The Barton Community College softball team cured the hangover from Saturday's potential conference title loss behind them Monday in Pratt taking care of the Pratt Community College Beavers in a doubleheader sweep. With one team coming off a disappointing loss while the other team was fighting for regional seeding, the No. 9 ranked Lady Cougars scored two in the first inning holding on for a 4-2 game one victory before finalizing the regular season with an 8-0 shutout in a game shortened five innings. Barton concludes the regular season 19-5 in conference play and a school record 48-6 on the season while dropping Pratt to 7-17 in the Jayhawk and 13-29-1 overall. Taking a No. 2 seed into the Region VI tournament, the Lady Cougars will begin their title defense on Friday at East Park in El Dorado in a 5:00 p.m. matchup against Garden City Community College.
The Lady Cougars took an early lead with Cadie O'Donnell getting things started with a single then stealing the first of three bases on the day. Jayden Gonzales followed with a liner to center driving in O'Donnell then one out later, Jenna Hosey fought off a two strike hitting a ground ball to the right as pinch runner Caitlin Molyneux sped home on a Beaver fielding error.
O'Donnell's slap down the first base line caused the Beaver's second error of the game leading off the third inning. Two batters later Brittany Wood made Pratt pay with a lined shot over the right center fence for a 4-0 Barton lead.
A one-out Barton error gave the Beavers life in the home half of the fourth with a double and single ensuing cutting the deficit to 4-2. Madison Didion slammed the door on any further damage striking out one and inducing a harmless fly ball to short center.
The Barton bats went cold the final three innings leaving the door open for a Pratt comeback. A leadoff blooper just over the head of a leaping Hosey at shortstop followed by a walk and a one-out single up the middle put the tying Beaver run at second. In almost a repeat performance of the fourth inning, Didion took control of the situation striking out the final two batters.
Fanning eight in the contest for a nation's eleventh best 202 strikeouts on the season, Didion improved to 25-3 on the season while also limiting the Beavers to only four hits.
Driving in six runs in six at-bats on the day, Wood drove in the first of four of those runs in the first inning giving Barton a one-run lead. Wood struck again in the third sending a towering blast to right field driving out her eighteenth of the season ranking twelfth in the nation and third best in school history.
Barton put the game away the following inning with a two-out six-run outburst. Winning pitch Holly Posegate got things going with a one-out single but with two outs, Lili Ertmann and Kaylie Doll kept the inning alive with single on either side of the diamond with Doll driving in her third RBI of the season. Capitalizing on two Pratt errors to follow, Wood delivered her final two runs batted in with a line drive to the left field grass. Two more runs would score after Hosey repeated her game one at-bat, fighting off two strikes putting the ball in play forcing the second Pratt error.
The Cougars nearly added another to its total in the final fifth inning, getting a Braydee Bakovich pinch hit double to deep right field but the sophomore was stranded leaving the eight-run enough for the run-rule victory.
Posegate was solid once again in the circle earning the win, striking out two and scattering six hits improving to 22-3.