The last out of an inning is often times the toughest out. The Barton Community College softball team experienced that Saturday in a doubleheader loss to Dodge City.
Dodge City scored six times with two outs in the opener – four unearned in the final inning – on the way to a 7-3 win. Dodge used a 5-run third in the second game to get the sweep with a 5-2 win. It was the first time the Cougars were swept this season.
The losses dropped the Cougars to 2-4 in the Jayhawk West and 16-7 overall. Dodge, playing its first conference games of the season, is now 2-0 and 15-5.
“The Dodge games are a good example that we can’t come out sleeping,” Barton assistant Anna Voss said. “We can’t continually fluctuate -- playing down to a team’s level then having to bump it up to our level against a different team.”
The two clubs spent most of the opener tied. Dodge took a 2-0 lead in the second with a 2-out single. The lead didn’t last long as Erica Harper hit her seventh home run of the season one inning later. The homer to right scored Bailey Hensley.
Dodge grabbed another short-lived lead in the fifth with a leadoff homer run by Lindsey Karlin. Barton countered in the bottom of the fifth as Harper got her third RBI of the game with a 2-out double to score Brianna Ward.
The game stayed that way until that faithful seventh inning. After a leadoff single by Karlin, Holly Posegate got the next two Conquistadors out on a sac bunt and a line out back to her.
Then Posegate ran into some trouble by walking the next batter and hitting the following to load the bases with two outs. A ground ball to second looked like it would get the Cougars out of the inning but Hensley couldn’t field it cleanly allowing a pair of runs to score. That was followed by a single to score two more and Dodge had a 7-3.
Barton put just one runner on the bottom of the inning and were not able to challenge Dodge City.
The second game didn’t hold the same suspense as the Conquistadors put five runs on the board in the third to take control. Five straight runners reached base and all scored in the inning. The big blow was a double by Kaitlyn Aldana to score a pair and give Dodge a 4-0 lead. She later scored on a sac fly.
Barton made it 5-1 in the bottom of third on Ward’s sixth homer of the year. It stayed that way until the final inning when Barton didn’t go down easily.
Kylie Everill led off the inning with a walk and Posegate followed with a single and Barton had the first two runners on. That would the bulk of the rally though. A fielder’s choice and sac fly scored Everill for the only run of the inning.
Taylor Bugner took the loss for the Cougars to drop to 7-2. Aside from the 5-run third she shut out Dodge City.
The Cougars are off until Saturday when they travel to Garden City. Garden is 2-4 in the West as well and 10-10 on the season.
“We have a lot of sleeping giants on our team,” Voss said. “It’s time those sleeping giants wake up and start leading defensively and offensively.”