Behind dominating pitching performances from Sydney Cicchetti and Blaire Taylor and a 5 hit, 5 RBI afternoon from Jill Rodgers, the Seward County Lady Saints traveled to Great Bend on Monday and cut the home team down to size with 9-0 and 5-0 wins over the Barton Cougars to sweep the season series from their Jayhawk West foe.

After putting it on the Cougars in their first meeting of the season to the tune of a 15-0, and 18-1 sweep, it took the Lady Saints a little bit longer to get their scoring going this time around. Each team would have just 1 hit to show for as they entered the 3rd when Seward going the scoring going. Monique Lopez would single to start the inning and Leah Sitter would single to right with two outs to put two on and two out for Michelle Duford. Duford would take the opportunity to send the second pitch she saw soaring over the outfield fence for a three run home run to put the Lady Saints up 3-0. After a single by Rodgers and an error on third baseman Carly Schreader following the home run, Taylor McDougall would bring a run in with a double to center to put the gals in green ahead 4-0. The Lady Saints would add to their lead in the 4th when Duford drew a bases loaded walk and Rodgers followed her with a 2 RBI single to make it 7-0. Cicchetti would continue to keep the Cougars off the board in the 4th and 5th and Seward would score 2 more times in the top of the 6th to make it a 9-0 game. Even with the top of their lineup up in the bottom of the 6th, Barton could not find a way to score against the Seward ace and the Lady Saints would win game one in a run rule 9-0. Cicchetti wielded another 1 hit shutout in the win, striking out 5 in an economical 81 pitch complete game. The Seward offense picked up 11 hits in the win including a 4 for 4, 3 RBI game from Rodgers and a 3 for 4 game from Sitter. Duford finished the game just 1 for 3 but with a career high 5 RBIís in the Lady Saints win.
If you are a fan of pitching and defense game two was more your type of game. Through the first 3 innings of the game the Lady Saints were hitless while Barton had just a pair of singles that were stranded at first base to show for offense. Seward remained without a hit in the 4th and 5th innings as they continued to struggle against Barton starter Karen Harris. The Cougars would have trouble squaring up Seward starter Blaire Taylor as well as the Lady Saints freshman hurler would allow just two out singles in the 4th and 5th to keep the game scoreless into the 6th inning of play. Seward would finally get something other than a zero on the scoreboard in the 6th as Lynda Musick picked up their first hit of the game with a one out single but wouldnít advance past first after a pair of pop outs ended the inning. Taylor would work her way out of trouble in the bottom of the 6th after a pair of runners reached with two outs and into the 7th inning the game remained tied 0-0. Seward would finally get things on track in the top of the 7th as Dyonne Sedillos walked to lead off the inning and Rodgers put the first runs of the second game on the board with a two run home run to make it 2-0 Seward. Four straight singles would then plate another run and a one out double from Breanna Diaz would score two more to make it 5-0 in favor of the Lady Saints as the inning came to a close. Barton would also find some life in the bottom half of the 7th as they got a pair of singles that would see their first runner of the day reach third base but Taylor would get a groundout to shortstop Bianca Adame to end the game and give the Lady Saints the 5-0 shutout win. For Taylor it was her first career shutout as she went all 7 innings while allowing 7 hits and striking out 3 without issuing a free pass. Seven of nine Lady Saints starters had a hit in the game including Rodgers who was 1 for 3 with the 2 RBIís and Diaz who also had the two 7th inning RBIís.
Seward improves to 34-10 overall on the season and 8-4 in Jayhawk West play where they currently sit in 3rd place. They will be able to make a move on Wednesday when they travel to Garden City to face the conference leading Lady Busters in a double header starting at 3:00.