The Barton Community College softball team belted four home runs in the back end of Wednesday's doubleheader against Seward County Community College, bouncing back from an 8-3 defeat before holding on for an 8-5 win to salvage the conference twin bill at Cougar Field. Seward County took the first game behind a five-run third inning but the Cougars chased the starting pitcher in game two getting four first inning runs before tacking on a run in four of the next five frames while holding off a seventh inning Saints rally. The series split leaves Barton at 6-2 in the Jayhawk and 21-6 while Seward County moves to 4-2 in conference play and 29-12 overall. The Cougars will next head to Colby Community College on Saturday for a 2:00 p.m. doubleheader.
Kat Frakes began Barton's day with a solo shot in the first inning for the freshman's third long ball of the year. The lead held until the third inning when the Barton defense was generous with two errors being combined with the Saint bats heating up. Seward County connected for five hits in the inning, four straight including doubles by Leena Mortensen and Sydney Epp, as the Saints took early control 5-1.
With Saints hurler Monique Ashley keeping the Barton bats relatively silent, Seward County added single runs in the fifth, sixth, and seventh inning. Epps sixth home run of the year leading off the fifth and Julian Atteberry delivering the third single of the sixth inning driving in a run, and a two-out RBI double by Paige St. Pierre making the Cougars pay for their fourth error of the game accounted for the 8-1 lead.
Barton would make a little noise for a comeback bid as Frakes delivered her third hit of the contest, followed by an Andreana Reynolds walk as Braxton Morby and Mickenzie Toler came through with RBI singles. Ashley shut down the rally ending the game on her eighth strikeout of the game improving to 17-2 while handling Amanda Evans the loss dropping the sophomore to 5-2.
For the third game in a row, Barton went long ball as Maddison Schofield blasted her third home run of the year launching Macy Pritchard's 1-1 pitch to a couple hops shy of the evergreens in left center. Following an A. Reynolds single, the Cougars would add three runs to the board each coming with two-outs Payton Reynolds' RBI tenth double of the year was followed by Braxton Morby's RBI single to later score on a wild pitch as Epp was called in from right field for relief pitching duties.
After a scoreless second inning, Atteberry cut the deficit to three connecting on her seventh four bagger of the year leading off the Saints third inning. Barton would answer in the home beginning with the second of P. Reynolds' three hits in the night cap starting the inning going before a two-out wild pitch allowed the Cougars to get the lead back to four.
The Cougars went long ball for their final three runs, two coming leading off the inning, with A. Reynolds getting the first driving a 2-0 pitch to the grass beyond the center field fence for the Oklahoma freshman's' third of the year. Multi-sport athlete Lydia Konrade joined the long ball club sending a 1-0 pitch through the power alley in right center for the sophomore's first collegiate home run in pushing the lead out to 7-1. The final blow came in the sixth as Jayden Gonzales jumped on the first pitch from reliever Ruby Gonzales sending it halfway up the evergreens in left center for her sixth of the year.
P. Reynolds did her part keeping the Saints in check through six innings and sending down the first batter of the seventh on an infield groundout. Atteberry singled through the left side of the infield but Reynolds should have gotten out of the inning on the next two batters but an outfield and infield error allowed the next two batters to reach resulting in a run crossing the plate. The Saints' Sage Harrison made the Cougars pay for their transgressions lifting her ninth homerun of the season just over the right center fence cutting the Barton lead by three more. St. Pierre followed with a double to the left center gap with Taylor Kathler's single bringing the tying run to the plate in Alexis Cuellar. Unphased by the developments, P. Reynolds stayed the course inducing Cuellar into a ground ball where Morby tagged out St. Pierre before firing across the diamond to get the double play at first ending the Saints' comeback.
P. Reynolds improved to 11-4 on the season allowing just one earned run with Pritchard taking the loss in her two-thirds of first inning work dropping to 3-6.