The Seward County Lady Saints continued their mastery in the circle Thursday afternoon as Erin Roufosse and Sydney Cicchetti twirled a pair of shutouts in 5-0 and 8-0 wins for Seward over Dodge City at Lady Saints Field. Seward was a little slow in getting going in game one as they scored an unearned run in the 2nd and a two out run in the 4th, but led just 2-0 going into the 6th inning against the Division 2 Conquistadors. Roufosse didnít need any more support than that however as the Lady Saints ace dominated the Dodge lineup. At one point from the 3rd to the 5th inning, the sophomore struck out 7 straight hitters and from the 3rd to the 6th actually fanned 10 of 11 hitters she faced. The Lady Saints bats would finally get going in the 6th as Shelby Casey and Marisa Coats led off the inning with singles and with one out Brittany Kent, Kelsea Blackstock, and Amy Schartz would string together 3 straight hits to plate 3 runs and put Seward up 5-0. As she did the whole afternoon, Roufosse would cruise through the Dodge 7th to give Seward the 5-0 win in game one. Other than a single given up to the second batter of the game, the Lady Saints number one pitcher was perfect, setting down the final 20 hitters she faced in order to come away with the 1 hit, complete game shutout win. Roufosse finished with 11 strikeouts without walking a batter while throwing just 88 pitches, 68 for strikes, in her 8th shutout of the season. Marisa Coats, Brianna Baron, Brittany Kent, and Kelsea Blackstock finished a combined 7 for 10 in the middle of the Seward order while Blackstock picked up 3 of the 4 Seward RBIís in the game.
Unfortunately for Dodge City the Lady Saints wouldnít start nearly as slow as they did in game one in the second game of the double dip. After a 1-2-3 top of the 1st for the Lady Conqs, Seward put up a 5 on the scoreboard highlighted by the first 5 Seward hitters reaching base and scoring to put the gals in green up 5-0. The big blow in the inning came off the bat of Brittany Kent who slammed a bases loaded triple to wall in right center field to clear the bases and give the reigning NJCAA National Player of the Week 3 RBIís in her first at bat. Neither team could get their offense going in the 2nd and 3rd innings but Seward tacked on another run in the 4th on an RBI single from Marisa Coats to put the home team up 6-0. Kent would triple to lead off the Seward 5th and would be driven in with a double from Kelsea Blackstock who would move to third on a single by Leah Sitter to set up a runners on the corners, no out situation for right fielder Serena Erpleding. With the score 7-0 and the mercy rule run on third base, Erpleding laid down a perfect squeeze bunt to score the run and give the Lady Saints the 8-0 walk off win. Overshadowed because of an 11 hit offensive outburst, Sydney Cicchetti tossed a 1 hit gem for the Lady Saints in the win. It is the sixth straight start for the Seward freshman in which she has allowed 2 runs or less and extends her scoreless innings streak to 17 innings. Offensively Kent was again the star for Seward, going 2 for 3 with a pair of triples and 3 RBIís in the win while Alicia Reyes also finished 2 for 3 with a pair of runs scored at the top of the Lady Saints lineup.
The Lady Saints reach the 30 win plateau for the 6th straight season as they move their record to 30-7 on the year. Next up for the 7th ranked Lady Saints is Garden City on Wednesday at 3:00 in a huge conference road matchup. Seward currently sits tied atop the Jayhawk West with Colby at 4-2 while Garden is just one game behind at 3-3.
Roy Allen