2016 NJCAA Region VI Division I Softball Tournament
East Park, El Dorado, KS (Double Elimination)
Tuesday, May 3
Gm 1 - (1) No. 6 Butler (43-4) received a bye
Gm 2 - (4) Dodge City 10, (5) Seward 5
Gm 3 - (3) Colby 10, (6) Pratt 2
Gm 4 - (2) Barton 7, (7) Garden 0
Wednesday, May 4
Gm 6 – (6) Pratt 10, (7) Garden 6 (Garden eliminated)
Gm 7 – (1) Butler 6, (4) Dodge 0
Gm 8 – (2) Barton 3, (3) Colby 1
Gm 9 – (4) Dodge 3, (6) Pratt 0 (Pratt eliminated)
Gm 10 – (3) Colby 2, (5) Seward 0 (Seward eliminated)
Gm 11 - (1) Butler 4, (2) Barton 3
Thursday, May 5
Gm 12 10 am – (4) Dodge 10, (3) Colby 2 (Colby eliminated)
Gm 13 12 pm – (2) Barton 9, (4) Dodge 1 (Dodge eliminated)
Gm 14 2 pm - (1) Butler 11, (2) Barton 10 (Barton eliminated)
Butler (47-4) win Region VI title
May 11-12 2016 NJCAA District E Championship
Western Nebraska/Trinidad State winner at Butler
Winner advances to NJCAA D-I Championships at Canyons Complex in St, George, UT on May 18-21.
EL DORADO — The path to repeating as Region VI Champions was a long one as the final day got underway for the Barton softball team.
The task got longer when the Cougars lost a 3-0 lead late Wednesday night in the winner’s bracket final against Butler. Butler won that game 4-3.
That made Thursday’s task to win three straight games – two against the No. 6 team in the nation.
It appeared as if things were going their way. More than once. But in the end it was the 6th ranked Grizzlies that earned the Region VI title.
Barton started off with a 9-1 win over Dodge City to advance to the championship against those Butler Grizzlies.
On a couple of occasions the Cougars had a big lead. But, like the late game Wednesday, Barton couldn’t hold that lead. Finally, a 7th inning rally came up short and 9th ranked Cougars fell, 11-10.
Butler, 47-4 and winners of 31 straight, will now host the District E Championship against the winner of Region IX. Barton ends it record-setting season at 51-8 -- five of those losses to Butler.
Trailing 1-0 the Cougars rallied in the third inning with the top of the lineup. Maddison Schofield started things off with a single. Cadie O’Donnell followed with a perfect bunt to put runners on the corner and Jayden Gonzales tied it with a single to center.
Payton Summers delivered a key 2-out single up the middle to score O’Donnell and pinch runner Kelsie Doll and Barton had a 3-1 lead.
The lead didn’t last long as Butler’s Brynn Minor belted a 2-run homer in the bottom of the inning to tie it.
The Cougars re-established the lead in the top of the fourth thanks to some timely hitting and bad fielding by the Grizzlies.
Barton sophomore McKenna Mauler started the inning with a single and Lili Ertman joined her on base after an error on a sac bunt. Schofield followed with an RBI single to score Mauler and Barton was back in front. The Cougars weren’t done. Two more singles capped by a Gonzales hit to score O’Donnell and Schofield gave the Cougars a 6-3 lead.
Mauler’s 13th home run of the season in the fifth gave Barton a 7-3 lead.
Butler showed why they had won 30 straight in the bottom of the fifth. Down four, Butler scored twice before anyone was out then almost took the lead on ball that just went foul over the left field fence. Wood followed with back-to-back tough catches in left but one more run scored to make it 7-6.
In the sixth, the Grizzlies poured on five more runs highlighted by a Morgan Heckert 3-run homer.
Trailing 11-7 into the seventh and final inning, Barton had a rally of its own left. When Schofield blasted a 3-run homer with one out to make it 11-10, the Cougars were back in it. Barton put the tying run on base but that would be the end of the rally as Butler closed out the win.
Barton started the day in the loser’s bracket final against Dodge City. Brittany Wood delivered the big blow for the Cougars, blasting a grand slam to left field over the scoreboard in the third inning. That gave Barton a 4-1 lead.
The Cougars added three more in the fourth and ended the game with two in the sixth. Schofield drove in three runs on a pair of hits as well for Barton in the win.
In the Wednesday late winner’s bracket game, Barton put itself in position to remain unbeaten.
The Cougars broke open a scoreless game with a 3-run fourth. Barton scored all three runs after the first two batters were retired. Wood started with a home run to right and Hosey followed with a single. Summers belted a double to right to score Hosey. Kelsie Doll eventually came around to score runner for Summers thanks to some sloppy play by the Grizzlies.
But Butler answered right back with a pair of its own in the bottom of the inning. Morgan Bohanan doubled and Becca Schulte followed with a 2-run homer to cut the lead to 3-2.
Butler added two more in the fifth for a 4-3 lead. This time a pair of errors by the Cougars helped out the Grizzlies. Schulte drove in her third run of the game on a single to give Butler a 4-3 lead. Both runs scored in the inning were unearned.
Barton was on the cusp of tying the game in the sixth when Gonzales doubled and moved to third with just one out. Barton was not able to get her those final 60 feet. It was the final threat the Cougars had in them.