The Seward County Lady Saints and Garden City Lady Broncbusters will remain tied for second place for now as the two perennial contenders in the Jayhawk West split a Monday afternoon double header at Lady Saints Field yesterday.

Garden would take an early 2-0 lead in game one before Seward battled back late to score 7 runs and win the game 7-2 but game two’s shootout would go in favor of the Lady Busters 15-11 to split the set.
Garden City wouldn’t waste any time in jumping on the Lady Saints as the conference’s top home run hitter Jennifer Buchwalter launched a two run bomb in the 1st inning to put the Lady Busters up 2-0. Seward would go down 1-2-3 in the 1st and both teams would leave a runner stranded at third in their half of the 2nd to keep it a 2-0 game. Each team would send just three batters to the plate in the 3rd and Garden City would be unable to do anything with a one out single to keep it a two run game midway through. The Lady Saints would get a runner on with one out in the 4th thanks to a Garden error but would not be able to cash the mistake in after a pair of pop outs on the infield stranded the threat with the score still 2-0. Quickly on to the 5th inning the two teams went and Sydney Cicchetti would keep the Lady Busters right where they were with a 1-2-3 frame and finally the Lady Saints would take advantage of their sophomore pitchers good work in the circle. Bianca Adame would single to lead off the Seward 5th and after a pair of bunts would be at third with two outs. Breanna Diaz would then bend one over the Garden City infield and onto the right field line for a single to score Adame and put the Lady Saints within one at 2-1. Seward wasn’t done yet, after a wild pitch moved Diaz to second, Leah Sitter would send one screaming up the middle for a single to score the run and tie the game at 2. Seward would keep their two out rally going as Michelle Duford would join the fun with another single to center and after an error by centerfielder Aspen Kinkaid, Sitter would come all the way around to score and give the Lady Saints their first lead of the game at 3-2 at innings end. Cicchetti would work around a leadoff single in the 6th and Seward would keep the pressure on in the bottom half of the inning. Kelsea Blackstock and Adame would single to start the Seward 6th and an error by Buchwalter at short would bring a run in for Seward. After a sacrifice bunt, another Garden City error would plate two runs to make it 6-2 Seward. With the extra out in their pockets, the Lady Saints would add one more insurance run as Sitter ripped a double to left center field to score Diaz and make it a 7-2 game. The shell shocked Lady Busters wouldn’t put up much of a fight in the top of the 7th as Cicchetti would allow just one base runner before shutting it down and giving Seward the 7-2 game one win. Garden City would commit a total of 7 errors in the game, allowing Seward to score 5 unearned runs, the difference in the game. Speedsters Sitter and Adame each had two hits against Garden in the win as Sitter finished 2 for 3 with 2 RBI’s and Adame 2 for 3 with 2 runs scored. Cicchetti picked up the win with 6 shutout innings to close the game after giving up the 2 runs in the first. She would finish the game with 7 strikeouts and just 1 walk while giving up the 6 hits.
The back end of the double header would be a shootout from start to finish with 43 hits and 26 runs being racked up in the 2 ˝ hour contest. After two quick outs to start the Garden 1st, the Lady Busters would get a beanball and three straight singles to score three runs and make it a 3-0 game. Seward would fight back as their first four hitters of the game singled up the middle including RBI knocks from Duford and Jill Rodgers to score three runs and make it 3-3. After a double play took away some of their momentum the Lady Saints would get things going again as they added to their lead with a single through the box off the bat of Lynda Musick to score two and make it 5-3. The lead wouldn’t last for long though as the Lady Busters hammered out five hits in the 2nd inning, scoring four runs to put the lead back on their side 7-5. The carousel around the bases wouldn’t stop in the Seward half of the 2nd as the first five hitters of the 2nd inning would get hits including RBI singles from Sitter and Taylor McDougall to tie the game back up at 7. The Lady Saints would then go scoreless for the next three innings all of a sudden and Garden City would not. The Lady Busters would score once in the 3rd, three times in the 4th, and twice more in the 5th to take a commanding lead on Seward 13-7 as the teams hit the 6th inning. Garden would get a leadoff single and a one out home run off the bat of Melissa Marshall in the top of the 6th to go up 15-7 and put the Lady Saints in a must score situation if they were to continue the game. Seward would respond with three runs in the 6th inning as Monique Lopez singled to start things off and would score on a single from Diaz and then later on McDougall would smack a single to right to score two more and make it 15-10. Seward would get their only zero defensively in the 7th as they gave themselves a shot in their final at bats but after a run scoring single from Diaz, a base running mistake would cost Seward a precious out and they would end up falling 15-11 to split the double header. Garden City would outhit the Lady Saints 23-20 in the game and 15 of 18 starters in the game would have 2 or more hits. Diaz would lead the Seward attack with a 4 for 5 game and she also drove in a pair and scored 3 runs. McDougall was 3 for 4 with 3 RBI’s and Sitter finished 3 for 5 with 2 runs scored and an RBI.
The 1-1 day brings the Lady Saints to 28-8 overall on the season and 5-3 in Jayhawk West Conference play where they currently sit in a 2nd place tie with the Lady Broncbusters. Seward will wrap up its season long 14 game home stand on Wednesday when they host a pivotal conference matchup against #9 and 1st place Butler at Lady Saints Field at 2:00.