Seward Splits with Rival Butler

KSCB News - March 9, 2015 2:30 pm

It was a tale of two games Sunday afternoon in Liberal as the Seward County Lady Saints and #10 Butler Grizzlies went head to head in a key early season Jayhawk West Conference matchup. Game one was a pitcher’s duel that saw Seward get a walkoff hit from Tiffanie Bolanos in the bottom of the 8th inning to give the Lady Saints a 3-2 victory while in game two, sloppy Lady Saint defense opened the floodgates for Butler as the Grizzlies went on to a 14-5 run rule victory in 5 innings.

In a matchup of the last eight Jayhawk West Conference Champions, Seward and Butler were locked in a stalemate early in game one with the Grizzlies putting a runner in scoring position in each of the first two innings while the Lady Saints managed just a 2nd inning single as the game remained scoreless through two innings of play.

Both teams went down quickly in the 3rd and in the 4th Butler threatened again, but Lady Saints starter Alexa O’Brien worked her way out of trouble to keep the Grizzlies off the board.

Butler was the first to scratch the scoreboard in the 5th, playing small ball to score the game’s first run as a bunt single to start the inning, a stolen base, a sacrifice bunt, and a groundout plated the run to give the Grizzlies a 1-0 lead.

Seward answered in the bottom half of the inning, getting back to back singles from Joe Ann Rapoza and Tiffanie Bolanos to open the frame and then back to back two out singles from Jaidyn Mawhinney and Kolby Hamilton to score the two runs to give the Lady Saints a 2-1 lead after five complete.

Butler wasted no time in tying the score back up as Monica Islava led off the top half of the 6th with a solo shot over the left center field wall to knot the game at 2.

The Lady Saint had a chance to strike right back in the bottom of the frame though as Danielle Orr and Rapoza picked up one out singles and after a Butler error, had runners on the corners with just one out. A key strikeout followed by a groundout ended the threat and the game headed to the 7th still tied at 2.

Neither team could get anything going in the final inning of regulation in the 7th and to extra innings they went deadlocked at 2 apiece.

A Seward error in the 8th gave the Grizzlies life, but once again, pitching in her first rivalry matchup with Butler, O’Brien prevailed, working out of trouble to give the Lady Saints a chance in the bottom of the 8th.

Butler then gifted the error back to Seward and the Lady Saints were in business in the bottom of the inning. A single by Grace Petersen put runners on first and second with nobody out and a hit batter loaded the bases for the Lady Saints, still with nobody out in the inning. After a pop out on the infield failed to get the winning run home, sophomore Tiffanie Bolanos took care of it, ripping a single up the middle to score Vanessa Oakden from third to win the game for Seward in walkoff fashion 3-2.

While Bolanos’ 2 for 4 day made her the offensive hero for the Lady Saints, O’Brien’s performance in the circle was just as commendable. The freshman went the distance in the victory, improving to 5-3 on the year, allowing just 5 hits and 2 runs to the nation’s 10th ranked team while striking out 5. Danielle Orr also finished with 2 hits for Seward as did Rapoza in the victory.


Game two of the twinbill didn’t go nearly as well for the gals in green. It started right off the bat in the top half of the 1st inning as Butler scored three times, helped mightily by three Seward County errors to take an early 3-0 lead.

The Grizzlies were back at it in the top of the 2nd, scoring three more runs to open their lead up to 6-0.

Seward responded in the bottom of the inning as their first six batters of the inning reached base, including an RBI double from Bolanos and two Butler errors allowing runs to cross the plate and cut the Grizzly lead in have to 6-3. A Butler wild pitch scored Seward’s fourth run of the inning and an RBI groundout from Oakden made it a one run game. The Lady Saints were unable to score the tying run from third base with one out and it was a momentum shifter that would end up costing them as they finished the inning trailing 6-5.

Both teams went down in order in the 3rd after all the fireworks and Butler got things rolling once again in the 4th as two big Seward errors aided their cause and they scored four runs to open their lead back up to 10-5.

All heck broke loose for the Lady Saints in the top of the 5th as they threw the ball all over the field, committing three more errors while watching Butler score four more unearned runs to blow the game open to 14-5.

The Lady Saints couldn’t mount any sort of a threat in the 5th and after going down 1-2-3, the game was over as Butler picked up the 14-5 run rule victory to split the doubleheader.

It was a forgettable game for the Lady Saints on defense as they committed a season high 8 errors while putting together just 6 hits on the offensive end. Kolby Hamilton finished 2 for 2 and reached base all three times at bat for the Lady Saints. Jaclyn Wagner took the loss, allowing 7 hits and 10 runs, just 5 of those earned, to fall to 5-3 on the year.


The split takes the Lady Saints to 10-8 on the year while they go to 1-1 in Jayhawk West play while Butler matches their 2014 loss total already as they are now 5-10 overall and 2-2 in conference action.

Seward will be back at it on Monday at Lady Saints Field in Liberal as they host another longtime rival in Garden City at 2:00.

Roy Allen


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