An important doubleheader standing in the way of a Jayhawk West title for the Barton softball team was at Colby Friday afternoon.
If the Cougars wanted a shot at catching Butler at the top of the standings, they needed a sweep of the Trojans – a team they split games with at Barton earlier in the season.
The Cougars made the long trek to Colby and left town with a pair of shutout wins. Barton won the opener 2-0 then capped off the perfect day with a 3-0 win in the nightcap.
Barton is now 15-3 in the West and 44-4 overall this year. Colby dropped to 15-7 and 37-13, alone in third place in the conference. Butler still leads the West at 17-1 and 37-4.
The Cougars pursuit of the Grizzlies now revolves around a pair of road doubleheaders before the two teams resume their doubleheader that was rained out.
Barton will travel to Garden City Monday to take on the last place team in the West. That is followed by a trip to Pratt, next to last in the standings, on Wednesday.
The Cougars need to sweep those four games to set up a shot at the West title Saturday when they resume the twinbill with Butler. The teams were tied at 2-all in the fifth inning of the opening game when rain hit late last month.
Friday in Colby, the pitching of Madison Didion and Holly Posegate shut down the Trojan bats.
In the opener, Barton jumped to a 2-0 when Maddison Schoefield walked to start the game and Jayden Gonzalez homered with one out.
That would be all the scoring in the game.
Didion worked around a pair of first inning walks then began mowing down the Trojans. Colby didn’t get its first hit until the fifth inning and finished the game with just two hits. She improved to 23-2 on the year.
In the second game Colby threatened to take a lead in the third inning but a play at the plate kept the game scoreless.
The game went to the sixth inning scoreless when Barton finally broke through.
Cadie O’Donnell singled and later scored on a Brittany Wood single with one out for a 1-0 lead. Barton pushed the lead to 2-0 when a Jenny Hosey drove in a run on a fielder’s choice.
Barton added an insurance run in the seventh inning. Colby was able to pick up just its second hit of the game in the seventh inning but failed to score as Posegate, like Didion in the opener, shutout the Trojans on just two hits.
Posegate improved to 20-2 with the win.
The Cougars now have those four winnable games in front of them they need to navigate before the season-ending contests in El Dorado.
Butler has twinbills with Seward County and at Dodge City prior to the finale.