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Lady Saints Shock #1 Butler but Drop Title Game

Brock Kappelmann - May 9, 2017 7:30 am

The Seward County Lady Saints felt the highest of highs and the lowest of lows on Sunday afternoon at the Region VI Tournament in El Dorado, knocking off #1 and undefeated Butler 6-5 in the first of two title games, but falling to the Grizzlies in a 10-0 decision in game two to bring their season to a close at 43-22.

In their second round game on Saturday, the Lady Saints took on the Barton Cougars at East Park. Seward got going right away, scoring four times in the 1st inning including a two run home run from Jullian Atteberry to take an early 4-0 lead.

Barton answered with two different combination of back to back shots in the 4th, all of the solo variety to tie the score up at 4-4.

The Lady Saints retook the lead for good in the 6th as Paige St. Pierre and Sage Harrison ripped RBI singles to make it 6-4 and after Barton answered with a run in the bottom of the inning, St. Pierre and Harrison struck again, driving in three more in the 7th to give Seward some breathing room and eventually a 9-5 win.

Seven of nine Seward starters had multiple hits in the win as the Lady Saints outslugged Barton 15-7. St. Pierre led Seward with three hits and three RBI’s while Atteberry and Harrison each had two knocks and two driven home. Monique Ashley earned her 25th win of the season in the circle, going the distance while allowing seven hits and five runs to improve to 25-5 on the year.

SEWARD COUNTY/BARTON BOX SCORE<http://www.sewardsaints.com/sports/sball/2016-17/boxscores/20170506_s36y.xml>

In their second game of the day on Saturday, the Lady Saints took on top ranked Butler in the winners bracket final. Things were scoreless in the 3rd when the Grizzlies exploded for five runs on just three hits after a Seward error to open up a 5-0 advantage.

Seward got their lone run of the game in the 4th as AJ Cuellar lifted a sacrifice fly to left to make it a 5-1 game, but Butler answered with a solo home run of their own to stretch their lead back to a handful at 6-1.

The Lady Saints failed to score in the 5th and Butler did not as all four Grizzlies that came to the plate in the inning reached with the final blow a three run home run to kick in the run rule in a 10-1 Butler victory.

Seward managed just three hits in the loss, two coming off the bat of Sydney Epp in the defeat. Ashley took the loss to fall to 25-6 on the year, yielding four hits and six runs, three earned in four innings of work.

SEWARD COUNTY/#1 BUTLER BOX SCORE<http://www.sewardsaints.com/sports/sball/2016-17/boxscores/20170506_enae.xml>

Dropping down to the loser’s bracket final on Sunday morning, the Lady Saints squared off against Dodge City.

Dodge got the scoring going, using a solo home run and a two out single to quickly take a 2-0 lead in the top half of the 1st inning.

The Lady Saints answered right away, getting a two run home run from Jordan Garrison and a solo shot from Kristyna Garcia to take a one run lead of their own at 3-2.

The Conqs took the lead back with two in the 2nd and then pushed their lead to a pair in the 3rd on a wild pitch to take a 5-3 lead.

Seward came out swinging in the 3rd and quickly got back to within one on an RBI single from Atteberry and then pushed evened the score on a sac fly from AJ Cuellar to make it 5-5. They weren’t done yet as St. Pierre ripped another RBI single, giving the Lady Saints a 6-5 lead after three.

It remained a 6-5 game in favor of Seward to the 6th when Dodge took advantage of some sloppy Lady Saints defense to score three times and take an 8-6 lead after 5 ½.

The Lady Saints rolled their lineup over and put two ducks on the pond for Garrison in their next at bat and the freshman deposited the second pitch she saw over the left field fence for a three run shot to put the gals in green up 9-8.

Dodge put a runner in scoring position in the 7th, but Harrison gunned down the potential tying run trying to steal third base with one out and Ashley picked up a punchout to end things in a 9-8 Seward County win to advance to the title game.

The Lady Saints outhit Dodge 11-10 and escaped with victory despite three errors that led to four unearned runs. Garrison led the offensive charge for Seward, finishing 3 for 4 with a pair of home runs and five RBI’s in the win while Garcia and Maycee Koontz each had two hits. Ashley improved to 26-6 on the year, going the whole way in the circle for Seward, allowing 10 hits and eight runs while striking out nine.

SEWARD COUNTY/DODGE CITY BOX SCORE<http://www.sewardsaints.com/sports/sball/2016-17/boxscores/20170507_tu83.xml>

The Lady Saints got another crack at #1 Butler in the championship game, needing to beat the Grizzlies, who hadn’t lost in 88 straight games, two times in a row to leave El Dorado as Region VI Champs.

Things got off to a fortuitous start for the gals in green as Koontz doubled and Garrison singled her home, giving the Lady Saints a 1-0 lead just two batters into the game.

In the 2nd, Garrison remained white hot, blasting a three run shot, her third of the day to extend Seward’s lead to 4-0 over the undefeated Grizzlies.

It stayed a 4-0 game to the 5th when Garcia cracked a solo home run the other way to put the Lady Saints in front 5-0.

Just when it looked like victory was in their grasps, Butler flexed their muscles, blasting a three run home run to get the Grizzlies back to within two at 5-3.

For the second time in the game, Garcia whacked a solo home run for Seward in the 7th to give them some breathing room and they needed every bit of it in the bottom of the 7th.

With their 88 game winning streak and undefeated season on the line, down to their final out, Butler gave it one last go of things. A two out double and subsequent home run got the Grizzlies back to within one at 6-5. A walk put the tying run on base, but Ashley shut it down from there, getting the biggest strikeout of her Seward career to end the game in a 6-5 Seward County win.

Hits were equal at nine apiece with the difference being three home runs for the Lady Saints and two for the Grizzlies. Garcia and Garrison carried the load, combining to go 5 for 8 with three home runs and all six RBI’s for Seward. Ashley improved to 27-6 on the year, gutting out seven innings, allowing nine hits and five runs while striking out seven.

The loss for Butler was their first in 51 games this season and their first loss overall since March 3, 2016. The win by Seward setup a winner take all Region VI Championship game just 20 minutes later with the winner collecting their trophy and moving on to District play.

SEWARD COUNTY/#1 BUTLER BOX SCORE<http://www.sewardsaints.com/sports/sball/2016-17/boxscores/20170507_av0i.xml>

An exhausted Seward bunch running on adrenaline, took the field for the third time in five hours in the most important game of their 2017 season.

Macy Pritchard picked up the start for the Lady Saints in the circle and gave them two scoreless innings against the powerful Grizzly lineup early on, but Seward couldn’t get anything going offensively as the game was 0-0 as the teams went to the 3rd.

Butler broke through in the 3rd though, getting a three run home run from Oregon signee Becca Schulte and two other runs in the frame to open up a 5-0 lead.

The Grizzlies were back at it in the 4th, pushing two more across to make it a 7-0 game.

The Lady Saints couldn’t get anything going on the offensive end and Butler continued to pack it on late in the game, adding another run in the 6th and two more in the 7th to go ahead 10-0.

Seward went down quietly in their final at bats as Butler retired them in order to preserve a 10-0 no hit victory to win the Region VI Championship.

The Lady Saints were no hit in the loss for the first time all season, registering 13 strikeouts in their 21 total outs in the game. Pritchard suffered the loss in the circle, falling to 4-7 on the year, allowing 13 hits, 10 runs, seven earned to the #1 ranked Grizzlies.

SEWARD COUNTY/#1 BUTLER BOX SCORE<http://www.sewardsaints.com/sports/sball/2016-17/boxscores/20170507_vy5q.xml>

A very productive 2017 season comes to a close at 43-22 for the Lady Saints, their fifth most wins in program history. Their run to the Region Championship game marks the seventh time in the past ten seasons that Seward had reached the title game.

Roy Allen

 

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