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Hot and cold Cougars hold on for sweep at Seward County

Barton's Cadie O'Donnell against Seward County Community College.  Played 4-06-16 in Liberal, KS. Photo by Roy Allen, SCCC Sports Information Director.
Barton's Cadie O'Donnell against Seward County Community College. Played 4-06-16 in Liberal, KS. Photo by Roy Allen, SCCC Sports Information Director.

Unleashing an offensive assault to open Wednesday's doubleheader at Seward County Community College, the No. 10 ranked Barton Community College softball team cooled off in game two needing a defensive gem to escape with the sweep.   The Cougars chalked up six runs in their first at-bat then doubled up the effort with a twelve run second frame running away with a 21-10 five inning victory.  Pounding out twenty-eight hits in the opener, Barton then went cold for the first three innings of the night cap before seven hits in the final four innings provided enough runs in holding off a late Saints rally for a 6-5 win.   The pair of victories improves Barton to 12-2 in Jayhawk play and 41-3 on the season while snapping Seward County's three game win streak dropping the Saints to 3-11 and 20-26.   The Cougars will next play their final home game of the season coming this Saturday as Barton welcomes Dodge City Community College to Cougar Field for a 2:00 p.m. doubleheader.  

The Cougars came out on fire in the first inning of game one batting through the line up in plating six runs on seven of their twenty-eight hits.  Maddison Schofield began the fun with a leadoff homerun to right field for her sixth of the season.   Jenna Hosey drove in two on a double before Payton Summers' double plated another.  Driving a 2-2 pitch over the right field wall, McKenna Mauler put the cap on the inning with her eighth of the year.

Following the Saints' single run home half of the inning getting an infield error scoring on a two-out double, Barton's second inning began the same way as the game started as Jayden Gonzales sent her tenth ball over the fence to begin the twelve run outburst.  The Cougars got RBI singles from Cadie O'Donnell, Hosey, and Summers but the highlights came on the four extra base hits.  Consecutive doubles by Lili Ertmann and Summers pushed across two more runs with the big blows coming from two more Barton homeruns in the inning with Mauler's two-run homerun for her second in as many at-bats and Holly Posegate's three-run blast to center field for her eighth of the season pushing the lead out to 18-1.

Singles by Ertmann and Schofield opened up the third with Ertmann scoring on an O'Donnell fielder's choice increasing the advantage to eighteen.

Consecutive singles aided by an outfield error set up a big Seward County third inning answer as back-to-back doubles on the next two plate appearances plated four more cutting the deficit to 19-6.

Ertmann and Kaylie Doll strung together two-out singles to keep the fourth alive with Leah Fisher driving in her fourth RBI of season with a single up the middle. 

Committing four errors in the opener, two of the Cougars' miscues came in the fourth with a three-run homerun capping the four-run Saints inning.

The Cougars put the final nail in the coffin in the top of the fifth as Brittany Wood launched the fifteenth long ball of the freshman's season leading off the inning.

Madison Didion earned the win in the circle improving to 21-2 surrendering just four earned runs on eleven hits and four strikeouts.

Despite the twenty-eight hits spread around eleven players including six with three or more hits in the opener, the Barton bats went dormant the first three innings of the backend of the doubleheader being sent down in order three straight times.

In her second time through the lineup, Schofield jumped on the first pitch from the Saints' Jaidyn Mawhinney for a double to center.  Following an O'Donnell single, Schofield would later score on an infield error created by O'Donnell's twenty-fifth stolen base of the season.  Gonzales would then score O'Donnell on a sac fly giving Barton the two run lead.

Managing just one hit in their first three innings facing Posegate, the Saints also started to get their offense going in the fourth as a leadoff double would score one batter later on a single aided by an outfield error.

Another three and out inning followed for both teams taking the game to the sixth as Barton clung to a 2-1 run.   Ertmann, who was the lone Cougar in game two with a multi-hit game, led off the inning with a single.  Following a Schofield walk, Kaylie Doll was inserted into the lineup driving a double to center for the Great Bend freshman's second RBI of the season.  Doll would later score along with Schofield on Wood's hard single to left.

With the Saints stranding only their fourth hit of the game in home half, Posegate helped her cause in the final inning delivering a one-out double.  Pinch runner Caitlyn Molyneux would cross the plate for the eventual game winner as Ertmann's single led to an error building the lead to 7-1.

Despite giving up a single in between outs, Posegate looked to knock out the Saints as a 1-2 pitch was put into play to the infield.  The error gave Seward County extended life as a single ensued to load the bases before Kennedy Brunson's triple to left center made things interesting cutting the lead to two.  One batter later Brittany Corrales became the tying run doubling down the right field line.  Falling behind Kristyna Garcia 2-0, Posegate battled back with two strikes but Garcia fought off two pitches before sending a single to left field.  With Corrales being waved home, Wood loaded up the cannon throwing a strike to Ertmann at the plate ending the Saints comeback on the defensive gem.

The box score ended with the Saints outhitting the Cougars 9-7 but Posegate controlled the action for the first six plus innings with no walks and five strikeouts improving the sophomore's campaign to 19-1.