It is a habit that gives coaches gray hair and ulcers. But, for the most part, it has worked for the Barton Community College softball team.
Several times this season the Cougars have fallen behind only to rally in the final innings for a win. Barton took it one step farther during its best 2-of-3 series with Dodge City to start Region VI post season play.
Barton dropped the first game Wednesday before setting up a third and deciding game with a win in the second game.
During that win-or-your-season-is-over game Thursday Barton spotted Dodge City a lead once again before a 7-run 6th inning rescued the Cougars.
On the strength of that 7-run inning Barton pulled out another come-from-behind win, 11-5. It was the only time Barton led the entire game.
But it was the only lead Barton needed to advance to the 4-team double elimination portion of the region tournament The Cougars will take their 33-18 record to El Dorado to play No.1 seed Butler Saturday at 2 p.m. Butler is 33-13.
A 5-run 2nd inning put Dodge City in the driver’s seat from the start.
Barton put itself right back in the game with a 3-run 2nd of its own. Bailey Hensley made it 5-3 with a single to left to score McKenna Mauler and Caitlin Garcia.
Mauler made it 5-4 in the 3rd with a single up the middle to score Erica Harper.
That is how the game stayed until that big 6th inning.
Mauler, a freshman from Great Bend, played an instrumental part again. After Jenna Hosey led off with a walk Mauler laid down a bunt single. When the Dodge first baseman committed an error on the play Hosey was able to score and tie the game.
Brianna Ward gave Barton the lead a couple batters later with a bases loaded single to score Mauler.
Harper followed with a 2-run single to score Baylee Bakovich and Hensley. When Ward scored on a wild pitch the Cougars were in control up 9-5.
Kylie Everill, fresh off being named co-Player-of-the-Week in the conference, capped the inning with a 2-run homer. Her 14th home run of the season gave Barton it’s 11-5 lead.
Dodge put just one runner on base in the 7th and final inning as Barton completed another rally to win.
Holly Posegate shut down the Conquistadors the final five innings to pick up the win.
The Cougars and Butler will play the second game Saturday in the top half of the double elimination bracket. Seward and Garden, the 2nd and 3rd seeds, will make up the bottom half and will play at noon.
The tournament will run Saturday and Sunday.
Action from Wednesday:
Dodge City held off a Barton rally in the opener for a 7-6 win then Barton did likewise in the second – holding off a Dodge City rally for a 9-8 win.
Barton trailed throughout the opener falling behind 4-0 heading into the bottom of the third inning. The Cougars responded with in the bottom of the third to tie game. The key hit was a Jenna Hosey bases loaded double to clear the bases and tie the game.
But Colby came back with two more runs in the fourth and another in the top of the sixth to take a 7-4 lead. Barton again trimmed into the lead with 7-6 when Erica Harper hit her 21st home run on the season – a 2-run shot to center – in the sixth.
But that was as close as Barton would get. Harper went 4-for-4 in the game and tied Whitney Boeh for the school record in home runs with 21.
Barton grabbed control of the second game with four runs in each the fourth and fifth innings for a 9-4 lead. Barton took a 5-2 lead in the fourth when Bailey Hensley tripled in McKenna Mauler and Braydee Bakovich then scored on Brianna Ward’s 11th home run of the season.
The Cougars added four more the next inning. Hosey and Mauler reached on singles before Bakovic and Hensley drove them in. Harper added an RBI single as well to give the Cougars the 5-run lead.
Barton needed every one of them as Dodge scored four times in the sixth to cut it to 9-8 but got no closer. Hensley went 3-for-4 in the win with a double and triple.