Going into Friday’s makeup double header with Barton County, the Seward County Lady Saints Softball team had an opportunity to make a statement as the Jayhawk West’s best team by sweeping a pair from the Cougars who knocked off league favorite Butler last week. Game one started just the way the Lady Saints planned as they jumped to an early 1-0 lead thanks to Alicia Gonzales extending the second inning drawing a hit by pitch and Brittany Kent coming up with a big two out triple to score Gonzales. Seward tacked on another pair of runs in the third with RBI singles from Brianna Baron and Shelby Casey to take the 3-0 lead after three. Seward loaded the bases in the 5th but wasn’t able to capitalize as the game stood at 3-0 going into the last inning of play. Baron singled with one out and later came around on an RBI single from Kent to add an insurance run for ace Courtney Auger to close it out in the bottom of the 7th. Auger did just that, but not without a little bit of drama. After walking the first two hitters of the inning, Auger punched out a pair of Cougars and popped one up to end the game in a 4-0 Seward County victory. The shutout was Auger’s 17th of her career as a Lady Saint.
Seward had a chance to take control of the Jayhawk West Conference with a win in game two of the double header and looked like they were going to do so with a pair of first inning runs to take a 2-0 lead. Barton battled back in the second inning as they strung together three straight singles to knot the game at 2. Both teams went quietly through the middle innings and the game remained tied at 2 into the bottom of the 5th. Barton got a leadoff single from 1st Baseman Ashley Newberry but after a strikeout and a groundout, the threat looked to be thwarted. The Cougars wouldn’t be denied however as they put together another single and then a three run home run from Brigett Hitschmann to take the 5-2 lead. The Lady Saints put pressure on the Cougars in both the 6th and 7th as Seward leadoff hitters reached in both innings but were stranded at the end of both innings as their winning streak came to an end at 7 in the 5-2 loss.
After Friday afternoon’s games, the Lady Saints headed on to Wichita where they had a double header with the Friends University JV scheduled on Saturday evening. The Lady Saints came out swinging against the Falcons as Alicia Reyes wasted little time, driving a 1-2 pitch over the right field fence to open up a 1-0 lead as the first batter of the game. Seward would lead off the 2nd with three straight singles from Baron, Marisa Coats, and Liz Ginther to score a run and then Reyes came up big again with a two out single to stretch the lead to 3-0. Seward would get another pair in the 3rd after Jill Rodgers singled to open the inning and Baron sent her 5th home run of the season sailing over the center field fence to make it 5-0 Lady Saints. Seward hurlers Cara Russell and Courtney Auger kept the Falcon bats quiet in the 4th and 5th innings and allowed the Lady Saints to put up a four spot in the 6th capped by back to back home runs from Shelby Casey and Rodgers to come away with the 9-0 run rule victory. In game two with the Falcons, the Lady Saints would score in all five innings, backed by a complete game shutout from Erin Roufosse to win 16-0. Every Lady Saint starter had a hit in the game and eight of nine had two hits or more. Marisa Coats went 4 for 4 with a double and 3 RBI’s and Casey went 2 for 4 with a triple and a homer in the victory.
Seward is now 25-12 overall and 4-2 in Jayhawk West Conference Play which puts them in a three way tie with Butler and Garden City. The Lady Saints will take on the Grizzlies in a huge matchup Wednesday at Lady Saints Field starting at 2:00.