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FC/E-M SNC Runners-up; Districts Start Thursday

Fillmore Central/Exeter-Milligan took runner-up honors on Saturday at the 2017 Southern Nebraska Conference Softball Tournament.  The 13-9 Panthers started out play in Geneva on September 30 with a 8-4 victory over Wilber-Clatonia.
“We drew a tough Wilber team in the first round and their returning All-SNC Conference pitcher from the past two seasons," FC/E-M coach Aaron Lauby said.  "Sydney Schelkopf hit a grand slam in the bottom of the sixth inning to ice the game.  It was a very hard fought victory.”
Next up on Saturday, the Panthers got past a salty Centennial squad, 7-5.  The Broncos finished third in the tournament and are 14-11 on the season.
“We hit the ball much better in this game against another very good pitcher," Lauby said.  "It was another great game, that we were able to play stellar defense in.  I probably should mention the amazing grab that center fielder Josie Kresak made robbing a big hit in a big moment early in the game.  We had a lot of really big defensive plays in this game.”
In the championship contest, FC/E-M fell to state-rated 19-6 Fairbury, 7-3.
“If you would have told me we get to hold Fairbury to seven runs in the game I would have probably taken it and liked our chances to come away with a win," Lauby said.  "Our pitching and defense was there, we just didn’t hit well enough, but we competed very well.  Alexis Uldrich hit a three-run home-run, which tied the game early, we just could not string together enough hits.  Fairbury is a top Class C team for a reason, but we are right there too.”
After a contest with Aurora on Monday, the Panthers will travel to Genoa on Thursday and Friday to take part in the C-5 District Tournament hosted by Twin River.  As of Sunday, FC/E-M looks to be the No. 3-seed with 18-11 Twin River being the top seed and Centennial being the second seed.  Central City (13-13) is in line to be fourth and 8-16 Polk County looks to be fifth.  If the numbers hold, 2-18 Friend should be the Panthers' first game on October 5 with Centennial being next up.
“It was a very good day, with three really well played softball games," said Lauby after his team's runner-up performance on Saturday.      "The girls had good energy, focus, and competed very well.  If we pitch and play defense like we did today we will be in great shape in the post-season.”