Coming into their six game weekend schedule, the Seward County Lady Saints Softball team had basically split every series they had played all year. In the Cowtown Classic to open the year they went 2-2 followed by splits against Lamar and Western Nebraska. This weekend wouldn’t change anything. The Lady Saints lost their opening game against Northern Oklahoma, Trinidad State, and Otero before coming back to win the second game of all three double headers.
Thursday started the Lady Saints six games in four day slate as they squared off with a solid Northern Oklahoma team. Seward County pitcher Courtney Auger spun a four hitter for the Lady Saints and gave up just one unearned run but that is all Northern Oklahoma pitcher Ashley Smith would need as the Mavericks squeaked out a 1-0 win at Lady Saints Field. Seward County managed just two hits in the game including a one out single in the first inning from Jamie Gilbert who stole second but would be stranded by the middle of the Lady Saints order. Seward was able to get just two runners to second base in the game, neither of which advanced further than that. In game two vs. Northern Oklahoma, the Lady Saints bats were again silenced for the first four innings as they found themselves in a 2-0 hole going into the bottom of the 5th inning. That is when Seward County decided enough was enough and rolled off 6 hits in a span of 7 batters to score 5 runs and take the lead for good. Shelby Casey started the Lady Saints rally in the 5th with a double over the head of NOC’s center fielder and Alicia Reyes cleared the bases with a double later in the inning to give Seward a 3-2 lead. Gilbert singled to put runners on 1st and 3rd when the Lady Saints leading hitter Marisa Coats blasted her team leading 6th double of the season to drive both of those runs in. Northern Oklahoma battled back with two 6th inning runs to cut the deficit to 5-4 but Lady Saints hurler Cara Russell put out the flames with her right arm pitching a complete game in the 5-4 victory.
Saturday the Lady Saints traveled to Colorful Colorado to face a pair of Empire Conference foes in Trinidad State Saturday afternoon followed by perennial powerhouse Otero on Sunday. The Lady Saints bats came alive early against the Trojans of Trinidad Saturday afternoon as they scored two early first inning runs on RBI singles from Cara Russell and Brianna Baron to take a 2-0 lead. Seward would later take a 3-0 lead on an RBI single from Tasia McEntire but Trinidad tied the game with a 3 spot of their own in the bottom of the 4th. The teams traded solo home runs in the 5th inning, Seward’s coming off the bat of Baron, and the score remained tied at 4 going into the bottom of the 7th inning. Trinidad leadoff hitter Samantha Butler doubled to center field and then quickly stole third base to set up a sacrifice fly by Amanda Snyder to give the Trojans the 5-4 walkoff win against the Lady Saints. With their loss for the day behind them, Seward broke out the whoopin sticks Saturday afternoon as they pounded out nine hits and nine runs in a 9-6 victory. The Lady Saints scored 5 early runs but found themselves in a 6-5 hole after a three-run bomb from Snyder, her second in as many innings for Trinidad. Russell came out of the bullpen to shut down anymore scoring from the Trojans and after a Marisa Coats single and a pair of Lady Saint walks, Sahara Howard lifted a ball over the center field fence for a grand slam to give Seward County a 9-6 lead for good. Russell threw the last 3 1/3 innings for the Lady Saints allowing just one hit while striking out five to secure the victory.
Sunday the Lady Saints finished up their Colorado road swing against the 24th ranked Rattlers of Otero. Seward again jumped to an early 2-0 first inning lead behind three straight hits from Alicia Reyes, Alicia Gonzalez, and Marisa Coats to open the game up. The Lady Saints tacked on another run in the 3rd via a solo home run from Coats to take a 3-1 lead but Otero would answer right back in the bottom half of the inning to tie the game at 3. A two out 5th inning error would give Otero a 4-3 lead but Seward showed no quit scoring a 7th inning run via a Katie Glenn leadoff single followed by a sacrifice bunt and a two out single from Coats, her third hit and RBI of the day. However, almost in déjà vu fashion, Otero leadoff hitter Kristen Gertner doubled to center field, advanced to third base on a passed ball and scored in walkoff style on a sacrifice fly, just as the Lady Saints had lost a day earlier in game one. In their weekend finale, the Lady Saints scored three third inning runs on five singles and would need no more as Courtney Auger gave up just a first inning single, as she led Seward County on her right arm to a 3-0 win. The sophomore pitcher struck out 10 Rattler batters and walked just four to even the Lady Saints season record at 7-7. In the win, Alicia Reyes and Jamie Gilbert collected 6 of the Lady Saints 9 hits in the game as both went 3 for 4 in game two. The Lady Saints will now return home to start conference play Wednesday with a double header against Garden City at Lady Saints Field with first pitch scheduled for 2:00.