The Barton Community College softball team closed out Cougar Field on Wednesday for the 2017 season with a double thumping of Colby Community College. Scoring five in the third combined with solid pitching and defensive plays, the Cougars closed out game one in the fifth tacking on three runs before carrying the momentum to the back end of the doubleheader plating seven first inning runs powering for another five inning shortened game 13-5. The fifth straight conference win moves the Cougars into third place in the standings at 13-8, improving to 28-12 on the season, while Colby slips to the fourth spot at 12-10 and 27-17. Barton will conclude the regular season on Saturday in El Dorado as the Cougars take on top ranked Butler Community College at 2:00 p.m.
The opener stayed scoreless into the third as Amanda Evans was effective in the circle while getting some key early defensive plays around her. The first of those came early as speedster Katilyn Withers led off the game with a bunt but was erased on the next batter as first baseman Jayden Gonzales snared Jennifer Slaughter's line drive, beating Withers back to the bag for the double play. The Trojans again got the leadoff aboard in the second but catcher Andreana Reynolds gunned out Madi Shawver trying to steal second. One out later Madison Motes kept the inning alive with a double but Jordan Terrones made an amazing full-sprint laid out catch along the right field line to end the inning. Evans would keep the Trojans from making it three leadoff batters in a row with quick reactions snaring Dani Asche' liner right at the sophomore's head.
With all the defensive plays keeping the game scoreless, the Cougars finally got warmed up at the plate in the third with Lydia Konrade starting the inning with a single. Terrones then laid down a perfectly placed bunt down the third base line forcing an errant throw to first. Consecutive singles ensued, the first by Maddison Schofield driving in one run with Payton Reynolds then driving home a pair with a line drive to left. A. Reynolds tacked on another with a groundout with Mickenzie Toler concluding the inning with her eighth double of the season driving in the fifth run.
Summers and A. Reynolds led off the final fifth inning with consecutive singles, both scoring on Kaci Isaacson's team leading 19th double of the year, joined by the next batter Konrade drawing walk. With Isaacson at second with the winning run, Head Coach Marc Benjamin went to bench bringing Leilani Medina to the plate and the California freshman didn't disappoint, roping a single through the 6-hole with Isaacson beating the throw at the plate for the game clinching run.
Evans earned the victory improving to 10-4 in shutting out the Trojans on four hits and without surrendering a walk. Kylee Burnside, who was battling sickness but still gave Colby 3.1 innings, took the loss slipping to 12-8 on the year.
Barton stayed the course in the nightcap as Schofield, Reynolds, and Gonzales kick started a big seven run inning with consecutive singles. Following Summers' fielder's choice for the first out, A. Reynolds delivered a single before consecutive Toler and Isaacson run producing singles. Konrade drove her third double of the year into the left center gap scoring two, crossing the plate one out later as Schofield delivered her second hit of the inning with an RBI single to cap the inning.
A Gonzales single and Summers' seventh double of the year began Barton's second frame of at-bats with Toler launching her sixth homerun of the year with a three-run shot to straight away center.
Long ball again was part of the Cougars' arsenal in the third with P. Reynolds' leadoff walk scoring on the line drive left center homerun by Gonzales for the sophomore's team leading 12th of the season pushing Barton's lead to 12-0 through three innings.
The Trojans made things interesting in the fourth inning scoring five runs with two outs. The rally started with a walk on Barton hurler P. Reynolds, followed by a single and an RBI single from Marissa Croft. Abbey Sweeney kept the inning rolling with a single before Withers just missed a homerun to center banging a two RBI double off the top of the fence. Tayllor Bruntz followed with a double of her own driving in the speedy Withers but Paige Farnsworth's single would go for naught as A. Reynolds tagged out Bruntz trying to score from third on a wild pitch.
Fast forward an inning to the fifth as P. Reynolds and Gonzales would string together consecutive singles before Summers would deliver the knockout blow with a single up the middle for the walk-off RBI.
P. Reynolds picked up the victory improving to 13-7 on the year while Courtney Hathaway's third of inning and six runs resulted in the loss dropping to 2-2.
Gonzales and Summers combined for eight of the Cougars' twenty-five hits in the doubleheader with Toler's three hits producing a team leading six RBI's.