Seward Softball 2-3 at Cowtown Classic

KSCB News - February 9, 2015 6:33 am

The Seward County Lady Saints wasted no time jumping into the deep end of the NJCAA pool on opening weekend in Fort Worth, Texas, playing five games in two days in a field loaded with some of the best teams in the country. The Lady Saints began things with a 14-0 run rule win over Ranger in their opener, but were shut down in their next two games against talented Midland and Seminole State teams by the scored of 9-0 and 5-1 to finish day one 1-2. In their first game Saturday they were knocked off by undefeated Galveston 6-2, but rebounded with a 4-3 walk off win against Hill to finish the weekend 2-3.

The Lady Saints wasted no time getting busy in their opener against Ranger, scoring a pair of 1st inning runs and getting two more in the 3rd to take a 4-0 lead. Jaclyn Wagner was sharp in the circle for Seward as well, cruising through three innings, allowing just one Ranger baserunner to keep the 4-0 advantage. Seward got three more runs in the top half of the 4th, highlighted by an RBI double from Vanessa Oakden to go up 7-0 and blew the game wide open as they batted around and scored seven times in the top half of the 5th to make it a 14-0 game. Wagner did the rest, striking out a pair and getting a groundout to wrap up the bottom half of the 5th to secure a no-hitter for the Lady Saints.

Wagner was brilliant against a Ranger lineup who would later score 16 runs against Seward’s Jayhawk West rival Butler in the tournament. The Lady Saints sophomore ace went all 5 innings without allowing a hit while striking out 7 Ranger hitters to earn the win. The Seward offense pounded out 14 hits in the lopsided affair, getting a 4 for 4 day at the top of the lineup from Jaidyn Mawhinney as well as multi-hit games from Vanessa Oakden, Summer White, and Kennedy Brunson in the win.

SEWARD COUNTY/RANGER BOX SCORE<http://www.sewardsaints.com/sports/sball/2014-15/boxscores/20150206_2hm0.xml>

Seward’s second game of the day was a little bit different story against Midland. The Chaparrals struck first, scoring a pair of 1st inning runs without getting a ball out of the infield as Seward’s defense committed two errors to give Midland a 2-0 lead. The Lady Saints put two on in the top of the 2nd looking to answer, but couldn’t come through as a groundout ended the inning and kept Midland on top. The Chaps opened the game up in the bottom of the 3rd, scoring three times on five singles and after three it was Midland 5 and Seward 0. The Lady Saints third error of the game gave Midland their sixth run in the 4th and the Chaps added two more in the 5th to pick up the 8-0 run rule victory.

The Lady Saints were outhit 10-5 in the game and no Seward player had more than 1 hit in the contest. Mawhinney took the loss in the circle, going the distance, but allowing 10 hits and 8 runs, 7 earned in her collegiate pitching debut.

SEWARD COUNTY/MIDLAND BOX SCORE<http://www.sewardsaints.com/sports/sball/2014-15/boxscores/20150206_trou.xml>

Things wouldn’t get any easier for the Lady Saints in their third game of the day as they went up against #20 Seminole State. For the second straight game, the Lady Saints fell behind early as the Trojans pushed across a 1st inning run to take a 1-0 lead. Seward escaped further damage in the 2nd and 3rd innings as Seminole put two runners in scoring position each inning without being able to push a run across and it remained a 1-0 game in favor of Seminole after 3. The Lady Saints just couldn’t muster anything on the offensive end and went down in order in the 4th and 5th innings in swift fashion and Seminole added to their lead in the bottom half of the 5th inning on a two out two run single to take a 3-0 advantage. Seward finally got on the board in the 6th as Vanessa Oakden singled home Joe Ann Rapoza with two outs to make it a 3-1 game but Seminole got the run right back and an insurance tally in the bottom half of the frame to extend their lead to 5-1. The Lady Saints got a leadoff walk in their final at bats, but weren’t able to do anything with it and Seminole closed out the 5-1 win to send Seward to 1-2 to finish day one of competition.

Once again Seward’s bats were silenced as the Lady Saints managed just 3 hits in the defeat, two of those coming off the bat of Oakden, who also had Seward’s only RBI in the game. Alexa O’Brien pitched well but took the loss for the Lady Saints in her collegiate debut, going the complete game, allowing 7 hits and 5 runs, but only 1 earned run, while striking out 5.

SEWARD COUNTY/#20 SEMINOLE STATE BOX SCORE<http://www.sewardsaints.com/sports/sball/2014-15/boxscores/20150206_o7rb.xml>

Seward looked to regroup on day two of the tournament, but that wasn’t an easy task as they took on a surprise undefeated Galveston squad. The Whitecaps turned a leadoff double into a 1st inning run and for the third straight game, the Lady Saints trailed early on. This time though, they struck right back, getting four straight singles from the top of their order to start the game to even the game up at 1-1. Seward took their first lead of the game in the bottom of the 2nd when they once again saw their first four hitters of the inning single, the scoring blow coming on an RBI by Grace Peterson to put them up 2-1. A pair of doubles and a walk by Galveston in the top of the 3rd quickly gave the Whitecaps the lead back 3-2 and Galveston tacked on three more runs in the top of the 4th to make it a 6-2 game. Both teams had traffic on the basepaths in the final three innings, but neither could push anything across as the Lady Saints left two on in the 5th, two more on in the 6th, and another in the 7th as they fell 6-2.

The Lady Saints managed just two runs in the game despite 14 hits as five different players recorded mult-hit games for the gals in green. Mawhinney did her job at the top of the lineup, going 3 for 4 with a stolen base while Danielle Orr also picked up 3 hits in the middle of the Seward order. Wagner took her first loss of the year on the mound, going 5 innings and allowing 7 hits and 6 runs. Mawhinney threw 2 scoreless innings for the Lady Saints to finish things up.

SEWARD COUNTY/GALVESTON BOX SCORE<http://www.sewardsaints.com/sports/sball/2014-15/boxscores/20150207_zsr8.xml>

In their final game of a busy weekend, the Lady Saints took on Hill. It was a pitcher’s duel early on between the Lady Saints and Lady Rebels as Hill managed just a 2nd inning single as far as hits and Seward was hitless through 2 ½ innings of play. Kennedy Brunson got the Lady Saints started with a bunt single in the 3rd and she later came around to score on an RBI single from Kolby Hamilton to give Seward a 1-0 lead. Lady Saint starter Alexa O’Brien kept Seward in front by one, working around leadoff singles in the 4th and 5th to keep it a 1-0 game. The Lady Saints offense rewarded their righthander with another run in the bottom of the 5th as Hannah Clark walked with one out and scored on a triple by Hamilton to make it 2-0 Seward. A Seward error to start the Hill half of the 6th inning cost the Lady Saints a run to cut their lead in half to 2-1 and another Lady Saint misplay in the field cost them a pair of runs in the 7th to all of a sudden give the Lady Rebels a 3-2 lead in the final inning. Brunson sparked the Lady Saints once again though in the bottom half of the 7th, leading off with a walk to get things going and after back to back singles by Mawhinney and Hamilton with one out, the bases were loaded for Seward with the winning run on second base. A fielder’s choice forced out the tying run at home and the Lady Saints now had the bases loaded with two outs when a Hill error allowed the tying run to score and shortly after the winning run as the Lady Saints brought home the 4-3 win in walk off fashion for their second victory of the weekend.

Each team had 7 hits in the contest with the majority of Seward’s offense coming from the top of their lineup in Mawhinney and Hamilton who combined for 5 hits and 3 of the 4 Seward runs in the game in the 1-2 slots. O’Brien worked around a shaky defensive effort for the Lady Saints to earn her first collegiate win, going all 7 innings, allowing just 1 earned run while striking out 6 for Seward.

SEWARD COUNTY/HILL BOX SCORE<http://www.sewardsaints.com/sports/sball/2014-15/boxscores/20150207_vvli.xml>

Seward wrapped up the weekend 2-3 overall and will return to the diamond Wednesday when they travel back to the Lone Star State, this time to Clarendon for a double header with the Lady Bulldogs. Seward will not play at home this season until February 24th when they host Clarendon in a 2:00 double header.

Roy Allen

 

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