Opening the 2015 season with a sweep of the junior varsity squad from Bethany College, Thursday in Lindsborg was a much different result as the Barton Community College softball team split the doubleheader with the Swedes winning game one 7-2 but dropping the nightcap 7-3. A five-run first inning led to game one’s victory while a Bethany five-run fifth inning led to the loss in game two. The split takes Barton’s record to 10-2 on the season going into this weekend’s five games at the Cloud County Community College tournament in Concordia, Kansas. The Lady Cougars will then have quick turnaround before opening up conference play on Monday at Cougar Field hosting Colby Community College in a 2:00 p.m. doubleheader.
Bailey Hensley got things going in game one drawing a leadoff walk and advancing to third on Erica Harper‘s single to right field. Following a Holly Posegate two-out walk, Caitlin Garcia came through with a single to right field giving Barton its first two runs. Taking a look at the first pitch across the dish, Topeka freshman Jenna Hosey lit up the second pitch she saw driving a three-run shot over the right field fence for her first collegiate homerun giving Barton the early 5-0 lead.
Bethany would cut into the deficit in the home half as leadoff batter Erin Newport drove a single to center and a two-out Ashley Gilson single drove in two runs.
Barton responded getting the two runs back in their next at-bat with a leadoff single by McKenna Mauler was followed by a one-out single to Briana Ward. Down to their final out, Kylie Everill drove a 2-1 pitch up the middle increasing the lead out to the final 7-2 score.
Reigning conference (KJCCC) and national (NJCAA) player of the week Erica Harper led a ten-hit attack going 2-for-4 as eight other Lady Cougars had a hit. Braydee Bakovich and Jenna Hosey each had extra base hits as Bakovich had a one-out double to center in the sixth while Hosey had the first inning homerun.
Holly Posegate picked up the win improving to 4-1 on the season giving up two runs on six hits, two walks, and two strikeouts.
Spotting Bethany single runs in the opening two innings of the nightcap, the Barton would leap frog the Swedes with three runs in the fourth. Kylie Everill got things going with a leadoff walk followed by a Holly Posegate single. Following a ground out by Jenna Hosey, McKenna Mauler tripled down the left field line plating boy Everill and Posegate to tie it up. Three batters later Bailey Hensley picked up her lone RBI of the double dip with a two-out single to left field driving home Mauler.
Striking out two of three batters in the fourth, Barton pitcher Taylor Bugner ran into multiple problems in the disastrous fifth inning. Walking Erin Newport to begin the inning, Newport advanced around the bases on a passed ball and stolen base before an outfield error allowed the Swedes to tie it up. A Jessica Armijo single would push Bethany up by one but after Bugner recorded her sixth strikeout of the game, a two-out infield error kept the inning alive as Bethany would tack on three more runs for the eventual 7-3 winning margin.
Managing only six hits in game two, Hensley and Mauler each had two hits and all three of the runs batted in. Bugner took her first loss of the season dropping to 3-1 despite striking out a season high eight. Pitching the full 6.0 innings, Bugner gave up seven hits and four walks resulting in the seven runs, only three coming as earned.