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Monday, 30 March 2015
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Seward Softball Sweeps Pratt

For the second straight year the Seward County Lady Saints have swept an early season double header from the Pratt Lady Beavers as they dropped their Jayhawk Conference friends 2-1 and 5-2 to move to 5-1 on the season.  Game one was a pitchers dual with Seward's Sydney Cicchetti and Pratt's Katlynn Luna hooking up in a good one in which the teams traded runs in the 2nd before the Lady Saints broke through for one in the 5th which was eventually the difference in the 2-1 win.  In game two the Lady Saints would get single runs in the 1st and 2nd but Pratt would tie it up with a pair in the 3rd.  The game would go 2-2 into the 5th when Seward would pick up 3 runs after a pair of Pratt errors and would go on to win 5-2 to sweep the double dip. 

                After being thoroughly dominated by Cicchetti last season, the last person that the Pratt Lady Beavers wanted to see in the circle Saturday afternoon at Lady Saints Field was the Seward ace right hander.  As a freshman in 2010, Cicchetti pitched against Pratt three times, recording a 3-0 record in 17 innings of work while allowing just 5 hits, 1 unearned run and striking out 23 Lady Beaver hitters including a career high 12 in her first collegiate start against Pratt.  Unfortunately for the Beavs, she had the ball in her hand again in game one of their double header and her excellence against them was also again there.  Both teams would have quiet 1-2-3 1st innings and both would scratch out a run in the 2nd.  Pratt would get theirs after a leadoff walk followed by a single and then a perfectly executed double steal to take the early 1-0 lead.  The Lady Saints would answer as Jill Grounds and Breanna Diaz started off their half of the inning with singles to get things going and a sacrifice fly by Ashley Sullivan would score Grounds to tie the game at 1-1.  Both pitchers would settle in after that and neither team would get a hit in either the 3rd or 4th innings so to the 5th the game went still tied at 1 apiece.  Cicchetti would strike out the first two hitters she saw in the Pratt 5th   and would get a soft pop up to second base to finish the frame and keep the game tied.  The Lady Saints would build off of the zero with a two out rally as Bianca Adame singled with two gone and would steal second and then be promptly driven in on a single down the left field line by Ashley Kirkes to put Seward up 2-1.  Pratt would again be at the mercy of Cicchetti in the 6th inning as a fly out followed by two straight strikeouts would put the Lady Saints right back in the dugout and up to the plate.  Four pitches is all it would take for Luna to get through the middle of the Seward order in the 6th and the game went to the final inning at 2-1.  Seward would get two quick outs in the 7th but a single followed by a walk would put Pratt in business with two outs in the last frame.  With runners on first and second, the Beavs would send up pinch hitter Derian Weber with the game in the balance.  After falling behind 1-2, she would be blown away by Cicchetti for her 12th strikeout of the game to seal the one run win for the Lady Saints.  Cicchetti was again great for the Lady Saints on the rubber in the opener, going all 7 innings while allowing just 2 hits and 1 run while tying her career high in strikeouts with 12 and walking 3.  The swift 1:15 game would see only 6 total hits as Seward would finish with 4 and the Beavers 2.  Grounds, Diaz, Adame, and Kirkes would have the only Seward knocks while Ashton Neumann and Bre Beckerman would have Pratt's only hits of the game. 


                In the back end of the double header the Lady Saints would get on the board right away with a two out double and stolen base by Grounds followed an RBI infield single by Michelle Duford to put Seward up 1-0.  Pratt would leave the bases loaded in the top half of the 2nd inning and the Lady Saints would get another run in the bottom half as Lynda Musick singled to lead off the frame and would later come around to score on another line hugger from Kirkes to make it 2-0 Seward.  The Lady Beavers would finally breakthrough in their half of the 3rd inning as a leadoff single and a double behind it would give them their first run of the game.  On the double, the Lady Saints left fielder Kirkes would land awkwardly when trying to plant to field the ball and would leave the field in pain as she had to come out of the game.  Pratt would later get the equalizer on an RBI groundout and after 3 the game was tied at 2-2.   Each team would strand a runner at second base in the 4th and the Beavers would have a runner gunned down by Sullivan at second to end their half of the 5th as the game remained a stalemate after 4 ½.  Pratt would get sloppy on defense in the bottom of the 5th and Seward would make them pay.  A leadoff walk and back to back errors would give Seward the go ahead run and with the inning being extended the Lady Saints would get RBI singles from Musick and Sullivan to add on and make it 5-2.  Pratt would get a runner on in the top of the 6th but Lady Saints righty Blaire Taylor would get three ground ball outs to keep them off the scoreboard.  Seward would not score in their half of the 6th and the score remained 5-2 going into the final inning of play.  Down to their final three outs of the day, the Beavers would get a runner on thanks to a Seward error but the Lady Saints would lock it down after that and wouldn't allow any Pratt runners across the dish as they got the zero and finished off the 5-2 win to complete the sweep.  Taylor would pick up her second win of the season after throwing all 7 innings of the victory while allowing just 4 hits and 1 earned run.  Musick and Sullivan did the bulk of the damage for Seward on offense as Musick finished the game 2 for 3 with a run driven in and 2 runs scored while the Lady Saints catcher Sullivan finished 2 for 2 with an RBI. 


                The two wins push the young Lady Saints team to 5-1 on the and give them their first win streak of the season, although a modest one, Seward has now won four straight contests after splitting their season opening double header in Altus.  Next up for the gals in green will be the conclusion of their 6 game home stand on Wednesday afternoon when they welcome the Clarendon Lady Bulldogs to town for a double header starting at 1:00.  (Roy Allen)


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