Historically a spring trip to Texas hasn’t fared well for the ladies in blue from Kansas but this past weekend’s journey to Midland might be the confidence builder the young Barton Community College softball team needs for an early springboard. The Cougars began Saturday’s action scoring six runs in the second inning on the way to a 14-5 win over Luna Community College then wrapped up the five-game two-day trip with its second shutout win over a ranked opponent disposing host and No. 15 ranked Midland College 7-0. Improving to 6-1 on the early season, Barton gave Luna its first loss of the season at 3-1 while dropping Midland to 11-3. Barton sets its eyes upon the state of Oklahoma next as the Cougars travel to Bacone College on Wednesday to take on the junior varsity squad before Thursday’s games against Oklahoma Wesleyan University JV. Game times for both day’s doubleheader scheduled for 1:00 p.m.
Maddison Schofield‘s 3-for-4 performance led a thirteen hit Barton effort including six coming in the Cougars six-run second inning breaking the game open. Hosey opened the inning with a single followed by Payton Summers‘ RBI double before McKenna Mauler blasted her first of two homeruns in the game gaining a 3-1 Barton lead. Lili Ertmann and Schofield singles would load up the bases before Brittany Wood would clear them tying Mauler for game high honors with three runs batted in.
Following a three-run Luna home half of the inning, Mauler quickly increased the Barton lead with a left field hammer on the first pitch she saw. Ertmann and Schofield singles ensued with Gonzales driving home her two runs with a single to right.
The Cougars tacked on three more runs in the fifth, all coming with two outs in the inning. Schofield accounted for two on her first collegiate home run coming to left field while Wood drive in her third RBI of the game two batters later.
Playing the fifth game of the weekend and third against a ranked opponent, Gonzales staked the Cougars out to a first inning two run lead belting her second home of the season driving home Schofield who led off with a single.
The game quickly became a pitcher’s duel as Madison Didion and Kaitlyn Durrett squared off. Didion kept the Chaparrals in check scattering four hits and striking out a career high ten while Durrett settled in keeping the Cougars off the scoreboard for the next three innings.
Barton had its chances to tack on more in the second loading the bases on singles by Summers, Ertmann, and Schofield but left them loaded. After its lone down in order in the third, Barton again had another opportunity but McKenna Mauler two-out double off the left field fence went for naught.
The Cougars got a little help in the fifth increasing their lead as Schofield advance to second after leading off the inning with a single then advancing on an outfield error. Cadie O’Donnell would then give Barton runners at the corner as the left handed speedster beat out a bunt to first. Gonzales would then send a drive to middle depth left field as Schofield easily beat the tag to the plate.
Hosey set the stage in the sixth leading off with a single just over the shortstops mitt and two-outs later Ertmann’s double to left gave Barton a 4-0 lead.
With Didion mowing down the Lady Chaps, the Cougars really didn’t need insurance runs but did benefit with three in the seventh. Pinch hitter Chasity Ward worked back from a 1-2 count to earn a walk to lead off the inning, Gonzales followed with a single, but the inning appeared to die off as the Cougars were rolled up in a double play. Posegate kept the inning alive with a single scoring one then Hosey completed her two-hit game just missing her first round tripper of the season banging a triple off the fence. One batter later Summers put the final touches on the game with an RBI single to right.
Going 2-1 over the weekend, Didion struck out twenty-four batters with eighteen coming against ranked opponents.