An unexpected power surge for the Barton Community College softball team led to the season opening doubleheader sweep over the junior varsity squad from Bethany College Wednesday afternoon at Cougar Field. Erasing a four run first inning in game one, Barton tied it up by the end of the second going on to win the opener 13-5 in six innings. In the nightcap Barton wasted little time putting away the Swedes with twin innings to begin the game of nine runs on the way to a 21-0 route. The Cougars pounded out thirty-one hits in nine innings of action with 18 extra base hits including eight home runs, seven coming off freshmen bats with Brittany Wood clubbing five of those. Barton will get a much tougher this test this weekend as the Cougars head to Midland, Texas, for games Friday and Saturday in the Midland Tournament.
The season opener started a little shaky for Holly Posegate and the Cougars as the Swedes put up four runs in the first on two hits, three walks, and two errors. A pair of freshman in the Barton home half put the jitters at ease getting back-to-back homeruns to cut the deficit in half. Jayden Gonzales stepped to the plate for her first collegiate at-bat working the count to full before depositing the pay-off pitch well beyond the left field fence. Clean up hitter and fellow freshman Brittany Wood also worked the count on Bethany starter Tiffany Dennison to 2-2 before sending a rocket line drive well beyond the fence in right center.
After giving up a leadoff single in the Bethany second, Posegate began to settle in the center circle sending the Swedes down in order. Posegate then collected the first of her two hits in the contest setting the table for fellow sophomore McKenna Mauler sending the one-out pitch out of the park in left field.
A leadoff walk would come around to put the Swedes back on top in the third as Deanna Van Pouke came through a two-out single. Barton stranded two in the home half and following Posegate sending the Swedes down in order, the Barton bats would come alive sending twelve players to the plate in an eight run inning. Getting a triple by Cadie O’Donnell followed by Maddison Schofield’s double, the big blow came off the bat of Wood sending another 2-2 pitch over the fence for a three-run homerun. Jenna Hosey kept the hit parade rolling with a double to right center then Payton Summers got into the freshman act of long ball hitters with a left field home run.
Scoreless fifth innings would ensue for both teams and after Posegate sent the Swedes down in order in the sixth, it took only four pitches to end the contest on run rule as Wood sent a 1-2 pitch to deep centerfield completing her three homerun debut.
The Cougar offense would give Didion all the runs she would need in the home half with Wood connecting on her fourth long ball of the day one-hopping the Cougar Indoor Training facility in deep center field for three of the nine first inning runs.
Barton would tack on another nine runs beginning with a walk, two hit batsman, and following an error, sophomore Lili Ertmann delivered a two-run single to left. Singles by O’Donnell and Schofield followed by a walk by Gonzales set the table for the unthinkable as Wood came through with her fifth homerun in grand slam style for an 18-0 second inning lead.
Didion would go another inning in the circle adding three more strikeouts sending the Swedes down in order ending her debut with eight strikeouts facing ten batters. Megan Sumonja would work the fourth while Amanda Evans took the fifth as the duo added two more strikeouts for ten total for the three-man pitching effort.
Leaving all but Hosey and Ertmann in the starting lineup to begin the third, two runners were stranded but in the fourth was a different story as Barton went base to base with two outs in producing three more runs.
Kelsie Doll got things rolling with a double to left followed by a single by Ertmann before Leah Fisher’s RBI single. Kaylie Doll then followed with a single and Emily Jacobs drove home her first collegiate run as the Cheney sophomore delivered a double to left field.
Nine Cougars finished with two or more hits in the doubleheader led by the 5-of-7 five homerun and eleven RBI debut from Wood. Gonzalez also had a big debut going 4-of-5 with the first game homer driving in five runs in the twin bill. O’Donnell and sophomores Mauler and Ertmann also drove in three runs as the Cougars would bat .492 on the day with eight long balls and thirty-one runs drove in.