The Barton Community College softball team did what it needed to do Thursday at Cougar Field, coming out on top 4-2 and 5-3 over the junior varsity squad of Kansas Wesleyan University. The victories improve the Cougars to 18-5 on the season while dropping the Coyotes to 5-5. Barton will have a long stretch before its next game, returning to conference play on Saturday, March 18, in a 2:00 p.m. doubleheader at Dodge City Community College.
Andreana Reynolds got the Cougars off to a good start to the day following Maddison Schofield's leadoff walk driving a 2-2 pitch well beyond the fence in left center for the Oklahoma freshman's second of the season. Schofield scored on both of her two walks in the game, scoring again in the fourth on Jayden Gonzales' liner just out of the reach of KWU's third baseman Kayla Kruel. Gonzales' lone hit also scored No. 9 batter Lydia Konrade as the sophomore No. 9 hitter went 3-for-3 to account for half of Barton's hits in the opener.
Giving up her first hit in the sixth inning, winning pitcher Amanda Evans had to work out of a leadoff error and single in the seventh as the Coyotes tried to mount a comeback. Getting the first out on a weak fly out back to the circle and inducing a fielder's choice, Evans' shutout was rocked on the next pitch as Anilese Hayes sent a deep triple down the right field line. Evans closed the door on the rally with her fifth strikeout, concluding an inning via a punch-out for the third straight inning and fourth in her complete game improving to 4-1 on the season.
KWU took the early lead in the nightcap as Baylee Sullivan led off the second with a left field home run.
The Cougars got the run back and more in the home half of the third scoring four runs. Lady Cougar basketball player and now softball player Lauren Welsch reached base in her first collegiate at-bat drawing a walk to get the inning started. A. Reynolds collected her lone hit of game two with Gonzales following with a walk to load the bases with one out. Leading the Cougars in RBIs early in the season, Payton Summers added to her total driving in two for her 35th of the season. One out later, Hayes and the Coyotes appeared to be getting out of the inning trailing by just one but Mickenzie Toler's towering shot to the outfield was misplayed allowing two more Cougars to cross the plate.
Barton would add another in the fifth as Summers connected on her third hit of the game and Toler drawing a two-out walk before Leilani Medina fought off a full-count pitch with a liner into left field scoring pinch-runner Jordan Terrones.
Two errors in the sixth inning pushed across a single run as KWU put themselves in position for a last inning rally. Getting their first two batters of the final inning on the base paths via a walk and hit batsman, the Coyotes chased Payton Reynolds from the circle as the Cougars turned to Braylin Bretz. Inducing an infield fly for the first out with both runners moving up a base, a similar play happened on the next at-bat but Toler's heads-up throw to the plate and A. Reynolds tag took the Coyotes to their final out. Hayes kept the inning alive with an RBI single, and following a wild pitch, the Coyotes had the tying run at second. Down to a full-count pitch, Bretz induced a weak grounder just outside the circle as the Great Bend freshman scooped and threw to first for the final out and earn her first collegiate save and helping Reynolds improve to 9-4 on the season.