DODGE CITY, Kan. – The 2018 Seward County softball season ended on Sunday, as the Lady Saints began and ended the day with losses to Butler in the Region VI Tournament. After losing to Butler 9-1 in the semifinals, Seward took down Colby 4-3 for a rematch against the Grizzlies in the Championship Game but lost 18-0. It marks back-to-back Region VI Championship game appearances for the Lady Saints.
GAME ONE RECAP – BUTLER VS SEWARD COUNTY
Monique Ashley (26-7) started in the circle in the first game of the day, but lasted just 2.2 innings, striking out six batters, but giving up five runs off three home runs. Jordan Cordrey finished the game for the Lady Saints, pitching 1.1 innings, while giving up four runs off four hits.
Ashley started off the game hot, striking out the first two batters, but the third batter got a hold of the second pitch and sent it over the left field wall to give the Grizzlies an early 1-0 lead before Ashley finished the inning with a third strikeout.
The Grizzlies kept up their scoring in the second inning. After getting a leadoff runner on base off balls, another home run by Butler quickly put the Lady Saints in a 3-0 hole. The Grizzlies loaded the bases with two outs, but Ashley ended the threat with a pop out to shortstop.
The Lady Saints threatened in the top of the third by loading the bases, but they couldn't manage any runs in the situation, ending the inning with a strikeout to leave all three runners stranded.
Butler forced a pitching change in the bottom of the third after hitting their second two-run jack of the game to make it 5-0. After the pitching change, Cordrey gave up a solo home run to the first batter.
Seward loaded the bases for a second straight inning, this time coming away with one run after Jullian Atteberry walked. Another strikeout left three runners stranded for a second straight inning though.
Butler pushed their lead to seven runs with a two RBI double down the left field line in the bottom of the fourth to make it 8-1. A wild pitch with the next at bat pushed the runner to third base. A diving ground out to Kaitlin Ammermann at second base got the second out of the inning for the Lady Saints, but also pushed ahead the mercy-rule run to give the Grizzlies the 9-1 win.
GAME TWO RECAP – COLBY VS SEWARD COUNTY
Monique Ashley (27-7) pitched a complete game against Colby to help drive the Lady Saints to their second consecutive Region VI Championship game, striking out seven batters while giving up three runs off five hits.
The Lady Saints came away with eight hits, led by Jullian Atteberry's two. Atteberry, Harrison, Porras and St. Pierre each came away with an RBI in the win.
The Trojans were able to jump on Ashley from the get-go. A walk and two bunts put runners at second and third for Colby before a wild pitch scored the first run of the game. The next batter dribbled a ground ball to short stop, beating the throw and scoring another run in the process to make it 2-0.
Sanchez hit a double to right center gap before Jullian Atteberry hit a single to short stop. An errant throw to first base allowed Sanchez to reach home, cutting the Trojan lead to 2-1.
An inning later the Lady Saints tied the game at two with Harrison's record-tying 35th career home run.
Paige St. Pierre gave Seward the lead with a solo jack to left field in the bottom of the fifth.
The Trojans tied the game back at three in the sixth. After Trojans reached safely from singles, an error by Atteberry allowed the runner on second to score to put the game at 3-3.
Leena Mortenson singled in the top of the sixth. Corinna Porras drilled a ball to centerfield, hitting the centerfield wall for a double, driving in Mortensen in the process to take the 4-3 lead.
GAME THREE RECAP – BUTLER VS SEWARD COUNTY
Monique Ashley (27-8) started in the circle in the final game, but only lasted 3.2 innings, giving up six runs. Jordan Cordrey finished the game for the Lady Saints, allowing 12 runs over 3.1 innings.
It was déjà vu in the rematch with Butler, as the Grizzlies connected on a two-run bomb in the top of the first to take an early lead.
The Grizzlies extended their lead in the top of the second. After a double put a runner in scoring position, Butler connected on an RBI single to make it 3-0. An error by Atteberry kept the inning alive and loaded the bases for the Grizzlies before a walk made it 4-0.
After a scoreless third inning, the Grizzlies pushed their lead to 12 runs, all coming with two outs. The first came from a two-run home run to left field. After the home run, Butler loaded the bases before knocking in two more runs with a single through the left side to make it 8-0. The next batter hit a three-run blast to right field to bring the game to 11-0. Three straight singles added another run before a hit-by-pitch loaded the bases. A line out to Atteberry at shortstop ended the inning.
Because there is no run rule in the championship game, the Grizzlies continued to pour it on the Lady Saints over the next three innings. A stand-up triple in the fifth inning made it 13-0 before a bases loaded sac fly pushed the lead to fourteen. The Grizzlies followed up with yet another home run, this time scoring two runs to complete their four-run inning.
Butler loaded the bases in the top of the sixth before a walk scored a run. The next batter hit a sac fly to bring the game to 18-0.
Seward finishes the season 38-21 overall. Three Lady Saints helped re-write the record books this years – Monique Ashley, Sage Harrison and Jullian Atteberry. Ashley broke the school record for more career wins (54) while also tying her own record for single season wins (27). Ashley also finished second in career strikeouts, becoming just the second Lady Saint to strike out over 500 batters. Harrison broke the single season record for home runs (22), and tied the career record (35), while Atteberry tied the career record for most bases on balls (49)