For the first time since 1993, the Barton Community College softball team entered the Region VI Division I Softball Tournament as the defending champion opening up play with a 7-0 victory over Garden City Community College. Returning to the site of last year's championship, the No. 9 ranked Lady Cougars powered up for three home runs getting two of those in back-to-back fashion leading a four run fourth inning while getting a one-hit complete game pitching performance. Improving to 49-6 on the season while dropping Garden City to 8-39, Barton will next play the third-seeded Trojans of Colby Community College in Wednesday's 1:00 p.m. game at El Dorado's East Park. The 41-16 Trojans were equally impressive in their opener with a six inning 10-2 win over sixth seeded Pratt Community College. Garden City will look to rebound in the double-elimination format tournament taking on Pratt in the 9:00 a.m. elimination game. Complete video and live stat coverage of the Lady Cougars title defense run can be found at www.BartonSports.com.
Jayden Gonzales kept the first inning alive with a single up the middle allowing Brittany Wood to get to the box. The freshman from South Jordan, Utah, didn't waste the opportunity sending a 2-1 pitch down the right field line for her nineteenth of the season staking the Lady Cougars to the early two-run lead.
The Lady Cougars quickly put two more up on the board in the fourth getting back-to-back one-out long balls by Holly Posegate and McKenna Mauler. Posegate drove her ninth of the season over the fence in left center while Mauler connected on her twelfth of the year to straight away center field. The spark led to two more runs in the inning with Lili Ertmann's single and stolen base scoring on a wild pitch after Maddison Schofield's single. Cadie O'Donnell drove in the fourth run singling through the infield driving home Schofield.
Madison Didion controlled the Garden City bats allowing just a first inning single improving the Montesano, Washington, freshman's campaign to 26-3. Getting out of two-on one-out jam in the first after a hit-by-pitch and single, Didion sent down the Broncbusters in order the rest of the way inducing harmless ground outs and fly balls while finishing with just two strikeouts.
Looking ahead, the winner of Wednesday's Barton-Colby game will face the winner of top seeded and No. 6 ranked host Butler Community College versus fourth seeded Dodge City Community College game in the 7:00 p.m. winner's bracket final. The loser of the Barton-Colby game will drop to the 5:00 p.m. loser's bracket game to take on fifth seeded Seward County Community College.
Complete tournament information can be found at www.kjccc.org.