BARTLESVILLE, Okla. – Finally a pretty clean doubleheader. While the Barton Community College softball team has been putting together one of its best seasons in several years some sloppy play at times has limited the team from hitting full stride.
Monday afternoon the Cougars committed just two errors during the afternoon in a sweep of the Oklahoma Wesleyan JV on the road. Barton won the opener 8-1 and finished off the twinbill with a 10-3 nightcap win.
Barton is now 23-12 on the season and will turn full focus back to the Jayhawk West race. The next four doubleheaders will all be conference contests – three of those on the road. That stretch starts Wednesday when the Cougars head to Colby to battle the Trojans.
“We have to come out and stomp on Colby,” Assistant coach Anna Voss said. “We can’t settle for a split with them. We are tied with them in the standings and need to sweep them.”
The Cougars wasted little time establishing a lead on the Eagles Monday putting up three runs in the first inning of the opener. Brianna Ward homered just two batters in then the Cougars strung together three straight singles on their way to the 3-0 lead.
The Cougars gave up a single run in the bottom of the inning then shut down Oklahoma Wesleyan the rest of the way as Barton cruised to the win.
Erica Harper had four hits for the Cougars and Ward delivered three RBI. Taylor Bugner was impressive in the circle, allowing just six hits and one run. She struck out 10 and walked just two to improve to 9-2 on the season. Bugner had 88 strikeouts this season in 104.2 innings of work.
The Cougars took longer in the second game to establish a lead but a 5-run fifth did the trick. The game was scoreless through four innings before the Eagles took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth.
Barton responded in a big way. Kylie Everill got Barton on the scoreboard with a double to drive in Harper. Everill and Brooke Panning scored on a Jenna Hosey double to make it 3-1. McKenna Mauler followed with a 2-run homer and Barton had a comfortable 5-1 lead.
The Cougars were holding a 6-2 lead into the seventh and final inning when they scored four more times to take any suspense out of the game.
Back-to-back RBI singles from Ward and Harper made it 8-2 then Everill made it 10-2 with a 2-run double.
Harper had three more hits in the win while Everill drove in three runs. Harper, among the national leaders in home runs and RBI, is now hitting .455 on the season.
Holly Posegate got the win, going six innings and allowing three runs on seven hits. She is now 10-5.
The Cougars will start a big stretch of games Colby Wednesday when they battle with a team they are tied with for fourth in the West. That will be followed by the twinbills with the three teams ahead of them in the standings.
“We have an opportunity to do some things over the next week,” Voss said. “If we concentrate on every play and every at-bat there’s no doubt we can do huge things this week.”