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Panthers Unable To Get Victory At State


Fillmore Central/Exeter-Milligan was unable to capture a win at the 2017 Class C NSAA State Softball Championships last week.  The seventh-seeded Panthers fell to Fairbury 15-5 in the opening round on Wednesday morning in Hastings. And, then were downed by Auburn 15-4 on Thursday morning.  Both games lasted only five innings.
The Jeffs got past FC for the third time this season on October 11.  Fairbury scored three times in the first, second and fourth innings to lead 9-0.  Behind a three-run home run by Alexis Schmidt,  the Panthers plated five in the top of the fifth only to see Fairbury respond with five runs of their own in the bottom of the stanza.
Sydney Schelkopf, Jackie Schelkopf, Alexis Uldrich and Kaitlyn Vavra also had hits for FC/E-M.  Jacy Schlueter was tagged for the loss on the hill.
On Thursday morning, the Auburn bats started humming in the second innings, as the Bulldogs chomped their way to a 6-1 lead.  Hot-hitting Auburn added two more in the third; three in the fourth and four in the fifth inning.
Two walks and an error plated Ja. Schelkopf in the first inning with two outs. FC/E-M mounted no offensive threats in the second and third innings.  Sy. Schelkopf's single in the fourth inning drove in a run.  Josie Kresak and Alexis Schmidt both crossed the dish in the top of the fifth inning.
Sy. Schelkopf and Schmidt were both 2-for-3 against Auburn.  Kresak, Hannah Horne and Schlueter all had hits for the Panthers.  Schlueter was also tagged for the loss on the mound.
“We had a great season," Panther skipper Aaron Lauby said.  "We were beaten by two excellent opponents, and we just weren’t able to play our best games down here.  In both games, we were unable to put enough runs on the board early, and found ourselves in too deep of a hole to get out of for a variety of reasons.  It is so difficult just to make it to state, to be one of the eight best teams in your Class is a great accomplishment and these girls will be able to reflect and be proud of their team for a long time.”
FC/E-M finished its season 18-11. The Panthers started the year just 1-4.  They won six straight at the end of the year.
“The coaches and players would like to thank the communities for the awesome support all season," Lauby said.  "Our home ball field was kept in immaculate shape all year by the City of Geneva and the ability to share this team’s story with so many in Fillmore County through The Signal was appreciated by all us here.  FC/E-M 2017 softball has been a special and fun ride .”