The Barton Community College softball team dropped a pair of conference games Sunday afternoon at Cougar Field 8-0 and 9-7 to Seward County Community College. The sweep drops 6-4 in Jayhawk play and 9-13 on the season while Seward County stays unblemished in conference play improving to 10-0 and 23-13 overall. Barton's next games will come Wednesday in a 2:00 p.m. conference doubleheader at Garden City Community College (5-7, 15-15).
The story of the opener was the pitching of the Saint's Monique Ashley who handcuffed the Cougars to just one hit while striking out fifteen. Earning the conference freshman player of the year honor last season, Ashley has picked up where she left off improving to 16-3 on the year with the seven inning victory with Emma Horsch taking the loss dropping to 4-7.
The Saints jumped on Horsch for four first inning runs, adding single runs in the second and third, before plating a pair of solo plate touches in the sixth and seventh.
Hailey Pop broke up Ashley's perfect game with two outs in the third in lacing the freshman's third double of the year to the centerfield fence. Morgan Michaelis followed with her team leading nineteenth walk of the year but Ashley got Andreana Reynolds out on her then-seventh strikeout to end the threat.
With a fresh start to game two, Allison Panning helped her cause snaring a line drive headed up the middle to complete a double play with a throw to first to erase Jullian Atteberry's leadoff single.
The defensive momentum carried to the offensive side as Alexis Sharples, Kat Frakes, and Pop loaded the bases as Saints' game two starter Jordan Cordrey struggled in the circle giving up a hit-by-pitch, single, and walk. Michaelis made it two consecutive walks to push a run across with Reynolds' fielder's choice and a passed ball giving Barton the early 3-0 lead.
Three defensive miscues proved costly in the second as the Saints would plate seven runs on just four hits. A leadoff error and walk followed by an uncharted misplayed line drive would score as Madeline Owen was credited with a two RBI triple. Another walk followed with a an error on a fielder's choice pushed across the third round with Atteberry delivering two more across the plate with a double down the third base line. A fielder error allowed Atteberry to third with a Reynolds to Maggie Schuetz throw out of Kaitlin Ammermann at second base allowed Atteberry to scoot home. The Saints' leading hitter Sage Harrison then picked up her lone hit in eight at-bats on the day with an RBI single to close out the seven run inning.
Frakes kept the home half of the inning alive belting a line drive to right field for the sophomore's eighth double of the season with Pop making it consecutive two-baggers with a drive to left cent for her fourth of the year.
Seward County increased their lead out to 9-4 in the fourth inning as a leadoff walk and single would score on Leena Mortensen's fourth double and drive in her fifth run of the doubleheader. Mortensen would knock her third of the game and fifth on the day in the sixth but Panning was able to induce an infield grounder to strand two on the bags.
A Horsch one-out single in the fifth followed by Schuetz' first collegiate double would score on Kristin Storer's ground out to slice a run off the deficit.
The 1-2-3 production at the top of the lineup would cut the margin to 9-7 through six inning. Sharples led off with a single in coming home on Frakes' third hit of the game coming on her ninth double of the year. Pop followed with her second single and third hit of the afternoon driving home Frakes with her eighteenth RBI.
Panning kept the Saints quiet in the seventh to give the Cougars a chance but a Baylee Hogan two out walk would be stranded as Ashley came in to close it out with her sixteenth strikeout of the afternoon.
Cordrey improved to 7-7 on the year with Ashley picking up the save while Panning dropped to 5-5 on the Ellinwood freshman's campaign.