WICHITA – Today will mark the beginning of the 2016 Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference Softball and Baseball Championship Tournament at the Great Bend Sports Complex, located at 41 McKinley Street in Great Bend.
Ticket prices for the tournament are $10 for adults, $6 for Seniors (55 and up) and Faculty & Staff (with identification), $3 for Students and those aged 6-18, children 5 and under gain entry free of charge. Only NAIA passes will be accepted.
Today is Great Bend Appreciation Day. Tickets to any game that day are available at the city office, 1209 Williams, or the Recreation Center, 1214 Stone. Tickets can be exchanged for a wristband at the gate and will be good for any game on May 4. Contact Community Coordinator Christina Hayes at 620-793-4111 for more information.
Watch all the games live via the KCAC Digital Network. Visit kcacsports.com.
Games one and two will start at 4 p.m. and games three and four will begin at 6 p.m. The KCAC will crown its postseason champion on Friday.
Game One: Wednesday, May 4 - 4 p.m. on Field 3
No. 3 Ottawa (33-18, 17-5) vs. No. 6 Saint Mary (24-27, 13-9)
(RV) Ottawa played host to Saint Mary in the regular season matchup between these two teams. The Braves took home two wins by scores of 6-5 and 2-0.
The Braves earned the No. 3 seed in the conference tournament with strong play down the stretch, winning 11 of their last 12 games. Gabby Markham (Sr., P) leads the way for the Braves with a 1.64 ERA, good for second best in the conference. Markham also ranks second in the conference in batters struck out per game and opponent batting average. From the batter’s box, Ellena Cott-Laurie (Fr., C) leads the team with a batting average of 0.342 while also leading the team in RBI with 39.
Samantha Villegas (Sr., INF) has led the Spires this year from the plate with her 11 home runs and 0.423 on-base percentage. The Spires also boast two of the top three base stealers in the conference, as Kristine Ramos (Sr. OF) and Tycee Coplan (Fr., INF/C) rank second and third in the KCAC in stolen bases with 38 and 32, respectively. Carrie Lee (Jr., P/OF) has done much of the work load pitching for the Spires, as she ranks second in the conference in total innings pitched at 185.00. Lee also ranks fifth in the KCAC with 112 strikeouts.
The winner of Ottawa/Saint Mary will play the winner of Game 4, Oklahoma Wesleyan/Sterling, on Thursday at 11 a.m. on Field 2. The loser of this matchup will play the loser of that Oklahoma Wesleyan/Sterling game at 1 p.m. on Thursday on Field 2.
Game Two: Wednesday, May 4 - 4 p.m. on Field 2
No. 4 Bethany (26-23, 16-6) vs. No. 5 Kansas Wesleyan (36-16, 14-8)
Bethany and Kansas Wesleyan split their two game series this past March, with Kansas Wesleyan winning game one 3-1 and Bethany winning game two by a score of 5-4.
Bethany has done plenty of damage by way of the long ball this year, as the Swedes have three of the top four home run hitters in the KCAC. Jordan Blakesley (Sr., C), Anna Crawford (Jr., 1B), and Ashley Montoya (Sr., MIF) have hit 17, 14, and 12 home runs, respectively. Tiffany Dennison (P/1B) and Kierstin Stolley (Sr., P) have shared time on the mound for the Swedes, as they have almost identical ERA’s at 3.59 and 3.60, respectively.
Kansas Wesleyan is led in batting average by Brooke Hawkins, who also ranks second in the KCAC with her 0.431 average. Aymet Demara (Jr., 3B) ranks in the top ten in the conference in home runs with eight, good for eighth best in the league. Casey Zook will likely handle much of the pitching responsibilities, having recorded 190.0 innings in the regular season and putting together a 1.95 ERA (third best in the KCAC).
The winner of Bethany/Kansas Wesleyan will play the winner of Friends/York on Thursday at 11 a.m. on Field 3. The loser will play the loser of Friends/York on Thursday at 1 p.m. on Field 3.
Game Three: Wednesday, May 4 - 6 p.m. on Field 3
No. 2 Oklahoma Wesleyan (32-17, 17-5) vs. No. 7 Sterling (23-20, 7-15)
After meeting just over a week ago, Oklahoma Wesleyan and Sterling will battle again in the first round of the KCAC Softball Championship. The Eagles took both games against the Warriors back on April 26, by scores of 8-0 and 11-8.
Michaela Shouldis (So., OF) has run all over the bases this year for the Eagles, leading the league in steals with 42 and tied for first in runs scored with 48. Jayci Wang (Fr., UTL) has provided some power for Oklahoma Wesleyan with 41 RBI and also leads the team in batting average at 0.371. Senior pitcher Jenna Daniel has been great for the Eagles, leading the conference in ERA at 1.28 over her 158.1 innings of work, while teammate Makayla Kelly (Jr., P) ranks fifth in the conference in ERA at 2.97.
Leading the KCAC in batting average this year is Sterling sophomore first baseman Dominique Salgado with a 0.510 average. Salgado’s 73 total hits and 0.804 slugging percentage are also best in the conference. Freshman outfielder Tiah Grass has hammered 12 home runs this year, third best in the KCAC. First on the team in ERA is Allison Montion (So., P) at 4.94.
The winner of Oklahoma Wesleyan/Sterling will play the winner of Ottawa/Saint Mary on Thursday at 11 a.m. on Field 2, while the loser will play the loser of that same game on Thursday at 1 p.m. on Field 2 as well.
Game Four: Wednesday May 4 - 6 p.m. on Field 2
No 1. Friends (32-10, 18-2) vs. No. 8 York (16-34, 7-13)
With the cancellation of the doubleheader scheduled between (25) Friends and York this past weekend, the Falcons and Panthers will meet up for the first time as KCAC opponents this Wednesday.
(25) Friends earned the top seed in the tournament with leaders in multiple statistical categories this season. Four of the top seven on-base percentage leaders in the conference are Falcons. Laykyn Lindsay (Jr., OF) is also tied for first in the league with 48 runs scored. Logan Davis has done much of the work for the Falcons from the mound, with a 2.53 ERA over 171.1 innings of work. Davis also has 116 strikeouts, good for fourth best in the conference.
York is led at the plate by Brianna Perez (Sr., SS/OF), who ranks third in the conference in batting average at 0.422. Teammate Molly Reyes (Jr., OF) also breaks into the top 15 with an average of 0.380. Perez is also tied for fifth in the league with 11 home runs. Leading the Panthers from the pitching circle is freshman Alysia Rodriguez, who has amassed 89 strikeouts this season.
The winner of Friends/York will play the winner of Bethany/Kansas Wesleyan on Thursday at 11 a.m. on Field 3, while the loser will play the loser of that same game on Thursday at 1 p.m. on Field 3.
Six teams will compete in a double elimination tournament with the champion crowned on Saturday.
Game No. 1: Wednesday, May 4 - 11 a.m.
No. 1 Tabor College (41-14, 28-8) vs. No. 6 Bethany College (25-30, 15-21)
Just a few weeks ago, (9) Tabor travelled to Lindsborg, Kan. to take on Bethany in a four-game set that resulted in a sweep for the Bluejays. Games one and two were close, with wins by score of 3-2 and 6-4 in favor of (9) Tabor. Games three and four ended 13-3 and 5-1 to complete the Bluejay sweep. The four wins for Tabor were part of an 11-game winning streak that was snapped this past weekend in the final regular season game of the year.
The winner of this matchup will take on the loser of Game No. 3 (Sterling vs. Oklahoma Wesleyan) on Thursday, May 5, at 3 p.m. The loser will play the loser of Game No. 2 (York vs. Kansas Wesleyan) at 11 a.m. on Thursday.
Players to watch:
(9) Tabor’s Manny DeLeon (Sr., OF) is the KCAC leader in most major hitting categories, including batting average (0.457), RBI’s (94), slugging percentage (0.909), and home runs (21). Deleon is also second in the conference in total hits on the year (90) behind only his teammate, senior shortstop Michael Baca (92). On the mound, seniors Gregory Turner and Thomas Longworth currently have the best ERA’s for the Tabor pitching staff, coming in at 4.14 and 4.37, respectively.
One of Bethany’s most consistent hitters this season has been Daniel Blanco-Perez (Jr., INF/C). Blanco-Perez is fifth overall in the conference with a 0.417 batting average, while also ranking tied for sixth in the conference with 13 home runs. Teammate Randy Ventura (Jr., OF) joins Blanco-Perez on the list of big hitters in the conference, as Ventura also ranks in the top 20 in the KCAC in home runs with eight of his own this season. From the mound, Eduardo Jimenez (Jr., RHP) has been the Swedes most dominant pitcher, with a 4.01 ERA and seven wins to his name.
Game No. 2: Wednesday, May 4 - 3 p.m.
No. 2 York College (41-13, 28-8) vs. No. 5 Kansas Wesleyan University (31-23, 19-17)
It was back in mid-March when York and Kansas Wesleyan met for their regular season matchup, with York taking all four games on their home field. Games one and two were decided 8-5 and 12-1, while games three and four were far closer with final scores of 7-6 and 10-9.
The winner of York/Kansas Wesleyan will take on the winner of Sterling/Oklahoma Wesleyan on Thursday at 7 p.m., while the loser of this game will take on the loser of Tabor/Bethany Thursday at 11 a.m.
Players to watch:
(16) York has several leaders in hitting categories in the KCAC. Nick Stoll (Sr., SS/P) ranks third in the conference overall in batting average (0.434), Michael Johnson (Sr., INF) is fifth in the conference in home runs with 14, and Billy Johnson (Jr., OF) has scored more runs than any other player in the KCAC this season with 77 total runs. Three of the top four base stealers in the conference also come from York. Corey Mixon (Jr., RHP) and Ulysses Ramos (Jr., RHP) have led the pitching staff for York, with Mixon tied for the league lead in wins (10) and Ramos fourth in the league in strikeouts (73).
Five of the top twelve batting averages in the conference belong to players from Kansas Wesleyan. Lincoln Rivera (Jr., C) leads the team at 0.416, while Junior first baseman Peyton Deiters has provided some serious power to the lineup with 18 home runs and 76 RBI, both good for third best in the conference. Cameron Clements (Jr., RHP) has done his part for the Coyote pitching staff, having struck out 71 batters in his 62.2 innings of work this year, while Travis Schnoor (So., RHP) leads the team in ERA at 4.99.
Game No. 3: Wednesday, May 4 - 7 p.m.
No. 3 Sterling College (43-12, 27-9) vs. No. 4 Oklahoma Wesleyan University (36-18, 21-15)
The final game played on Wednesday will be the No. 3 seed (12) Sterling, and the No. 4 seed (RV) Oklahoma Wesleyan. The very first weekend of conference play this year is when Sterling hosted Oklahoma Wesleyan, and the two teams split the four game series. The Eagles took games one and three by scores of 10-9 and 13-9, while the Warriors nabbed games two and four, 6-4 and 7-2.
The winner of Sterling/Oklahoma Wesleyan will play the winner of York/Kansas Wesleyan on Thursday at 7 p.m., while the loser will take on the winner of Tabor/Bethany at 3 p.m. on Thursday.
Players to watch:
The Sterling pitching staff has been the driving force of its conference run this year, with the top four pitchers in ERA in the conference all from Sterling. Kade Wagner (Jr., LHP) currently boasts a 0.99 ERA through 63.1 innings of work, while Brad Williams has struck out more batters than any other pitcher in the conference with 93 K’s. Batting leaders for the Warriors include Beau Kallas (Sr., UTL), who ranks fourth in the conference with a 0.424 batting average, and Kendall Radcliffe (Jr., OF) who has blasted 19 home runs, second best in the conference.
For the Eagles, Trevor Achenbach (Jr., INF) has fueled the Oklahoma Wesleyan offense with a 0.443 batting average (second best in the conference) and 71 runs scored (tied for third in the conference). Junior outfielders Will Price and Alejandro Hernandez have the done the work on the back end driving in runs, recording 79 and 69 RBI this season, respectively. One of just seven pitchers in the conference with an ERA below four, CJ Gregory’s (Sr., RHP) 3.23 ERA through 92 innings of work is fifth best in the conference. Gregory’s eight wins are also tied for the fourth most in the KCAC.