After extending their season best win streak to 11 games in game one of the 2010 BuCo Bash the Seward County Lady Saints Softball team endured a swift but still season long 3 game losing streak before breaking it with a win in the final game of the tournament to come out of El Dorado 2-3 on the weekend.
The Lady Saints took the field against Rose State in the tournamentís first game, bright and early on Saturday morning in El Dorado. Rose State got on the board right away with a run in the first inning after a misplayed ball in the outfield turned a single into a runner on third base who would later score on a passed ball to make it 1-0 Rose State. Seward would answer right away as RBI singles from Brianna Baron and Kelsea Blackstock would put them ahead 2-1 and then back to back walks would force in a run to make it 3-1 Lady Saints. Alicia Reyes would lead off the Seward 2nd inning with a single and would steal second before being driven home with two outs by Baronís second RBI knock in as many innings to put the Lady Saints up 4-1. The two teams would trade runs in the 3rd before Brittany Kent sent a 1-1 offering towering out of the park to put Seward up 6-2 after 4. Sydney Cicchetti would shut her opponents down for the final four innings, allowing just one unearned run in her four innings of work. Seward would tack on a run in the 5th on an RBI double from Shelby Casey and Seward would go on to win 7-3. Baron led the Lady Saints with 2 hits and 2 RBIís while Reyes had a pair of hits and 3 runs scored at the top of the lineup. Blackstock finished the game 2 for 2 with a walk as 8 of 9 Lady Saint starters picked up a hit in the win.
In their second contest of the day the Lady Saints would square off with a Crowder squad that was ready to go out of the gates. Sewardís opponents from Neosho, Missouri scored a pair of runs in the first off of a two out home run, only the fourth allowed by starter Erin Roufosse in over 150 innings pitched this season. A leadoff walk in the 2nd would lead to another run and the Lady Saints quickly found themselves down 3-0. Brittany Kent would single home Brianna Baron for Sewardís first run of the game in the 4th as they cut the Crowder lead to 3-1. The Lady Saints got themselves to within two in the 6th inning when Marisa Coats led off with a home run but Crowder quickly answered with an unearned run courtesy of two Seward errors in the bottom of the inning to make it a 4-2 game in favor of the Lady Riders. Coats would get to the plate again in the 7th inning as the tying run but popped out to right field on the first pitch she saw ending the game and ending the Lady Saints 11 game win streak. The Seward offense was somewhat stagnant in the loss as they picked up just 5 hits with 2 of those coming off the bat of right fielder Lauren Barker. Even tougher to take for the Lady Saints was their 8 runners left on base, needing just one hit several times to tie the game or go ahead.
The good news for the Lady Saints is they would immediately have a change to avenge the loss to Crowder as they faced them again right away in the back end of a rare tournament double header Saturday night. The Lady Saints scored first in the 2nd inning as the Lady Riders kicked three balls on the infield leading to a run and putting Seward up 1-0. Crowder would respond however as they picked up a pair of unearned runs in the 3rd inning after a two out strikeout pitch wasnít corralled and the inning was extended to allow a bases loaded hit by pitch to score a run and make it 2-1 Crowder after 3. The Lady Saints would quickly get the lead back for starter Sydney Cicchetti with a 5 spot in the top of the 4th courtesy of 6 hits in the inning including home runs from Kelsea Blackstock and Brittany Kent to make it 6-2 Seward County. After getting a double play to end the 4th the Lady Saints tacked on a run in the 5th inning after Kent singled to lead off the inning and later stole second base and scored on a groundout by Shelby Casey to make it 7-2 Seward. With two quick outs in the Crowder 5th and just a lone runner on first base to worry about, the wheels fell off for the Lady Saints. The next six batters in the inning would reach base via hit and score with the big blow coming as the Lady Riders batted around and got a bases clearing double from their center fielder to give them the lead at 8-7. A double play would thwart a Seward threat in the 6th inning and Crowder would tack on yet another two out run as the Lady Saints faced a 9-7 deficit going into their last at bats. Brianna Baron would double with one out to bring the tying run to the plate but that is as far as she would get as a pop out and strikeout would end the inning and the Seward chances at a win as they fell 9-7. Crowder outhit the Lady Saints 15-9 in the game while all 9 Lady Rider runs came with two outs in the inning. Kent finished the game with 2 hits and 3 runs scored for Seward while Blackstock picked up a pair of RBIís and Reyes picked up a pair of hits in the contest.
Sunday morning the Lady Saints had Eastern Oklahoma on the schedule and for some reason forgot to tell their bats that there was a game. Seward failed to score through the first 4 innings of the game as they left 5 runners stranded but were picked up by Sydney Cicchetti who held the Mountaineers in check to keep the game tied through 4. She couldnít hold the Mountaineers down forever though and they broke through in the 5th inning with three runs capped by a home run to left field to give themselves a 3-0 advantage. Cicchetti would hold them there for the rest of the game but all Seward would be able to get offensively was an unearned run in the 7th inning on a dropped fly ball as they fell to the 13-26 Mountaineers 3-1. Seward was outhit 7-3 in the game and failed to record any extra base hits in the contest. They had just singles from Shelby Casey, Kelsea Blackstock, and Brianna Baron to show for in the game.
Whatever it was that Head Coach Andrea Gustafson said to her Lady Saints after the Eastern Oklahoma game, it worked, as Seward jumped out to an 11-0 lead after three innings against Maple Woods CC and would never look back. The Lady Saints would begin the game with three consecutive doubles from Alicia Reyes, Shelby Casey, and Marisa Coats to open up a 2-0 lead and would add onto that moments later as Brittany Kent jacked her third home run of the weekend over the center field fence to make it 4-0 Seward. They would get three more in the second on RBI knocks from Casey and Coats to make it 7-0 Lady Saints. The hit parade would continue for the Lady Saints in the 3rd as Amy Schartz doubled to drive in Leah Sitter who walked to open the inning and after two more RBI hits from Casey and Coats, the Lady Saints would lead 11-0. In fact, after the 3rd inning was complete, Casey and Coats were a combined 6 for 6 with 7 RBIís, not a bad weekend let alone 3 innings! The Seward attack would slow down but Erin Roufosse would keep the Monarchs off the scoreboard as the Lady Saints went on to the 11-0 run rule win. Roufosse went the distance for Seward, allowing just 3 singles in the shutout win. As mentioned before, Casey and Coats would lead the offensive explosion for the Lady Saints, finishing 7 for 8 with 7 RBIís in the victory.
After all was said and done for the weekend, the Lady Saints came out with a 38-10 overall record, needing just a pair of wins to clinch their 3rd 40 win season in the past 4 years. Seward will now return to Jayhawk West Conference play today against Colby at Lady Saints Field at 3:00 before heading back to El Dorado Friday for a crucial late season double header with Butler that may decide the conference championship.