If there is one thing that the Seward County softball team has shown in the early going of the 2013 season, it is that they are going to swing the bats. Seward crunched out 23 hits and 16 runs Sunday in 6-5 and 10-0 wins over Frank Phillips to improve to 7-3 overall on the year.
In game one, the Lady Saints took advantage of three 1st inning Frank Phillips errors and scored a pair of runs on a two out single from Jenna Keen to take the early 2-0 lead. The Lady Plainsmen manufactured one run back in the bottom of the inning after a leadoff double, but Seward answered right back with an RBI single from Rachel Shockley to make it 3-1. The Frank Phillips 3rd inning was a tough one for Seward Head Coach Andrea Gustafson to watch as Seward pitching walked the first two batters of the inning and after two Lady Saint errors, Frank Phillips had cut the lead to 3-2. It remained a 3-2 game into the bottom of the 5th when a one out double and a two out, two strike home run gave the Lady Plainsmen their first lead of the game at 4-3 and chased Seward starter Katelyn Craker from the game. The Lady Saints wasted no time in knotting the game back up as Ashley Kirkes singled to start the frame and Felisha Vogelaar doubled to plate her and tie the game at 4. Seward had a chance to take the lead again with the middle of their order up and two on, but a pair of groundouts spoiled that chance and it remained a 4-4 game after 6. Seward went down quick in the top of the 7th 1-2-3, but Lady Saints reliever Brittney Sharkey kept Frank Phillips off the board as well and the teams went to extra innings deadlocked at 4. Seward struck first in extras as a one out single from Vogelaar scored Keen who started on second base in the tie-breaker situation to make it 5-4 and later on in the inning a groundout from Shockley plated her to make it 6-4 Lady Saints. Frank Phillips got one run back in the bottom of the 8th and the Lady Plainsmen put the tying run on after a Seward error but Sharkey got a fly ball that the Lady Saints defense took care of to clinch the final out and give Seward the 6-5 extra innings win. It was a sloppy game for both teams as Seward committed three errors and Frank Phillips booted 6 balls. The Lady Saints outhit the Lady Plainsmen 10-3 and each team had just one extra base hit. Vogelaar led Seward with a 3 for 4 day at the plate. The freshman second baseman accounted for 4 Seward runs, scoring 2 and driving in 2 on the afternoon. Shockley and Samantha Phelps each had 2 hits for Seward while Shockley and Keen joined Vogelaar with 2 RBI games. Sharkey earned the win out of the bullpen, going 3 1/3 hitless innings for the Lady Saints.
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The Lady Saints made things much easier in game two of the double header, getting on the board in the 1st on a sacrifice fly from Keen and tacking onto their advantage in the 2nd on RBI's from Carissa Hackett and Marissa Chavez to make it 3-0 before a two run home run from Stephanie Mark pushed their lead to 5-0 after 1 ½. Brittany Hopkins quick 1-2-3 bottom of the 2nd got Seward right back to the plate and the Lady Saints rewarded their right hander with a five run inning to blow the game open. Keen and Vogelaar continued their big days with one out singles and set the table for Becky Allen who blasted a three run home run to extend the lead to 8-0. Later in the inning an RBI double from Mark made it 9-0 and a two out RBI single from Michelle Duford made it a 10-0 game. That was more than enough for Hopkins who pitched around two out hits in the 3rd and 4th before handing the 10-0 lead to Kendall Derkson in the 5th. Frank Phillips loaded the bases as they looked to extend the game in the 5th, but with two outs, the baserunner at first was hit by a batted ball as she tried to scamper to second base and that ended the game for Seward in a 10-0 run rule win. While the Seward offense pounded out 13 hits in the win, Hopkins was just as good in the circle. The Freshman went 4 shutout innings, allowing just 4 hits without walking a batter and striking out 2 to earn the win. Mark finished the game a perfect 3 for 3 with 3 RBI's to continue her big sophomore campaign while Vogelaar went 3 for 3 as well to finish a 6 for 7 day for the Lady Saints.
SEWARD COUNTY/FRANK PHILLIPS GAME TWO BOX SCORE <http://www.scccsaints.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=6496:21713--frank-phillips-game-2&catid=57:Softball&Itemid=199>
The sweep gives the Lady Saints a four game win streak to move to 7-3 on the 2013 season. Seward's scheduled double header against Dodge City Wednesday has been moved to March 8th and now the Lady Saints will hit the field next at the Cowtown Classic in Fort Worth, Texas where they will begin action on Friday against Lamar State-Port Arthur at 9:00 am.