Seward Walks Off Colby Twice in Final Home Softball Games
KSCB News - April 26, 2016 6:28 am
After a disappointing 2016 to this point, the Seward County Lady Saints couldn’t have scripted the ending to their Jayhawk West and regular season finales much better than what occurred on Monday at Lady Saints Field in Liberal. Trailing 5-2 going into the 7th and final inning in game one, Seward scored four times, including twice on a Colby error to pick up a 6-5 walk off win. In game two the Lady Saints needed dramatics again watching Colby erase a 7th inning Seward lead this time before the Lady Saints got a walk off single from Kristyna Garcia with the bases loaded and two outs in the 8th to give them a 7-6 win to sweep the Trojans.
The Lady Saints and third baseman Kristyna Garcia got off to a good start in the 1st inning of Monday’s doubleheader with the Colby Lady Trojans. With one out in the 1st, Garcia ripped a single up the middle to score the speedy Kennedy Brunson who led off the game with a single to put Seward on top early on 1-0.
Neither team scored in the 2nd and it looked like Seward had a 1-2-3 inning in the top of the 3rd as the Trojans came to hit, but the Lady Saints defense let them down, committing a pair of two out errors to allow Colby to score four times and take a 4-1 lead.
It remained a 4-1 game into the 5th when Seward pitcher Kelly Kearney worked out of a two on, no out situation in the top half of the frame and the Lady Saints got a run back on an RBI single from Jaidyn Mawhinney to make it 4-2.
Colby got a big insurance run in the top of the 7th to extend their lead to 5-2 and the Lady Saints looked like they were in trouble, down three with just three outs to go.
An infield single, a Colby error, and a walk with one out loaded the bases for the Lady Saints in their final at bats. A double off the bat of the red hot Garcia scored two and put the tying run 60 feet away and the winning run in scoring position at second. After a 16 pitch at bat that eventually led to walk of Hannah Clark to reload the bases, the Trojans tried to go home on a ground ball to second and the throw was wide, allowing two runs to score and the Lady Saints to collect a 6-5 walk off win.
Colby outhit Seward eight to seven in the contest. Garcia had a big game one for the Lady Saints, going 3 for 4 with two doubles and three RBI’s. Brunson did her job at the top of the lineup, going 2 for 3 with a pair of runs scored. Kelly Kearney overcame some poor Seward defense to earn her 14th win of the year, going the distance, allowing eight hits and five runs, just one earned, while striking out and walking three.
SEWARD COUNTY/COLBY GAME ONE BOX SCORE<http://www.sewardsaints.com/sports/sball/2015-16/boxscores/20160425_4uko.xml>
As they did in game one, the Lady Saints jumped on top of the Trojans early in game two as well. Seward picked up a pair of 1st inning runs, getting back to back RBI doubles from Garcia and Hannah Clark to put them ahead 2-0 after one.
In her first career at bat as a collegiate, Alexis Cuellar ripped a single to left in the 2nd, leading to another Seward County run to extend the Lady Saints lead to 3-0.
Colby got their bats going in the top of the 3rd, quickly scoring three times to even the score at 3 apiece.
The Trojans turned a leadoff double in the 4th into another run to take a 4-3 lead, but Seward responded in the bottom half of the frame as Garcia’s huge day continued with a bases clearing double with two outs to put Seward back in front 6-4.
Mawhinney blanked the Trojans in the 5th and 6th, but the Lady Saints couldn’t get anything going either and the game went to the 7th with the score still Seward 6 and Colby 4.
The Lady Saints couldn’t hold the lead in the 7th though as Colby picked up big back to back two out hits to even the score at six and give Seward another shot at a walk off win in the bottom half of the inning.
Seward had a chance to finish off the Trojans in the bottom of the 7th, loading the bases with just one out, but a bloop to center field that looked like the game winner turned into a bang bang play at the plate in which the Lady Saints were called out and a strikeout behind that ended the threat with the sacks packed, sending the game to extra innings tied at 6.
Mawhinney shook off the rough 7th with a big 1-2-3 8th for the Lady Saints, keeping the score tied and giving Seward a chance to win it in the bottom of the 8th.
Megan Olsen led off the Seward 8th by drawing a walk and moved to second after a single by Brunson to put two on with one out. A pop up put a second out on the board, but Seward had the right hitter coming to the plate in Garcia in clutch time with two outs. On a 3-2 pitch, Garcia slapped a single to right and Olsen roared around third, sliding into home safely for the game winning run, giving the Lady Saints their second straight walk off victory, this one 7-6 over the Trojans in eight.
Seward pounded out 13 hits against Trojan pitching in the win. Garcia led the charge once again, going a perfect 4 for 4 with four RBI’s while Brunson helped out again as well, going 4 for 5 atop the order with two more runs scored. Mawhinney gutted out the win in the circle, going all eight innings, allowing nine hits and four earned runs to improve to 11-12 on the year.
SEWARD COUNTY/COLBY GAME TWO BOX SCORE<http://www.sewardsaints.com/sports/sball/2015-16/boxscores/20160425_hoof.xml>
The sweep gives the Lady Saints a 26-30 final regular season record while Seward finishes in 5th place in the Jayhawk West at 9-15. Colby ends their best regular season in recent history 40-16 while going 15-9 in conference action, good for 3rd place.
Seward will now turn their sights to the Region VI Tournament, hoping to wear Cinderella’s glass slipper for the three day tourney. The Lady Saints will open the tournament Friday in El Dorado where they will battle Dodge City at 1:00 in the first round.