The Barton Community College softball team dropped a pair of conference games Wednesday afternoon in Liberal 6-3 and 17-6 in five innings at Seward County Community College. The sweep drops the fourth place Cougars to 12-12 in Jayhawk play and 15-21 overall while second place Seward County improves to 21-3 in the Jayhawk and 34-16 overall. Barton will have a quick turnaround as Mother Nature forced the rescheduling to have the Cougars host third place Colby Community College (14-6, 30-10) tomorrow with a 2:00 p.m. first pitch slated.
Getting just one-hit against Seward County's ace Monique Ashley the previous time the teams squared up in Great Bend, the Cougars managed four hits in the opener with Kat Frakes going 2-for-4 in driving home three runs.
Frakes first hit came in the third inning on her team leading 16th double of the year with a liner to center to score Kristin Storer's leadoff walk cutting the then Saints lead to three. Frakes would later conclude the scoring in the seventh on her fourth home run of the season, a two-run right field long ball to drive in fellow Topeka native Alexis Sharples' one-out single.
Notable in the game was the historical achievement of Morgan Michaelis, drawing a third inning walk to take over sole possession of second place on the program's single season most drawn walks with the Lyons native's 27th of the year.
The first of three errors put the Cougars in a first inning run deficit with a second inning miscue helped another run cross the plate before a two-out triple grew the hole to four.
Following Frakes' third inning RBI double, the Saints answered in the home half as a two out single made it 5-1.
Taking the loss dropping to 7-11, Emma Horsch had a solid five innings in the circle but came up short in allowing her lone earned run in the Saints' fifth inning. On the doorstep of recording her fourth strikeout, Horsch was locked in with a battle as Jullian Atteberry fought off two 1-2 two-out pitches for single before Kaitlin Ammermann's RBI double increased the lead to five.
Game two started promising for the Cougars with Sharples' leadoff single being followed by Frakes' second two-bagger of the day and 17th of the season. Maggie Schuetz got the first run across the dish on a sacrifice fly with Michaelis' RBI double giving Barton a 2-0 lead.
The momentum was short lived as the Saints took advantage of their at-bat putting up eight runs behind three walks, two errors, and four hits including two home runs.
The lead grew by six in the third frame as a pair of one-out singles scoring on a two RBI double being followed by an RBI single chased Allison Panning from the circle in dropping the freshman to 8-8 on the season. The Saints added three more with the pitching change to Frakes on a single and a three-run homerun exploding the lead out to 14-2.
Consecutive Barton errors opened up the ensuing Seward County fourth inning helping the Saints tack on three more runs pushing the deficit to fifteen.
The Cougars didn't lay down and pack up the bus facing the run-rule. Instead the Cougars put together a four run inning to leave Liberal with a shot of momentum headed to Thursday's game hosting Colby.
Nasadiya Salazar joined the game two multi-hit club with a liner down the left field line for her fourth double of the year with Jaila Jordan and Hailey Pop singles loading the bases, scoring on Baylee Hogan's sacrifice fly. Storer reloaded the bases reaching on an error with Sharples driving in one on a single and Frakes completing here five hit afternoon with a two RBI single.
Sharples and Frakes each had three hits at the top of the lineup in the nightcap as the Cougars outhit the Saints 14-12 but five defensive miscues didn't help the cause.
Frakes led the offense on the day going 5-of-8 out of the two-hole, driving in five of the Cougars' nine runs on the day.
In addition to the Colby doubleheader being moved a day on the schedule, the weather has also forced the change of the season finale hosting Garden City. Slated for Monday, the 1:00 p.m. doubleheader has now been kicked back a day to Tuesday.