The Seward County Lady Saints came back from their 2010 Spring Break Trip with 6 more wins to add to their collection and a lot nicer tans after being in Southern Texas and Arizona for 6 days. Sewardís trip started with a double dip with 16th ranked Odessa in El Paso, in a rematch of their epic NJCAA National Tournament game last spring. After a 3-2 12 inning affair in that one, nobody should have expected anything different in this one and they didnít get much else as just two runs would be scored in the contest.
Anyone looking for offense needed to check a different field on this day as the Lady Saints and Lady Wranglers dueled in El Paso. Through the first 5 innings of the game Seward managed just 2 base runners while Odessa didnít muster much more, getting just 3 runners on. None of those 5 runners would score and therefore the game would remain scoreless going into the 6th inning of play. In that 6th inning Lady Saints starter Erin Roufosse continued to mystify the Odessa hitters and swiftly ran through the top of their order 1-2-3. Seward would take advantage of their strong pitching performance from Roufosse, scoring 2 6th inning runs on 4 hits, including two different sets of back to back hits from Brittany Kent and Amy Schartz and then Shelby Casey and Marisa Coats later in the inning to come away with the 2 runs to take the 2-0 lead. Roufosse would do the rest as Odessa was able to manage a one out single to bring the tying run to the plate but the Lady Saints right hander quickly doused the flames with back to back strikeouts to end the game and give Seward a win over the top 20 Wranglers. Roufosse would retire 15 of the final 16 hitters she would face in the game to pick up the complete game shutout while the Lady Saints would scatter their 6 hits throughout their lineup with their RBIís coming from Kelsea Blackstock and Amy Schartz.
ODESSA GAME ONE BOX
Game two would see another pitching gem but unfortunately for Seward, this time the performance would be against them rather than for them. Just like the first game between the two, neither team was able to get on the scoreboard early as the game was tied at 0-0 4 innings in. Odessa had many more chances to score than did Seward as the Lady Wranglers left runners on 3rd base in both the 2nd and 3rd innings while the Lady Saints didnít manage a base runner until the 3rd inning. After a 1-2-3 inning for Seward in their half of the 5th, Odessa got the scoring started with 3 runs on 4 hits to take a 3-0 lead. The Lady Saints would again go in order in the 6th inning and Odessa would keep the momentum on their side scoring a pair of unearned runs to push their advantage to 5-0. Seward threatened in the 7th inning as they loaded the bases with just one out, bringing the tying run to the on deck circle, but a strikeout and a soft groundout would preserve the shutout and the lady Saints would fall 5-0. Caityln Crain threw the complete game shutout for Odessa striking out 12 Lady Saints and allowing just 2 hits. Seward would make 7 errors in the game, including 6 on the infield to hurt their chances to win. Kelsea Blackstock and Brianna Baron would get the only two Seward hits in the defeat.
ODESSA GAME TWO BOX
With the start of a new week, the Lady Saints shook off the 5-0 loss to Odessa and took their frustration out on the home team, the El Paso Tejanas. Seward would take advantage of a pair of Tejanas errors in the second inning and score 3 runs on RBI knocks from Brittany Kent and Shelby Casey to take the early 3-0 lead. El Paso would get 1 run back in the bottom of the inning but the Lady Saints piled on to their lead with 4 runs in the 3rd inning on a 2 RBI single from Kent and an RBI single from Lynda Musick behind her. Seward would tack on single runs in the 5th and 6th inning and would get themselves out of a jam in the bottom of the 6th to come away with the 9-1 run rule victory. Seward outhit El Paso 16-5 in the game and were helped by 6 Tejanas errors leading to 5 unearned runs. Shelby Casey and Brianna Baron were the offensive stars for Seward in this one, each going 4 for 4 in the contest. Brittany Kent also had a big game for the Lady Saints, smacking 3 hits in 4 chances while driving in 3 runs and stealing a base. Erin Roufosse threw an economical 77 pitches in the complete game victory.
EL PASO GAME ONE BOX
The Lady Saints would again score first in game two as Shelby Casey walked and Marisa Coats doubled behind her and then with two outs Brianna Baron would drive them home to put Seward up 2-0. The score remained the same going to the 4th inning until the Lady Saints bats started to heat up. A two out error by El Paso would open the floodgates as Seward would collect three straight hits from the top of their lineup with the big blow coming on a 3 run homerun from catcher Marisa Coats to put the gals in green up 8-0 after the 6 spot. El Paso would get one in the bottom of the inning but the Lady Saints had too much fun scoring those 6 runs so they decided to do it again and that is just what they did, plating 6 runs on 7 hits, including a 2 run home run from Lauren Barker and a 2 run home run for the second consecutive inning from Coats. After the dust settled the Lady Saints found themselves up 14-1 and the onslaught was too much for the Tejanas as they went down in order in the 5th to give Seward the 14-1 run rule victory. Coats finished the game 3 for 4 with a pair of homeruns and 6 RBIís in the win while Brianna Baron would pick up 3 hits as well to go along with an RBI. Casey and Leah Sitter both ended the game with 2 hits and 8 of 9 Seward hitters would end the contest with at least one knock. Sydney Cicchetti picked up the win for Seward, throwing a complete game in just 69 pitches while allowing just the 3 hits and 1 unearned run.
EL PASO GAME TWO BOX
On to Phoenix, Arizona it was for the Lady Saints after taking 3 of 4 in the Lone Star State. Sewardís first matchup was with the Scottsdale Fighting Artichokes which they were set to square off with Thursday. Both teams were unable to cash in runners in scoring position early in this one as Seward left two on in the 1st inning and Scottsdale couldnít score a runner from 3rd in the 2nd inning or a pair of runners that were on in the 3rd. With the score still 0-0 in the 4th, Seward found their way to home plate as Kelsea Blackstock singled and was later driven in by Brianna Baron to make it 1-0 Lady Saints. The Artichokes would strand 2 again in the bottom of the inning and neither team would score in the 5th as the score remained 1-0 as the two went to the 6th. Shelby Casey was plunked to lead off the 6th inning for Seward and after a Marisa Coats single and a fielderís choice, the Lady Saints had runners on the corners with just one out. Brianna Baron would single to bring Casey home and Brittany Kent would lift a fly ball deep enough to score Kelsea Blackstock, who moved up to 3rd on the single, to put Seward up 3-0. Scottsdale would scratch out a run and ruin Erin Roufosseís shutout bid in the 7th but it wasnít enough as the Lady Saints went on to win 3-1 for their 24th win of the season. Baron finished with 2 of the 3 Seward RBIís in the game while Brittany Kent picked up the other on the sac fly in the 6th. Each team had just 5 hits in the game but Scottsdale left 8 runners on to just 5 for the Lady Saints. Before the scheduled 2nd game was set to start, Scottsdale decided that they would not be able to field a team for the 2nd contest and therefore Seward was awarded the 7-0 forfeit win.
Friday the Lady Saints had a trio of games slated with their first coming against one of the most successful teams in the NJCAA in Central Arizona. Seward would pick up 2 out singles in both the 1st and 2nd innings but could get nothing more and were kept off the board through 2. Central Arizona would put a little bit more pressure on as they loaded the bases in the 1st on just one hit but were unable to score but were able to score in the 2nd in the same situation as they picked up a 2 out single by Elisa Duarte to put them up 1-0. That is all that Central would get against Lady Saints pitcher Sydney Cicchetti as the freshman mowed through the powerful Central Arizona lineup for the remaining 4 innings allowing just 1 hit. However, the Lady Saints just couldnít figure out Central pitcher Ginger deWeert as the Holland native allowed exactly one hit in each inning but stranded 8 Lady Saint base runners on the day as she cruised to a complete game shutout to give the Vaqueros the 1-0 victory. Alicia Reyes had 2 hits at the top of the Seward lineup but no other Lady Saint was able to get more than 1 as Seward actually outhit Central 6-5 but couldnít push a run across in the 1-0 defeat.
CENTRAL ARIZONA BOX
The Lady Saints second game of the day came against the Glendale Gauchos. Marisa Coats started off the scoring with a solo homerun in the 1st to put Seward up 1-0. The Lady Saints would score again in the 3rd when Coats hit a sacrifice fly to left field to bring home Lynda Musick who was hit by a pitch to open up the inning. Seward would manufacture another run in the 5th inning to go up 3-0 as Alicia Reyes led off with a single and after a sacrifice bunt by Shelby Casey, would come around to score on a sac fly from Brianna Baron to put the Lady Saints up 3. Glendale was able to get runners on against Lady Saint pitcher Erin Roufosse but couldnít bring them in as the Seward ace stranded 10 Gaucho runners in the contest. The Lady Saints wouldnít leave many ducks on the pond however as they pushed 6 runs across in the 7th inning including RBI hits from Amy Schartz, Lauren Barker, Kelsea Blackstock, and Lynda Musick to put the gals in green up 9-0. Glendale would put a pair of runners on in the bottom of the inning but a one hopper back to Roufosse would end the game as Seward took home the 9-0 victory. Roufosse tossed the complete game shutout allowing 5 hits with just 1 walk and 1 strikeout. Coats finished the game a perfect 3 for 3 with 2 RBIís and 2 runs scored while Kelsea Blackstock and Alicia Reyes finished with 2 hits apiece.
The Eastern Arizona Gila Monsters would wrap up a busy day and a busy week for the Lady Saints as they took them on in their tournament finale in Casa Grande. The Lady Saints struggled with the bats early as their first 7 hitters were retired before Lynda Musick singled with 1 out in the 3rd. Eastern had a little bit more success but not much as they were unable to push a runner past second base in the first 3. With the game scoreless into the 4th, the Gila Monsters got the scoring going as catcher Michelle Teo smacked a 2 RBI double to right to bring home a pair of runs and put Eastern Arizona up 2-0. The Lady Saints would cut the lead in half in the bottom of the inning when Marisa Coats blasted her 4th home run of the week to make it 2-1. Eastern would get that run back in the top of the 5th with a pair of singles to open the inning to reclaim their 2 run, 3-1 lead. Antoinette Diaz would homer for Eastern in the 6th with 2 outs to stretch the lead to 4-1 but Seward would score a pair in the bottom half of the inning on yet another 2 run shot from Coats to tighten the game back up at 5-3. The Gila Monsters would again answer the Lady Saints offense in the 7th however as 3 hits led to a pair of runs to push the lead out to 3 at 6-3 and the Lady Saints would strikeout back to back to end the game as they fell 6-3. Eastern Arizona outhit Seward 13-7 in the win and overcame a huge game from Marisa Coats to come away with the victory. Coats finished 2 for 3 with her 4th and 5th homeruns of the week to go along with RBIís # 10, 11, and 12 but it wasnít enough as the rest of the Lady Saints lineup struggled in the loss.
EASTERN ARIZONA BOX