The Barton Community College softball team traveled to northwest Kansas Wednesday, belting four home runs while getting solid pitching to return from Goodland with a pair of 11-4 and 9-4 conference wins in defeating Northwest Kansas Technical College. Breaking open each game with a six-pack inning of runs and pounding out thirty hits in the sweep, the fourth place Cougars improve to 12-8 in Jayhawk play and 15-17 overall while dropping the Mavericks to 4-14 in league play and 7-21 in their inaugural season. Weather permitting, Barton's next scheduled game is this Saturday as the Cougars host third place Colby Community College (12-6, 29-9) in a 1:00 p.m. pivotal conference doubleheader at Cougar Field.
Barton erased an early one run deficit surging ahead in the third inning with Kat Frakes extending the two-out inning with a walk as Hailey Pop connecting on the first of her three hits in driving in the tying run. Three pitches later Morgan Michaelis put the Cougars out front driving her 8th long ball of the season over the left field fence for the 3-1 lead.
Northwest Tech strung three straight one-out singles together to plate one with an infield error allowing the tying run.
A collegiate first broke the tie in the ensuing inning as Pitt Meadows, British Columbia, freshman Sophia Nduwayo connected for a center field home run for her third RBI of the year.
The Mavericks would counter two innings later with a solo shot but Barton had their own counter-attack in the ensuing innings plating six runs to seize command.
Frakes extended her hitting streak to ten games in driving in a pair of runs as the Cougars had loaded the bases on a Maggie Schuetz single, Nduwayo reach on fielder's choice, and Sharples drawing a walk. Pop kept the inning rolling on a single with an error on the play tacking on another run before Michaelis delivered the big blow in the inning connecting on a three run deep fly to center for her second home run of the game and fifth in the Cougars last three games.
Barton put the icing on the game with a solo run in the seventh with Jaila Jordan collecting her third hit of the contest to lead off the frame with Sharples driving in the final run on a 1-2 two-out pitch.
Emma Horsch earned the game one victory improving to 7-9 in striking out seven with no walked or hit batsman. Horsch would close out the seventh in game two helping Allison Panning improve to 8-7 as the duo combined for just two walks on the afternoon.
Just like in game one, the Cougars trailed early as Northwest Tech put two on the board behind two singles and a passed ball.
Also like in the opener, the Cougars would hang a six pack of runs in a frame with Barton immediately regaining the lead in the top half of the second.
Schuetz and Nduwayo began the inning with leadoff singles and would earn the easy trip back to the plate as Kristin Storer deposited a 2-2 pitch over the center field fence for the California sophomore's third long ball of the year. One out later Frakes extended her hitting streak to 11 straight games a double to right field for the Topeka sophomore's team leading two-bagger of the year. Michaelis and Horsch extended the inning with two-out singles with Jordan capping the six run inning with a two RBI lined double to center.
After a quick home half inning, the Cougars were back to the plate with Nduwayo's leadoff single scoring on Storer's career high 4th RBI coming on a single up the middle. Fighting off two 0-2 pitches, Sharples connected on the fifth pitch driving Storer home across the dish with a single to center.
The teams would go scoreless in the next 2.5 innings until Pop picked up her third hit of the game and sixth of the day with Michaelis following with a double to center to join the multi hit club. Jordan led the Cougars with three RBIs, driving in the third with two outs in the inning pushing the lead to seven.
The Mavericks doubled up the answer in the home half with a leadoff single and double coming across on a one out single and error.
Barton went down in order in the seventh while Horsch stranded a pair of one-out singles to end the game on two fly outs.
Pop led the offensive attack getting on base seven of her eight times to the plate, going 3-for-3 in the opener and 3-of-4 in the nightcap for a .857 average in the twin bill. Michaelis' two home runs five RBIs led the run producing hits with Storer and Jordan driving in four and three runs respectively. Jordan batted .625 in the series on five hits with Nduwayo matching Michaelis' four hits which included her first collegiate run.