Dropping the first of two Saturday 9-8 in nine innings, the Barton Community College softball team buried the host Garden City Community College 11-2 in the game shortened six innings in the nightcap to salvage the conference doubleheader split. Barton moves to 3-5 in Jayhawk West play and 17-8 on the season while Garden City stands at 3-7 in the West and 11-13 overall. The Lady Cougars next action will be Tuesday, March 24, as Barton travels to Pratt Community College for 2:00 p.m. conference doubleheader.
Going 4-for-5 leading a Barton 13-7 hit advantage in the opener, Erica Harper got the Lady Cougars on the board in the opening frame with a single driving home Bailey Hensley who singled up the middle to begin the game.
Garden City responded with two in the home half as a leadoff walk and two singles gave the host Broncbusters a 2-1 early lead.
Consecutive singles by Lili Ertmann, McKenna Mauler, and Bailey Hensley knotted the game up at two before Harper’s line drive to center scored Mauler reclaiming the Barton lead. Two batters later Briana Ward would drive home two of her three RBI’s on the day and the first of her two doubles giving the Lady Cougars a 5-2 third inning lead.
Garden City got one back in the fifth making Barton pay for a leadoff error with two straight sacrifices and a single.
Having a two-run final inning lead, Barton again allowed the leadoff runner aboard with another infield error. Two batters later Sidney Coleman forced extra innings delivering a two-run shot over the left field fence.
Barton had a golden opportunity in the eighth as Ward delivered a one-out double with Jenna Hosey following with a single but Ward was gunned out at the plate ending the threat.
The Lady Cougars didn’t squander their opportunity in the ninth however, taking care of a Garden City error and hit by pitch taking the lead on Harper’s RBI single to center. Two batters later Ward punched in her third RBI of the game with a single to left field giving Barton a two-run lead.
Barton returned the fielding blunder on the first batter allowing Garden City life with their leadoff aboard. Following a fly out to right field, Barton’s Holly Posegate who relieved Taylor Bugner to start the inning walked Coleman on a full-count pitch. Behind in the count 2-0 to the Broncbusters number three hitter, Liberty Nelson drove the third pitch over the left field fence for a walk-off three-run homerun dropping Posegate to 6-4 in the center circle on the season.
Harper led four Lady Cougars in multi-hits with the 4-for-5 performance driving in three runs. Ward also drove in three in her 3-for-5 game while McKenna Mauler and Hensley each went 2-for-4.
Ward and Harper stayed hot in the nightcap getting a one-out single before Harper launched her team leading eighth homerun of the season to center field.
Three straight one-out singles in the bottom of the third preceded a sacrifice fly cutting the Garden City deficit to one.
Braydee Bakovich pushed the Barton lead out to three in the fourth driving home Kylie Everill and Jenna Hosey on a double to center. Everill had led off the inning reaching on a Broncbuster error then Hosey followed with a double.
A leadoff single in the Garden City fifth came around to score on a two-out single but then the Lady Cougars put the game away in the following half inning with seven runs.
Hosey, who would finish a single shy of the cycle, lead off the deciding sixth inning with her second home run of the season as the Cougars would bat around in the inning. One out later, Ertmann doubled and Mauler reached on Garden City’s third error of the game. Both came around to score one out later as Ward delivered her third double of the series increasing the lead out to five. Harper drove home Ward on a single up the middle then following a Samantha White walk, Everill singled home Harper increasing the lead to seven. Hosey then closed out the inning and thus wrapped up the game by driving a triple down the right field line staking Barton to the 11-2 lead.
Bugner, who pitched the final three innings to earn the win improving to 8-1 on the season, gave up two singles in the final inning but closed the door snaring a line drive up the middle to end it.
Three Lady Cougars had a 3-for-4 game as Harper and Hosey each drove in three runs while Ward drove in two runs. Bakovich’s fourth inning double drove in two and Everill’s sixth inning single drove in one.