Seward Softball Sweeps Garden City
KSCB News - April 5, 2016 6:44 am
It was a must win doubleheader for both sides as the Seward County Lady Saints and the Garden City Broncbusters hooked up in Jayhawk West Conference action Monday afternoon in Liberal. Game one looked like it was going the way of the Busters as they led 3-2 in the bottom of the 7th and final inning, but the Lady Saints put together a thrilling finish, scoring twice with their backs to the wall, getting a walk off double from Brittany Corrales to come through with the 4-3 win. Game two was less exciting for Buster fans as the Lady Saints dominated from the start, eventually coming away with a 7-0 win to sweep the doubleheader and win their second and third straight conference games after an 0-9 start.
Trying to defend their home turf against the rival Garden City Broncbusters, the Lady Saints got off to a good start in the first game of the doubleheader, getting an RBI single from Brittany Corrales in the 1st inning to take a 1-0 lead right off the bat.
Garden answered with a run of their own in the top of the 2nd to make it 1-1 and that is where the score remained all the way to the 6th as each side struggled to cash in on runners in scoring position.
Three straight Garden City hits to begin the 6th gave the Busters their first lead of the game at 2-1 and the bases remained loaded for Garden before the runner on third base was inexplicably called out for leaving early to end the inning which would come back as a key out in the contest.
Seward put two on with two out in the bottom of the 6th and Lady Saints Head Coach Andrea Gustafson called upon pinch hitter Megan Olsen to try to come up with a big hit to tie the game. Olsen did just that, slapping a single through the right side to score the equalizer and make it a 2-2 game heading to the 7th.
The Busters answered with a clutch two out hit of their own in their next at bats, pushing home the go ahead run to take a 3-2 lead.
With three outs left and their backs to the wall, the Lady Saints found one last spark to come away with a win. Kennedy Brunson began the inning with a bunt single and stole second to put herself in scoring position with nobody out. Jaidyn Mawhinney followed with a bunt single of her own and on a heads up play, ran straight to an unoccupied second. When the Busters saw that Mawhinney was trying to advance to second, they unsuccessfully threw that way to try to get her and that’s when the speedy Brunson broke for home, sliding home safely to tie the game at 3. In the process of Brunson’s play at the plate, Mawhinney moved to third, meaning the Lady Saints had just covered 420 feet of bases on just about 10 feet of distance on their two hits. Interestingly, Garden City decided to take their chances to the Lady Saints RBI leader with the game on the line and Corrales made the Busters pay for that decision, smashing a double through the wind and off the wall to score Brunson and give Seward a 4-3 walk off win.
Seward outhit Garden 10-9 in the win, getting almost all of their production from the top of their lineup. Brunson finished 2-4 with two stolen bases and two runs scored at the top while Mawhinney was 3-4 with two bags as well. Corrales benefitted from the duo being on base all day, picking up two hits and driving in a team best two runs for the Lady Saints. Kelly Kearney earned the win in the circle for Seward, going the distance, scattering nine hits and allowing just two earned runs to improve to 11-9 on the year.
SEWARD COUNTY/GARDEN CITY GAME ONE BOX SCORE<http://www.sewardsaints.com/sports/sball/2015-16/boxscores/20160404_2cn2.xml>
Game two began just as game one did, but this time is was Venice Batts with the 1st inning RBI single for Seward to give them a 1-0 lead.
After Mawhinney tossed her third straight scoreless inning to begin the game, the Lady Saints opened things up in the bottom of the 3rd, getting RBI doubles from Kristyna Garcia and Hannah Clark to push their lead to 4-0.
Mawhinney continued to keep the Busters off balance in the 4th and 5th innings, retiring six straight to keep her shutout intact and the Lady Saints in front 4-0.
After two quick Seward outs in the 5th, Garcia singled to keep the inning going and Batts took advantage, crushing a two run bomb over the left field wall to extend the Lady Saints lead to 6-0.
Seward added another insurance run in the bottom of the 6th on a single from Callie-Silvers Harnley to make it 7-0 and Mawhinney did the rest, shutting the Busters down in the top of the 7th to preserve her first career complete game shutout.
Seward smacked nine hits in the win while Mawhinney allowed just four to the Busters. Garcia and Batts came up big in the middle of the order, Garcia going 3-3 with three runs scored and a pair of RBI’s while Batts was 2-3 with the big 6th inning home run and three RBI’s. Mawhinney went the distance in the circle to improve to 9-9 on the year, striking out two and walking just one in the four hit shutout.
SEWARD COUNTY/GARDEN CITY GAME TWO BOX SCORE<http://www.sewardsaints.com/sports/sball/2015-16/boxscores/20160404_bbx9.xml>
The Lady Saints win their second and third straight Jayhawk West Conference games with the sweep, improving to 20-24 overall and 3-9 in league action. Garden City’s forgettable 2016 continues as they fall to 8-28 overall and remain winless in conference play at 0-14.
Things will get a little bit tougher for the Lady Saints on Wednesday when they return to the diamond to take on the 6th ranked team in the country , the Barton Cougars in another Jayhawk West doubleheader at Lady Saints Field in Liberal starting at 2:00.