LIBERAL, Kan. – Chalk up two more wins for the Seward County softball team (34-16, 21-3), defeating conference foe Barton in a doubleheader 6-3 in game one before dropping the Cougars 17-6 in game two. On sophomore night, Oregon slugger Sage Harrison tied the single season home run record, blasting two pitches over the wall in game two, now sitting at 19 on the season. She is now just three shy of the career home run record of 35.
GAME ONE RECAP
Monique Ashley (24-4) picked up another win on sophomore night, pitching her 22nd complete game of the season. She gave up three runs off four hits while striking out 13 batters along the way.
Seward finished the game with eight hits, as Jullian Atteberry, Sydney Epp and Raelyn Sanchez each finished with two hits. Epp and Sanchez also led the Lady Saints with two RBI, while Kaitlin Ammermann drove in the other.
Seward scored right out of the gates. Atteberry walked, while an Epp single put runners at the corners. Madeline Owen pushed the first run of the day across the board, reaching on an error by the pitcher to make it 1-0.
The Lady Saints got three more in the bottom of the second. An RBI single by Sanchez drove in the first run, before Epp tripled to right field to score two more.
The Cougars cut the lead to three with an RBI double in the top of the third, but the Lady Saints quickly pushed their lead back to four when Sanchez pushed a single passed shortstop to score Porras bring the game to 5-1.
Two scoreless innings kept the score at 5-1 until Ammermann connected on a deep double to centerfield to score Atteberry who had reached on a two-out single.
Needing a rally to force extra innings, Barton looked strong in the early of the seventh inning, connecting on a wind-aided two-run blast to left field to bring the Cougars to within three runs. Ashley kept the Cougars off the board from there, forcing two fly outs to secure a 6-3 victory.
GAME TWO RECAP
Freshman Jordan Cordrey (10-9) got the start in the circle in game two, pitching 4.2 innings before Ashley came in for relief for the final out. Cordrey gave up six runs, with three being earned, off 14 hits, while striking out three batters.
Seward finished with 12 hits with Atteberry and Epp leading the way with three hits. Harrison finished with two hits, both being bombs, while leading the Lady Saints with 5 RBI. Sanchez (3 RBI) and Atteberry (2 RBI) each contributed multiple runs in the win.
It looked as though the fans were in for a high scoring affair on both ends as the Cougars jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the first inning from a sacrifice fly and an RBI double.
The Lady Saints followed the Cougars with an eight-run inning to take a commanding lead. After a ground out, seven straight Lady Saints reached base, starting with Epp, who hit an RBI single up the middle. Harrison followed up with her first home run of the day to give Seward a 3-2 lead.
Two walks and a single loaded the bases for Seward before Paige St. Pierre reached on an error by the short stop, scoring one run. After the error by the shortstop, another error by the centerfielder advanced St. Pierre to third base, while scoring two more runs to make it 6-2.
Seward wasn't done in the inning, as Sanchez grounded out to shortstop but score St. Pierre in the process. With the following at bat, Atteberry hit Seward's second home run of the inning to bring the game to 8-2.
Following a scoreless second inning, the Lady Saints exploded for six runs in the third. Sanchez hit a two RBI double before Atteberry single passed the short stop to score another run. With two-outs and runners on first and second, Harrison driller her record-tying home run over the right field fence to make the score 14-2.
Three more runs came across the plate in the bottom of the fourth. A dropped ball by the first baseman from a throw from third allowed Miranda Nester to score. After getting runners on second and third from a walk and double, Ammermann grounded out to third, but scored a run. With the Cougars getting flustered, the catcher misplayed a pitch, allowing Atteberry to reach home to make it 17-2.
Trying to avoid a run-rule, the Cougars needed a big inning and almost got what they needed. Two singles and a double loaded the bases for Barton before a sac fly scored their third run of the game. A Seward error loaded the bases again for the Cougars, using it to their advantage by bringing home three runs off two singles. With the bases still loaded, Ashley came in to pitch and forced a pop out to end the game, giving the Lady Saints a 17-6 win and sweep on sophomore night.
Seward will travel to first place Butler at 2:00 on Saturday for a double header against the Grizzlies before finishing up the regular season on Monday (April 23) with a double header at Colby.