It has been a very good regular season for the Barton Community College softball team. Perhaps it didn’t end the way the Cougars would have liked Wednesday afternoon at the Great Bend Sports Complex but it is now time look to the post season.
The Cougars split games with Pratt to conclude the regular season winning the opener 9-1 then dropping the finale 12-3. With the split Barton heads to the post season with a 31-17 record. The Cougars wrapped up Jayhawk West play at 12-12. Pratt is 9-36 overall and 6-18 in the West.
“It’s always the little things put together for a big result. If you play good defense that will trickle into good at-bats at the plate,” Barton assistant coach Anna Voss said. “The second game is a good example of what happens when you take a team lightly and don’t play defense or hit for that matter.”
Next up is the post season, which gets underway Tuesday at Cougar Fields as Dodge City comes to Barton for a best 2-fo-3 series and the right to move on to the double elimination portion in El Dorado over the weekend.
The Cougars earned the No. 4 seed and the home series while Dodge City finished fifth. The Conquistadors ended the regular season with a 22-20 overall record and 9-15 in the West. The winner of the series will open the double elimination tournament with West champion Butler. The Grizzlies received a bye and the right to host the tournament by winning the conference with a 20-4 mark. Butler is 30-13 overall.
The bottom half of the bracket will see Pratt, the No. 7 seed, travel to Seward (34-22, 15-9) and Colby (23-20, 9-15) travel to Garden City (27-24, 13-11).
In the opener Wednesday the Cougars used a big second inning to coast to the 9-1 win. It all took place with two outs as Barton put the first two batters on base before the next two were retired.
Baylee Bakovich kept the inning alive with a single to score Kylie Everill then Caitlin Garcia scored Holly Posegate with another single and Barton led 2-0. Bailey Hensley made it three straight singles scoring Bakovich before Brianna Ward hit a 3-run homer to give Barton 6-0 lead.
Following an Erica Harper single Everill went deep to make it eight straight hits and an 8-0 lead for the Cougars. Posegate scored later in the inning on an illegal pitch for the 9-0 lead.
Posegate held Pratt scoreless in the circle until the final inning and came away with the win to improve to 15-7. She allowed five hits and an unearned run while strike out five in the process.
The second game was just about a mirror image as Pratt scored four in the first and three in the second to take an early 7-0 lead. It grew to 10-0 before Barton got on the board but the Cougars never challenged.
Jenna Hosey had two of Barton’s seven hits while Everill drove in two more with another home run.
Now on to Dodge City.
The Cougars dropped both games to Dodge at Cougars Fields early in the conference season then returned the favor with a sweep at Dodge near the end of the West slate. First pitch is set for 2 p.m.