Judging by the 16-2 five-inning blasting in Tuesday’s conference game in Pratt, the Barton Community College softball team looked to be headed for a doubleheader sweep at Pratt Community College but instead returned home sour after a bottom of the seventh 7-6 loss in the nightcap. Splitting their fourth conference doubleheader Barton moves to 4-6 in Jayhawk West play and 18-9 on the season while Pratt goes to 3-5 in the Jayhawk West and 3-17 overall. The Lady Cougars look to regroup in a hurry as the Jayhawk traditional power Butler Community College Grizzlies roll into town Thursday for a 2:00 p.m. conference doubleheader.
The Lady Cougars came out on a mission scoring in every inning outhitting the Beavers 19-6. Bailey Hensley, who would go 4-for-5 in the leadoff spot, got things rolling with her seventh double of the season. Two batters later Erica Harper made it 2-0 as the sophomore hit her ninth homerun of the season.
Barton would break open the game with a five run second and six run fourth as all nine Lady Cougars would cross the plate in the game. Led by the 3-for-5 six RBI performance by Harper, six different players had a multi-hit game and seven different players had at least one run batted in.
Holly Posegate earned the win improving to 7-4 on the season limiting the Beavers to only one earned run on the six hits.
Game two was a complete reversal early on as Pratt scored three in the first inning on Barton starter Taylor Bugner then added a leadoff homerun in the third before adding another on in the fourth on reliever Kylie Everill to jump out to a 5-0 lead through four innings.
Leading off the Barton fifth, Great Bend freshman McKenna Mauler connected on her first collegiate homerun as her left field blast gave the Lady Cougars new life. Brianna Ward and Harper kept the momentum rolling as each came through with a one-out single before Everill hit the gap in center for a two RBI double and suddenly Barton was back in the game. Harper reaches on infield single, Everill w/2 RBI CF double. Ending up on third base as the throw went to the plate, one batter later Posegate’s ground out to the right side easily scored Everill to draw Barton to within one.
Replacing Everill in the circle for the fifth, Posegate sent the Beavers down in order to keep the Barton momentum, but a 1-2-3 inning in the top of the sixth kept the deficit at one.
Pratt looked to put the game away in the home half of the inning with a leadoff homerun but Hensley quickly put spark back into the Lady Cougars in the top of the seventh with a leadoff double to center. One out later Harper delivered her tenth homerun of the season and second on the day completing the Lady Cougar comeback to tie it up at six.
In a series of freak plays, Posegate jammed Pratt’s Cassie Kelly but the pop up fell weakly in between home and first as the Lady Cougars had no play at first. Cara Johnson then laid down a bunt that had eyes squibbing through Posegate’s wickets and suddenly the Beavers had their first two batters aboard. One pitch later, Pratt cleanup hitter Natalie Ramirez completed her 3-for-4 game with a single to right field. With Kelly rounding the bases headed for home, Harpers dart to the plate was intercepted by Kelly’s crash play on Barton catcher Lili Ertmann giving Pratt the 7-6 win.
Hensley, Harper and Everill were the lone multi-hit games accounting for six of the Lady Cougars nine hits. Everill and Harper each drove in two runs as Harper increased her Region VI RBI lead to forty-five on the season.
Taking the hard luck loss after getting the win in the first game, Posegate dropped to 7-5 on the season allowing two hits and one earned run in two innings of work.