It was a pretty good day around the Barton softball offices Wednesday. Both the offices on campus and the ‘other office’ – the field.
It was a day the Cougars found out they had entered the NJCAA national rankings. Barton then promptly went on the field and took care of business by winning a pair of games they were supposed to win.
Barton cruised by Garden City at Cougars Fields, 11-0 and 12-2 in run-ruled five inning games. The sweep of the Jayhawk West games moved the Cougars to an eye-popping 36-2 on the season. Barton is 7-1 in the West. Garden City is 0-10 and 7-21.
The Cougars have now won 17 straight games for the second time this season.
That outing came on the heels of entering the NJCAA rankings at No. 7. The Cougars went from not receiving votes to ranked No. 7 in the nation. The highest in school history. Pretty good day, huh.
“Being ranked seventh is awesome for the players,” Coach Marc Benjamin said. “The team has worked hard both on and off the field and this is a good reward for all their hard work.”
On the field it didn’t take Barton long to take command of both games.
The Cougars jumped to an 8-0 lead in the second inning of the opener and led 6-0 after the first inning of the nightcap.
“We played pretty good,” Coach Benjamin said. “We were just too much offensively for their pitching.”
In the opener, Holly Posegate starting the scoring with a single to center, scoring Jenny Hosey. That opened the floodgate. Hosey would cap the inning with a 3-run homer.
Brittany Wood slammed her second double of the day the following inning with the bases loaded to drive in three more and make it 11-0.
Wood finished the game with those two doubles and five RBI. Hosey had two hits and the three RBI on the home run. The Cougars pounded out 11 hits in four innings.
Madison Didion did her work pitching as usual. The freshman allowed just two hits and struck out five in the complete game to improve to 19-1.
In the nightcap, Barton jumped to a 6-0 lead after the first and extended it to 9-1 after two.
Barton hit three home runs in the win. Jayden Gonzales, Posegate and McKenna Mauler all went deep. It was the eighth of the season for Gonzales and the seventh for both Posegate and Mauler.
Barton again pounded out 11 hits in four innings. Cadie O’Donnell, Gonzales and Posegate each had two. Mauler drove in three and Posegate scored three times.
Barton will host Pratt Friday for a pair as the Cougars look to keep pace at the top of the West. Both Barton and No. 8 Butler are 7-1. The two split a twinbill at Barton. Butler will host Dodge City Monday before the two teams collide for a second time this year. Barton will travel to Butler Wednesday.
“Hopefully we can keep playing well and finding ways to win,” Coach Benjamin said. “We have Pratt on Friday and if we take care of business it should make for an interesting series with eighth ranked Butler next Wednesday.”