The Seward County Lady Saints Softball Team continued their march to the Region VI Title Saturday as they defeated Colby in the 2nd round of the Region VI Tournament and then Garden City in the Semifinals. The Lady Saints will now play in the Championship Game with a National Tournament bid on the line tonight at 6:00 in Pratt.
After receiving a first round bye thanks to their #1 seed in the tournament, the Lady Saints were opposed by Colby in the 2nd round after the Lady Trojans upset Barton County earlier in the day Saturday in Wichita. Neither team was able to score in the first two innings as Seward starter Erin Roufosse pitched out of a couple jams and Colby starter Marissa Elsberry kept the Lady Saints bats off balance. In the 3rd inning, Cara Russell led off with a single for Seward and eventually came in on an error by Colby third baseman Kali Brester to give the Lady Saints a 1-0 lead. Seward threatened to put a crooked number up in the frame but a bases loaded groundout thwarted the rally and a 1-0 advantage is what the Lady Saints took into the 4th inning of play. Colby managed a run of their own in the top of the 4th after a leadoff single and a misplayed groundball led to the Lady Trojans first run of the day to tie the game at 1. The Lady Saints werenít able to take advantage of a pair of Colby walks in the bottom half of the 4th and left the pair stranded to end the inning. Courtney Auger came into the game in relief of Roufosse in the 5th and mowed the Lady Trojan hitters down in order her first two innings. In the bottom of the 6th with the game still tied at 1, Brianna Baron singled to lead off the inning, followed by back to back doubles from Brittany Kent and Russell to put the Lady Saints on top 3-1. The NJCAA National Pitcher of the Week Auger did the rest as she quickly disposed of the Colby lineup in the 7th to secure the 3-1 win for Seward. The win sent the Lady Saints onto the Semifinal game in which they would take on the winner of the Garden City/Butler matchup on the adjacent field.
The Lady Saints took on Garden City in game two of their 2009 Region VI Tournament with a trip to the Championship Game on the line. Garden, coming fresh off a 7th inning come from behind win against Butler in their first game had visions of back to back upset victories on their mind but Courtney Auger and the Lady Saints would quickly put those thoughts to rest. After a swift 1-2-3 inning in the top of the 1st for Garden, Seward jumped on the board in the bottom half as three straight 2 out hits would plate Marisa Coats after doubling to give the Lady Saints the 1-0 advantage. In the 2nd, the Lady Saints struck again as Brittany Kent blasted the first pitch she saw over the right center field fence to give Seward a 2-0 lead looking for more. Cara Russell walked behind Kentís blast and later came around to score on a 2 out single from Alicia Reyes to make it 3-0 Lady Saints after 2. Auger punched out the side in the top half of the 3rd and a pair of Garden City errors to open up the inning ended up turning into 3 Seward County runs to put the Lady Saints on top 6-0. As usual, Auger would need no more as she cruised into the top of the 7th inning with a no-hitter, allowing just 2 Garden hitters to reach base in the first 6 frames. A leadoff single would quickly douse those hopes, but it didnít seem to faze the reining Jayhawk West Player of the Year Auger as she struck out to of the last three Lady Buster hitters she would see to finish up her 19th complete game of the year in the 6-0 shutout win to send Seward to the title game.
Now follow this closely if you care to find out who the Lady Saints will be taking on in the title game Monday night in Pratt. Colby and Barton County will play the first game of the day with the winner of that game moving on to take on Garden City. The winner of the Garden City vs. Colby/Barton game will then advance to the title game to take on the Lady Saints. IF Seward happened to lose the first championship game, there would be another game at 8:00 between the Lady Saints and that team again with the winner of that game going to the National Tournament. If Seward can win their 6:00 championship game they can go ahead and pack their bags for the Big Dance in St. George which starts May 14th. For up to date scores of tonightís game check http://www.kjccc.org/softball/softindex.html