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Barton softball opens up 2018 season with mixed results in losses to DII No. 9 Cowley #GoBarton

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The Barton Community College softball team opened up its 2018 season Thursday at Cougar Field, dropping a pair of contests to Division II No. 9 ranked Cowley College.

Returning a veteran squad coming off a fifth place national finish last season, Cowley took early leads in both contests ending the first game 15-6 in five innings before holding off the Cougars 11-7 in the nightcap to complete the sweep to improve to 3-4 on the year. Barton's second contest date of the season comes next Wednesday in a 1:00 p.m. doubleheader hosting Hutchinson Community College.

The Cougars had some shining moments throughout the day to offset some costly miscues from a team with just two returners in showing its inexperience. Freshman Alexis Sharples led the young Cougars going 4-of-6 at the top of the lineup including a leadoff double in Barton's four-run seventh inning of the nightcap. Morgan Michaelis also had an impressive Cougar debut with two home runs on the day, the first coming with two-out in the first inning to cut Cowley's first inning lead to 5-2. Michaelis second and furthest launch of the day came in the nightcap's sixth inning to extend the game to the seventh frame. Fellow freshman Hailey Pop also collected her first collegiate long ball, launching a three run two-out no doubter in the second game following Michaelis' extension of the inning drawing her second walk of the game.

Freshman hurlers Emma Horsch and Allison Panning took the losses as Cowley got victories from sophomores Lagan Wenzel and Kacia Hilty.