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Seward Softball Grabs First Conference Win

KSCB News - April 4, 2016 6:26 am

To say that the Seward County Lady Saints had a monkey riding firmly on their backs for their past eight Jayhawk West Conference games might be an understatement. Whether it was a gorilla, or chimpanzee is up for debate, but whatever it was, the Lady Saints threw it off Saturday in Dodge City, following up a 5-3 game one loss to the Conqs with a 15-7 run rule win in game two to earn their first conference win of the season.

Seward fell behind right away in game one of the doubleheader as Dodge City plated a 1st inning run and then two more in the 2nd to quickly make it a 3-0 game.

The Lady Saints got a run back in the top half of the 3rd as speedsters Taylor Kathler and Kennedy Brunson did some damage, Kathler walking earlier in the inning, stealing second, and Brunson driving her in to cut the Dodge City lead to 3-1.

In the 4th, the Conqs opened up their lead to 5-1 with four consecutive hits to begin the inning and another with one out to score a pair of runs and go in front by four.

Seward had a chance to get back into the game in the 6th as they loaded the bases with nobody out for the middle of their order, but managed just two runs out of the traffic and remained down 5-3 as the teams headed to the 7th.

It took Dodge City just five pitches in the 7th to finish off the Lady Saints as they went down in order to fall 5-3 and fall to 0-9 in Jayhawk West Conference play.

Seward finished the game with six hits as a team, getting two each from Brunson and Hannah Lopez, who also drove in a run each in the loss. Kelly Kearney took the loss in the circle for the Lady Saints, failing to get out of the 2nd inning while allowing two hits and three runs while walking four to fall to 10-9 on the year. Pitching in relief of Kearney was Alexis Cuellar, who put together her best outing as a Lady Saint, going five innings while allowing just two runs to keep Seward in the game.


The Lady Saints didn’t let the game one loss keep them down for long though as they jumped on Dodge City right away in game two of the doubleheader, scoring three times in the top half of the 1st inning, getting RBI’s from Venice Batts, Hannah Lopez, and Hannah Clark to jump on the Conqs 3-0 early.

Seward piled onto their lead in the 2nd as Brunson and Kristyna Garcia drove home runs with RBI singles and Batts slammed her team leading sixth home run of the year over the left field wall for a two run shot to make it 7-0 Seward County.

Dodge wouldn’t go away quietly though, scoring two in the 2nd and three more in the 3rd to get back to within two at 7-5.

The Lady Saints blew the game wide open in the 4th as six straight hitters reached base with one out, highlighted by RBI knocks from Megan Olsen, Callie Silvers-Harnley, and Taylor Kathler to open up a 12-5 advantage. They weren’t done yet though, as with two outs in the frame, the Lady Saints flipped the lineup over for the second time in the inning, allowing Brunson to pick up her second hit of the frame with an RBI single and Brittany Corrales followed suit with a two run single to make it a 15-5 game.

Dodge City got two runs in the bottom of the inning to cut the Seward lead to 15-7 and that is when Lady Saints Head Coach Andrea Gustafson went to her bullpen to put the game away and reliever Kelly Kearney did just that, working out of a jam in the bottom of the 4th and then spinning a 1-2-3 frame in the 5th to force the run rule on the Conqs in a 15-7 Seward County win.

The Lady Saints pounded out 15 hits in the win, their most in Jayhawk West play this season. Brunson and Clark led Seward with three hits a piece while also driving home four between them. Batts had two hits in three trips and accounted for six runs, scoring three and driving home three in the win. Jaidyn Mawhinney benefited from the offensive explosion to earn the win in the circle, going three innings, allowing nine hits and seven runs to improve to 8-9 on the year.


The split moves the Lady Saints to 18-24 overall on the year, but gets them off the proverbial schnide as they improve to 1-9 in Jayhawk West play. Dodge City goes to 14-16 on the year and 6-10 in league action.

Next up for Seward is a date with the rival Garden City Broncbusters at home on Monday at Lady Saints Field at 2:00 followed by a pair with Barton Wednesday, also at home in Liberal.


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