The last time the Barton Community College softball defeated Seward County was 2009. Some 24 straight losses. Until Wednesday that is.
The Cougars put an end to that streak in the opening game of a doubleheader in Liberal, winning the opener by a 3-1 count. The Cougars lost the second game to the Saints 8-3 to end the day with a split.
That gives Barton a 2-2 mark in Jayhawk Conference play and 16-5 overall. Seward is 4-2 and 13-9.
“We got a dominant game from Taylor Bugner on the mound only giving up two hits and giving us a long awaited victory over Seward,” Barton assistant coach Anna Voss said. “I was the first time we’ve won against Seward since April 2009.”
Bugner was indeed dominate yet again. She allowed just the two hits and one run – unearned – against Seward as she improved to 7-1 on the season. Seward did not score in the final six innings of the contest.
But breaking a streak doesn’t come easy.
A pair of errors and a walk allowed Seward to load the bases with just one out in the final inning. On top of that the Saints had the meet of the lineup coming to the plate – the No. 3 and 4 hitters.
But Bugner and the Cougars were not going to let it slip away this time. Bugner enticed Vanessa Oakden into a foul pop up along first base where Holly Posegate swallowed it up for the second out.
Squaring off against the Saints clean-up hitter Bugner got Grace Peterson to hit a grounder to shortstop Jenna Hosey who fired home to Caitlin Garcia for the force out and the win.
“The bottom of the 7th was a true test for both Taylor and the team as a whole,” Voss said.
Barton trailed for the first part of the game after Seward scored that unearned in the opening inning. The Cougars tied it in the fourth when Kylie Everill doubled in Brianna Ward.
Barton took the lead in the following inning when Bailey Hensley singled in Braydee Bakovich. Bakovich had lead off the inning with a single and moved into scoring position thanks to what turned out to be a big sacrifice by McKenna Mauler.
Erica Harper continued her torrid hitting and provided a big insurance run in the top of the seventh with her seventh home run of the season – a blast over the centerfield fence.
“With Holly (Posegate) out as pitcher we threw Taylor and she owned the circle,” Voss said. “Once again we got the timely hits when we needed them. Erica’s home run was just the cherry on top of an exciting game.”
Posegate played but didn’t pitch because of her shoulder from diving in the Colby game.
Game two saw Barton challenge Seward a couple times after falling behind but each time the Cougars did the Saints answered.
Barton cut the lead to 2-1 in the third but Seward scored twice in the bottom of the inning to make it 4-1.
The Cougars scored twice more in the fourth but the Saints answered with two more in the bottom of that inning as well. The Saints added two more in the sixth for the 8-3 win.
Barton mustered just four hits in the game – two from Hensley.
Barton will try to ride the momentum from breaking that streak into the weekend. Dodge City comes to Great Bend for a pair of games Saturday at Cougar Fields. Dodge City is 11-5 on the season. First pitch is set for 2 p.m. at Cougar Fields.