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Seward Gives #1 Butler a Scare

There aren't many moral victories that college coaches
will accept as satisfactory at the end of the day, but going up against
the #1 team in the country on the back end of four games in two days,
there is a slight chance that Seward Head Coach Andrea Gustafson took
some positives out of her Lady Saints 7-1, 9-6 losses to top ranked
Butler on Monday in El Dorado.  Both games went the distance, which
Seward can hang their hat on, beings Butler has not been forced to play
7 innings in both halves of a double header since the opening weekend of
the season when they beat 50-4 LSU-Eunice 6-4 in both sides of a
twinbill.  Game one was Butler's from the start as the Lady Grizzlies
jumped out to a 3-0 lead after one inning and went on to win 7-1 as
Seward managed just 1 hit in the game.  In game two it was a different
story though as outside of a 5 run Butler 3rd inning, the Lady Saints
outscored the nation's top team 6-4.  Unfortunately, they couldn't wipe
clean that big Grizzy 3rd and a last ditch comeback attempt would come
up short as Butler went on to win 9-6 to wrap up a perfect 16-0 Jayhawk
West season. 

                Following a tough double header in sweltering heat on
Sunday and the long drive to El Dorado on Monday morning, Seward
expectedly got off to a rough start in the 1st inning of game one with
the Lady Grizzlies.  After a 1-2-3 top of the 1st for Seward, Butler
jumped on the Lady Saints in their first at bats, getting three straight
hits to start the game and a two out home run moments later to put the
Lady Grizz on top 3-0 after 1.  The Lady Saints didn't get their first
baserunner of the game until the 3rd when Sierra Tadiarca walked to
start the inning.  However, Seward couldn't get anything going from the
leadoff walk and remained behind 3-0 as Butler came to hit in the bottom
of the 3rd.  Once again the Grizzlies used the long ball to their
advantage in the 3rd as catcher Kate James blasted her Jayhawk West
leading 21st home run of the season over the left field wall for a three
run shot to put Butler on top 6-0.  Seward shot themselves in the foot
in the 5th with a pair of errors as Butler used the miscues to add to
their lead to make it 7-0.  The Lady Saints finally broke through with a
run in the top of the 6th when Rachel Shockley was hit by a pitch with
two outs and Stephanie Mark drove her home with Seward's only hit of the
game, but it was far too little too late as the Grizzlies went on to win

                It was all Butler from the start in this one as the Lady
Grizzlies outhit Seward 11-1 in the contest.  The Lady Saints only hit
came from Mark who finished 1 for 2 with a double and an RBI.  Brittney
Sharkey went the whole way in the circle for Seward, allowing 11 hits
and 7 runs, 6 earned while taking the loss. 


                Seward showed more signs of life offensively early in
game two of the double header as they got a pair of 1st inning singles
from Marissa Chavez and Mark, but a double play shot down their scoring
chance to keep them off the board.  Butler scored first, using the home
run for the third time on the day to take a 1-0 lead and a Seward error
later in the inning gave the Grizzlies another tally to make it 2-0.
Seward came out swinging in the top half of the 3rd, getting another RBI
double from Mark to give them their first run of the game to make it 2-1
and after a walk to Michelle Duford, the Jayhawk West Player of the Week
Becky Allen ripped a double to the gap to score both runners to give the
Lady Saints their first lead of the day 3-2.  Their lead was short-lived
though.  Seward gave Butler five outs in the bottom of the 3rd with a
pair of errors and the Grizzlies took full advantage, turning a pair of
doubles and a pair of singles into five runs to go back on top 7-3.  The
Lady Saints got a run back in the top of the 5th on an RBI groundout
from Duford to get back to within striking distance at 7-4.  Seward
brought the tying run to the plate in the top of the 6th after Jenna
Keen reached on an error and Ashley Kirkes singled with one out, but a
double play on a sharply hit ground ball threw water on the fire to end
the inning and keep the Grizzlies in front 7-4.  Butler added two more
insurance runs in the bottom of the 6th on a home run from Kaitlyn
Wolken to make it 9-4 and the runs proved to be crucial as Seward put
together a rally of their own in the top of the 7th.  Chavez picked up
her third hit of the game to start the Seward 7th and Shockley reached
on an error to put two on with nobody out.  The middle of the Seward
order couldn't pick up the baserunners but with two outs Allen poked a
single through a hole to score both runners to make it 9-6.  With the
tying run on deck and the Lady Saints down to their last out, a fly ball
to left field would seal their fate as Butler came out on top 9-6. 

                The Lady Saints swung the bats right with the Grizzlies
in the contest, picking up 9 hits to Butler's 10.  Both teams were
sloppy on defense as Seward committed 3 errors leading to 3 unearned
runs while Butler kicked it 4 times for 3 unearned runs as well.  Chavez
had a big game at the top of the Seward order, going 3 for 4 with 3 runs
scored.  Mark also had 3 hits in 4 at bats while driving in and scoring
a run.  Allen continued put forth her best effort with the bat,
collecting 2 hits and 3 RBI's, her third 3 RBI game in the past week.
Seward starter Katelyn Craker took the loss.  The lefty went all the way
in the circle for the Lady Saints, giving up 10 hits and 9 runs, 6
earned while striking out 1. 

© SCCC/ATS Roy Allen
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