After starting the season swinging the bats extremely well, the Seward County Lady Saints bats had been about as effective as wet newspapers in their two wins over Otero last weekend. They hoped that would change Tuesday as they took on a quality Northern Oklahoma team in Tonkawa. Unfortunately for the gals in green it didnít in game one of the double header and they dropped their first game of the season 2-0 in 8 innings before mercy ruling the Mavs in the second game 10-2.
In the Lady Saints first game of the day against Northern Oklahoma an extremely odd occurrence happened for the first four innings. Seward went down in order in the first inning followed by Northern Oklahoma going down in order as well. In the second the Lady Saints managed a one out single with Brittany Kent eventually moving over to second base where she was stranded when the inning ended. In the Mavericks half of the second they got a one out single with Lyndsey White moving over to second where she was stranded to end the inning. In the third Seward went down 1-2-3 with one strikeout, Northern Oklahoma went down 1-2-3 with one strikeout. In the fourth inning the Lady Saints 2,3, and 4 hitters went down in order and the Mavs 2,3, and 4 hitters went down in order. For all intents and purposes, both teams had mirrored each otherís plate appearances and the game was scoreless with one hit per side after four innings of play. Neither team would score in the fifth while Tonkawa stranded one base runner after an error and to the sixth the two teams went. Seward went quietly in their half of the sixth but a leadoff single by Shelby Hass had the Mavs in business in the bottom half of the inning. After a sacrifice bunt and a single, Northern Oklahoma had runners on 1st and 3rd with just one out looking to take a 1-0 lead in the game. A ground ball at Alicia Reyes who fired it home to tag Hass out at the plate put two outs on the board and a groundout to Shelby Casey next would spoil the Mav rally. Again the teams would mimic each other in the 7th as two quick outs followed by a strikeout sent a game into extra innings for the first time this season for Seward. A one out single and stolen base by Casey went un-capitalized on as Seward would leave her stranded after a pair of pop outs and the Mavs would have a chance to win the game in the bottom of the inning. Justin Kodesh would single to lead off the inning and after a sacrifice bunt by Hass, Kelsea Schultz would send an 0-1 Erin Roufosse pitch over the center field wall to give Northern Oklahoma the 2-0 walk off victory. Seward managed just two singles in the game and never got a runner to third base in the defeat. Roufosse allowed just 5 hits in 7 and 1/3 innings of work while striking out 4 without walking a batter. Mavs pitcher Elizabeth Agpalo was nearly untouchable as she went 8 innings striking out 9 Seward batters while allowing just the two singles as base runners. After allowing the second inning single, she retired 18 straight Seward hitters before the 8th inning single by Casey.
After a disappointing loss in game one, the Lady Saints decided that they werenít going to let it happen again in game two and they woke the bats up between games to put a whoopin on the Mavs in game two. Seward would strand runners at 3rd in both of the first two innings but Sydney Cicchetti would match zeroís with Northern Oklahoma pitcher Leah Shofner and the game moved quickly to the third inning scoreless. Thatís when the Lady Saints broke out of their hitting drought scoring 4 runs on 3 hits with the big blow coming off of the bat of Brittany Kent with a one out 2 RBI double to center field. Cicchetti would sit the Mavs down in order in the bottom of the third and the Lady Saints were right back at it in the fourth as singles from Brianna Baron and Amy Schartz set the table for Alicia Reyes who popped a 1-2 offering out of the park for her first home run of the season and put Seward up 7-0. Northern Oklahoma would get a pair of unearned runs in the bottom half of the inning but the Lady Saints wanted to go home early and forced that to happen as Kelsea Blackstock, Kent, and Leah Sitter started the fifth with hits and all later scored to push Seward to a 10-2 lead and after a quick shutdown inning on defense the Lady Saints won by that count of 10-2 thanks to the mercy rule in the fifth inning. Reyes and Kent both finished with 3 hits and 2 RBIís in the game while every Seward starter with an official plate appearance had at least one run scored or RBI in the game. Cicchetti picked up the win with her 4th complete game of the season, throwing just 70 pitches in the process to move to 4-0 on the year.
The split makes Seward 8-1 on the season as they head into todayís conference openers at home against Garden City at 2:00. After Thursday, the Lady Saints will go on the road to the Pratt Tournament where they will face a trio of teams that they have already seen this season in Pratt, Lamar, and Northern Oklahoma.