The Barton Community College softball team dropped its first two games of the early conference season on Wednesday with 9-2 and 5-3 losses at Colby Community College. The losses drop the Cougars to 4-2 in conference play and 7-11 on the season while Colby stays hot with their eighth straight win improving to 6-2 in the Jayhawk and 19-5 overall. Barton's next games will come Saturday in a 2:00 p.m. doubleheader at Cougar Field hosting Northwest Kansas Technical College (2-4, 4-8).
The Cougars got off to a good start it its day as leadoff Alexis Sharples reached on a hit by pitch before Kat Frakes launched a 2-1 pitch over the center field fence for the Topeka sophomore's first home run of the season and fourth as a Cougar.
The home run would be one of a few highlights the rest of the game as the Cougars were held to just five additional hits with Frakes and Andreana Reynolds accounting for two hits each. Nasadiya Salazar and Sharples each added a two-out double, Salazar's second of the year coming in the second inning while Sharples' fifth of the season came in the final inning.
Emma Horsch took the loss in five innings of work dropping to 3-6 on the year, surrendering nine hits as just four of her eight runs allowed were earned as the Cougars committed two key errors helping three-run Colby innings in the fifth and sixth.
Allison Panning took the circle for the final inning of the opener before going the distance in game two. Dropping to 4-4 on the season, Panning's three of five runs allowed were unearned as four defensive miscues helped the Trojans retake a third inning lead with a two-run home run and the extend the fifth inning one batter too many as a two-out two RBI single proved to be the difference.
Following Michaelis' first hit in leading off the second inning, Horsch gave Barton the early lead driving her third two-bagger of the year to the right field fence. Having a double play kill a sixth inning rally in the first game, Schuetz' single went for naught as the Cougars had another potential run producing inning killed on a twin killing.
The Trojans answered in the home half utilizing traditional small ball including perfectly executing a double steal to tie it up.
A one-out Jaila Jordan single and a two-out single by Pop and Michaelis' 18th walk of the year loaded the bases but Barton would only plate one coming courtesy of a Trojan error.
Colby retook the lead on the error and two-run home run to lead off the third with both teams stranding a solo runner in the fourth.
The Cougars got the equalizer in the fifth as Pop's two-out line drive to left field cleared the wall for the Canadian's fourth dinger of the year.
A single and error began the home half of the inning but Panning got the next two batters out before the Trojans laced a 2-1 pitch to the center field grass for the eventual game winning runs.