If the Seward County Lady Saints go by the motto “it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish”, then they had a pretty good day Saturday at the Cowtown Classic in Fort Worth, Texas. The Lady Saints suffered a disappointing 9-5 loss to Western Oklahoma State to open the day, but finished with a 12-1 run rule win over Western Texas to finish the tournament 3-2 to move to 11-2 overall on the year.
The Lady Saints started off strong, getting a little bit of two out magic on a single by Pokey Ewell followed by a double from Becky Allen to drive her in to give Seward an early 1-0 lead on Western Oklahoma State.
Seward starter Katelyn Craker had to work herself out of a jam in the top half of the 2nd after walking the first two Pioneer hitters before retiring the next three to keep the Lady Saints in front 1-0.
The Lady Saints added to their advantage in the bottom of the 3rd as Marissa Chavez reached on an error to start the inning and Andrea Sitter drove her home to make it 2-0. Sitter stole second and Ewell singled behind her and both runners scored after Allen won a long at bat with an RBI single to put the Lady Saints in front 4-0. Later in the inning, a two out double from Danielle Orr drove Allen home and at the end of three it was 5-0 Lady Saints.
Western Oklahoma answered in the top of the 4th, putting together three hits along with a walk to score three times to quickly get back into the game at 5-3.
After a quick bottom of the 4th for Seward, the Pioneers were back at the plate and Western Oklahoma added another run in the top of the 5th to get back to within one at 5-4.
Seward’s offensive struggles continued as they went 1-2-3 for the second straight inning in the bottom of the 5th and all heck broke loose as the 6th inning began.
Lady Saints pitching walked the first hitter of the inning on four pitches and after a pitching change, the next hitter was hit by a pitch to put two on with nobody out. A Seward error loaded the bases, but a pair of strikeouts made it look like the Lady Saints might get out of the jam unscathed. A walk to the next hitter tied the game and a wild pitch and a single cleared the bases and put Western Oklahoma up 8-5. Another Seward error allowed the Pioneers fifth run of the inning to score and after the dust was settled Western Oklahoma was in front 9-5.
The Lady Saints again went down in order in the bottom of the 6th and couldn’t muster more than a single in the 7th as the Pioneers came away with the 9-5 win. Seward hitters were just 1 for their last 14 at bats in the game.
Seward outhit Western Oklahoma 8-5 in the game, but 2 Lady Saint errors allowed 5 unearned Pioneer runs which turned out to be the difference in the game. Allen was 2 for 3 with 2 RBI’s and a run scored in the loss while Ewell and Orr each had 2 hits as well for the Lady Saints. Jaclyn Wagner was tagged with the loss in relief of Craker, allowing 4 unearned runs on 1 hit in an inning of work.
SEWARD COUNTY/WESTERN OKLAHOMA STATE BOX SCORE<http://www.sewardsaints.com/sports/sball/2013-14/files/SewardWOklahoma.pdf>
The Lady Saints hitting woes continued as their second game of the day against Western Texas began as they went down in order on just seven pitches in the 1st inning, but Seward starter Brittany Hopkins returned the favor on the Lady Westerners getting three straight groundouts to keep the game scoreless after one.
All of a sudden Seward broke out of their offensive slump in the top half of the 2nd as the first five hitters of the inning singled, including RBI singles from Tiffanie Bolanos, Carmen Hughes, and Vanessa Oakden, to put the Lady Saints in front 3-0. Two straight Western Texas errors allowed another Seward run to score to make it 4-0 and RBI singles from Sitter and Ewell behind the errors blew the game open to 7-0. After the first nine Seward hitters of the inning reached safely, the Lady Saints were up 8-0 and that is the way that they went to the 3rd inning after another zero from Hopkins.
Western Texas got their first three hits of the game to start the bottom of the 4th, but two Seward outs put the Lady Saints just one out away from escaping without allowing a run. But, a passed ball allowed a run to cross before the inning was ended on a groundout to keep it an 8-1 game in favor of the Lady Saints.
A 2 RBI double from Bolanos extended the Lady Saints lead to 10-1 in the 4th and a sac fly from Joe Ann Rapoza later in the inning scored Bolanos to make it an 11-1 game.
Seward tacked on a run in the 5th to make it 12-1 and Hopkins shut down Western Texas in the bottom half of the inning to force the run rule and give the Lady Saints their third win of the weekend.
Eight of nine Seward starters had a hit in the game as the Lady Saints outhit the Lady Westerners 13-3. Allen was 3 for 4 with 2 runs scored for Seward in the win while Bolanos and Ewell each had 2 RBI’s for the Lady Saints. Hopkins earned the win, going all 5 innings, allowing 3 hits, all singles, and 1 unearned run, without striking out a batter.
SEWARD COUNTY/WESTERN TEXAS BOX SCORE<http://www.sewardsaints.com/sports/sball/2013-14/files/SewardWTexas.pdf>
The split moves the Lady Saints to 11-2 overall on the year. Seward will continue their busy schedule on Tuesday when they host Northern Oklahoma-Enid at Lady Saints Field in Liberal for a 2:00 double header.