno, a Kansas signee, twirled a two-hitter in the opener and went 4 for 4 with a home run, a double and a single.

Washburn Rural senior Olivia Bruno pitched a two-hitter in the first game and hit a home run as the Junior Blues opened their season with 11-1 and 12-1 wins at Hayden. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]Washburn Rural senior Olivia Bruno pitched a two-hitter in the first game and hit a home run as the Junior Blues opened their season with 11-1 and 12-1 wins at Hayden. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

Cope followed with a four-hitter in the second game and hit a three-run homer in the bottom of the first to put the Junior Blues in control.

"It was good to see us hitting well when we haven't seen a ton of live pitching in a while,'' Washburn Rural coach Tricia Vogel said. "It was nice just to see all the pieces going. I thought we did a great job with our base-running and it was really nice just to have a game.''

Bruno had six hits on the day and Cope four, adding a double in the first game to go with her second-game home run.

Junior Carly Stuke hit a fourth-inning homer to account for Hayden's run in the first game and senior Alyssa Dinkel singled and scored in the second game.

Tuesday was also the season-opener for Hayden and Wildcat coach Carvel Reynoldson said his team will use the games as a building block.

"Missing that entire year is like starting over,'' Reynoldson said. "It's like building a culture all over again and figuring out what we have, but I think we'll be OK.''

FIRST GAME

WASHBURN RURAL 11, HAYDEN 1

Washburn Rural 002  18 -- 11 11 0

Hayden 000 10 -- 1 2 4

Bruno and Louderback. Droge and Stuke. W -- Bruno. L -- Droge. 2B -- Washburn Rural: Bruno, Cope, Bath, Louderback. HR -- Washburn Rural: Bruno; Hayden: Stuke.

SECOND GAME

WASHBURN RURAL 12, HAYDEN 1

Washburn Rural 521 04 -- 12 10 0

Hayden  001 00 -- 1 4 1

Cope and Rapp. Drum, Droge (1) and Vanderslice. W -- Cope. L -- Drum. 2B -- Hayden: Stuke. HR -- Washburn Rural: Cope.