The Seward County Lady Saints softball team continued its strong play in Jayhawk West Conference action Wednesday at Lady Saints Field as they took both games from upstart Colby by the scores of 6-0 and 9-1 in a 5 inning run rule game in the back end of the double dip.
Handing the Lady Saints their last loss in conference play nearly a month ago, Seward wanted to get sweet revenge on the Lady Trojans and pitcher Holly Denny who shut them out last time she faced them. They would eventually get it but they would have to wait a while as Denny the Canadian hurler from Nova Scotia and Sewardís Erin Roufosse, a Canadian herself, were locked up in a pitchers dual through 3 innings of play as neither had yielded a hit while combining for 10 strikeouts. Roufosse cruised through the 4th inning and Seward had something brewing in the bottom of the inning with runners on the corners and just one out with the meat of their order coming up. Denny on the other hand had other ideas, as she fanned a pair of Lady Saints to end the inning and the threat and the game remained scoreless through 4. Colby would take the momentum from their pitcher and use it in their next offensive chance as their first two runners of the 6th would reach base to set up a first and 3rd, no out situation for themselves. Thatís when Roufosse dug into the pitching circle dirt and shut the rally down all herself with three consecutive strikeouts to leave the Lady Trojans frustrated where they stood on the bases to end the inning. Each team would go down in order in their next at bats and there was still no score after 5 Ĺ innings of play. Lynda Musick and Alicia Reyes would single to open the inning for Seward and Marisa Coats would coax a walk to load the bases with one out for Brianna Baron who failed to execute in a two on, one out situation in her last at bat. The sophomore would come through this time and in a big way as she laced a triple to right field to clear the bases and give the Lady Saints a 3-0 lead. After breaking the spirits of the Colby pitcher Denny, Brittany Kent laced a triple to the left center field wall to bring Baron in and would score later in the inning on an RBI groundout from Amy Schartz to make it 5-0 Seward. Musick wasnít done in the inning however, after starting the inning with a hit, the freshman outfielder ripped an RBI single for her second hit of the inning to put the Lady Saints up 6-0, the same score that they would eventually win by after shutting the Lady Trojans down in the top of the 7th to take home the win. Roufosse was simply amazing again for the Lady Saints in the circle, winning her 20th game of the season while going the distance and allowing just 1 hit while striking out 12 and not walking a batter. While the elusive no-hitter has eluded the Seward ace thus far, Wednesday marked her 4th 1 hitter thrown this season as the sophomore has posted 38 strikeouts to just 1 walk in those 4 ballgames. Baron finished the game with the 3 RBIís, all coming on the triple with the bases loaded while Musick ended the contest 2 for 3 with both hits coming in the 6 run 6th inning. Reyes had her prototypical day at the top of the Seward lineup, picking up 2 hits in 3 trips to the plate while scoring a run and making a pair of highlight reel defensive plays in the field.
Seward was determined to make sure game two was much less stressful for Head Coach Andrea Gustafson as they scored right off the bat as Shelby Casey singled, stole second, and was driven in on an RBI single from Marisa Coats to put the home team up 1-0 in the 1st. Colby would knot the game up in the 3rd after a one out triple from Charliey Stabb and a fielding error from Seward plated her to make it 1-1 after 2 Ĺ. The Lady Saints would break it open in a 5 run 3rd inning as seven of the first eight batters to come to the plate reached with RBI singles coming off the bats of Coats, Brianna Baron, Kelsea Blackstock, and Amy Schartz to make it 6-1 Lady Saints. Alicia Reyes would lead off the Seward 4th with a triple and Coats would pick up her third RBI single of the game with a knock to right field put Seward up 7-1. After a swift 1-2-3 inning from Seward County pitcher Sydney Cicchetti, the Lady Saints were back at the plate and they made the most of it as Lynda Mucisk and Reyes got on to open the frame and were quickly moved around the bases by back to back doubles from Shelby Casey and Coats to score 2 runs and end the game via the mercy rule 9-1. Cicchetti picked up the win in the circle for Seward, going all 5 innings and allowing just the 2 hits and 1 unearned run. Wednesday was the 4th time this year that the Seward County freshman allowed 2 or less hits and no earned runs in a complete game win. Coats picked up RBI hits in all 4 of her plate appearances in the game, going 4 for 4 with 4 RBIís and a run scored while Reyes finished 3 for 4 with 3 runs scored in the win. Casey and Blackstock had two hits apiece for the Lady Saints and both drove in and scored a run in the game.
The wins give the Lady Saints 40 on the season for the third time in the past four seasons and better yet move them to 10-2 in Jayhawk West Conference play after starting the season a shaky 1-2. They will return to action Friday against Butler in El Dorado with heavy conference championship implications on the line. The Lady Grizzlies are 7-3 in Jayhawk West action with 6 games to go while Seward sits atop the standings at 10-2 with 4 games left to play. Each team will take on 1-11 Barton once more while Butler still has a double dip with Garden City left to play.