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No. 7 Cougars grind out pair of wins over Pratt

Barton's Jenna Hosey fires to first base completing the sixth inning double play in game two of Friday's doubleheader vs Pratt.  Photo by Mallory McQueen, student worker for the Barton Sports Information Office.
Barton's Jenna Hosey fires to first base completing the sixth inning double play in game two of Friday's doubleheader vs Pratt. Photo by Mallory McQueen, student worker for the Barton Sports Information Office.

The No. 7 ranked Barton Community College softball team won two styles of ballgames Friday at Cougar Field sweeping Pratt Community College.  The Cougars grinded out the opener 4-2 behind a three run second inning before exploding for seven in the second inning of the nightcap going on to win 10-2 in six innings.  The pair of victories extends Barton's win streak to nineteen games improving to 9-1 in Jayhawk conference play and 38-2 while dropping Pratt to 3-7 and 9-17-1 on the season.   The Cougars will have the Easter weekend away from competition then will turn its sights for a pivotal conference matchup Wednesday at No. 8 Butler Community College.

Jenna Hosey began the three-run second inning with a single through the left side.  Swiping second base for the first of three stolen bases in the twin bill, Hosey moved to third as Payton Summers' hot shot to third was mishandled.  Pinch runner Caitlin Molyneux gave the Cougars second and third base with just one out swiping her eighth of the season.   Holly Posegate then came through with a liner to right giving the Cougars their first two runs.  Following Posegate's steal of second for the third theft of the inning, McKenna Mauler drew a walk bringing up Lili Ertmann who fought off a 1-2 pitch driving the ball up the middle scoring Posegate.

Ace starter Madison Didion cruised through the first ten batters striking out the first seven including six straight striking out the side in the second and third innings.   Getting the first batter of the fourth inning to pop out to the infield, a one out Maddie Daily single turned runner in scoring position a sac bunt later.   Getting ahead of Katie Schrag, Didion couldn't close the door as Schrag sent a double to deep center breaking the goose egg.  One batter later, Haley Turner fought off a full-count with another double to center cutting the Barton lead to 3-2.

As all good teams do, the Cougars answered the call in the home half of the inning.  Mauler began the inning reaching base getting hit on the arm before a one-out single by Maddison Schofield and Cadie O'Donnell double up the middle got back one of the two runs lost in the top half of the inning.

The Beavers would get opportunity in the sixth to cut into the deficit with a leadoff walk and two out single but Didion would induce a harmless outfield fly to end the threat.  Didion then sent Pratt down in order in the seventh capping the outing with her eleventh strikeout improving to 20-1 on the season.

Pratt would take the early edge in the nightcap as Schrag's second inning leadoff double would eventually score on Molly Miller's clutch drive up the middle with two outs.  

Trailing for the first time in twenty-three innings, Barton would ring the bell on the wakeup call sending twelve to the plate including eight straight hits putting seven runs on the board.  Hosey led off the inning with a single coming home one batter later as Summers drove her fifth long ball of the season over the fence giving Barton the lead.   Posegate and Mauler put two aboard with consecutive singles before Ertmann's drive through the left side tacked on another.  Loading the bases on a Schofield single, O'Donnell drove in her second and third runs of the twin bill finding the hole in the left side.  Jayden Gonzales broke her day's 0-4 slump banging a double off the left center fence pushing another across the plate before Hosey's groundout made it 7-1.

The Beavers cut the deficit by one in the fifth as Katie Shield sent a monstrous drive to the evergreens in left center for the Rose Hill sophomore's third home run of the season.

Going to the home half Posegate and Ertmann each connected on their second hit of the game with Schofield joining the two hit club with a double to right center erasing Pratt's lone run while increasing the lead out to seven.  O'Donnell, who led five Cougars with multi-hits going 3-of-4 in the nightcap, beat out an infield single keeping the inning alive.  In an effort to close out the game, Head Coach Marc Benjamin sent Schofield home on the play perhaps catching the Beavers napping but the heads up play by first baseman Bailey Bryson quickly fired home just getting a sliding Schofield out at the plate to end the inning.

The Cougars rolled up their sixth middle infield double play of the season as the trio of Mauler to Hosey to Gonzales erased a leadoff single before a harmless ground ball to Gonzales would end the Pratt at-bats on the day.  

Waiting patiently at the plate to open the home half of the inning, Gonzales didn't miss on the pitch she liked lifting a towering deep ball to left center for the walk-off game clinching solo home run, her ninth Jay-dinger of the season.

Posegate scattered seven hits while striking out two improving the sophomore's season in the circle to 17-1.