COLBY- With the pitching staff holding its own it took the bats from the Barton Community College softball team awhile to get going but once they did, the Lady Cougars scored nineteen unanswered runs in sweeping a pivotal conference doubleheader Wednesday at Colby Community College.
Behind the first of two grand slams from Erica Harper on the day, Barton scored five in the fourth inning to win 7-0 in game one. In the nightcap the Lady Cougars scored in four of the five innings including busting the game wide open with a six-run sixth highlighted by Harper’s second four-bag homerun for her nation leading fifteenth of the season as Barton run ruled the Trojans 12-1 in five innings.
The pair of victories improves Barton from fifth to third place in the Jayhawk West at 7-7 and 25-12 overall while dropping Colby to 5-9 in the West and 17-22. The Lady Cougars’ next action will come Friday as first place Seward County Community College comes to town for a 2:00 p.m. doubleheader at Cougar Field.
McKenna Mauler’s second inning single was the lone Barton hit leading up to the breakout fourth inning. With Mauler and Garcia drawing one-out walks followed by a Bailey Hensley two-out walk, Brianna Ward singled home the first run with a ground ball to the left side of the infield. Three pitches later Harper drove a 2-1 pitch into the trees beyond the center field fence pushing the lead out to 5-0.
Samantha White led off the sixth with a single followed by a one-out single by Ward giving Barton two runners aboard. Kylie Everill then gave Barton its final 7-0 score driving in two runs with a double to centerfield.
Holly Posegate went the distance for the Lady Cougars improving to 11-6 on the season scattering five hits to go along with five strikeouts and no walks.
Sandwiching Harper’s one hit of the game, Ward and Everill each finished with two hits and drove in a run to lead a 7-5 Barton hit advantage.
Barton manufactured their first run of game two taking advantage of the first of three Colby errors in the game. Hensley reached on the leadoff error but was eliminated from the base paths following Ward fielder’s choice. Ward then stole second base and following a Harper walk and passed ball, Everill lifted an RBI sac fly to right field giving Barton the early 1-0 lead.
The 2-3-4-5 batters in the Barton lineup did the damage in the third getting consecutive doubles by Ward and Harper before consecutive singles by Everill and Posegate put three on the board for a 4-0 lead.
The Colby defense helped Barton in the two-run fourth as Mauler and Caitlin Garcia reached on infield errors. Hensley drove home Mauler with a sac fly to right with Ward tacking on another with a single.
A Jenna Hosey one-out single got things rolling in the final inning moving to third on Mauler’s double to center. Garcia followed with an RBI single the walks by Abby Tipton and Ward loaded the bases with two outs. Fouling off the first pitch, Harper connected on the second one for her fifteenth homerun and the nation’s second best sixty-fifth RBI of the season.
Taylor Bugner was spectacular in the center circle working a perfect four innings before running into a squeezed strike zone in the home half of the final inning. Down in the count 1-2, Tanner Harvey broke up the no hitter on a full count pitch then Madison Moncel reached on a walk after being down 0-2 in the count. Following a pop-up to the infield, Alexzandra Vigil doubled to left driving in Colby’s lone run of the day.
Bugner struck out the next batter then induced a pop-up to the circle improving the Garden Plain’s freshman campaign to 11-4.
Ward, Harper and Everill each finished with two hits as the trio droved in nine of the Lady Cougars twelve runs.