Needing a sweep of Garden City Wednesday afternoon to have any chance at going for a three-peat of a Jayhawk West Conference crown, the Seward County Lady Saints fell short, winning game one 5-3 before dropping game two 4-3 to remain in third place in the conference standings as the final week of the regular season approaches.

The Lady Saints were on the board right away in game one as Brianna Diaz singled to lead off the inning and later scored after back to back two out singles from Kelsea Blackstock and Taylor McDougall to make it 1-0. Sydney Cicchetti kept Garden City to just a single per inning through the first three frames but Seward would not take advantage as they left a pair of runners in the 2nd and one in the 3rd to keep it a 1-0 game into the 4th. With two outs and the bottom of their lineup at bat in the 4th, the Lady Saints saw three straight hitters reach base, culminating in a run as Leah Sitter drove home Lynda Musick to make it a 2-0 game. Cicchetti breezed through the Lady Buster order in the bottom of the inning with three straight strikeouts and her offense gave her another run to work with when Blackstock scored in the Seward 5th to make it 3-0. The Lady Saints looked to be running away with the game in the 6th as Jill Rodgers picked up an RBI single and scored on an error later in the inning to make it 5-0 but a three run homerun from Garden’s Jennifer Buchwalter in the bottom of the 6th quickly made it a game again with a score of 5-3. Seward wouldn’t be able to add on in the top of the 7th but Cicchetti proved that she didn’t need any more runs to play with as she got a pair of strikeouts, including one to finish the game as she wrapped up her 22rd win of the season in a 5-3 Lady Saints win in game one. Eight of nine Lady Saints had a hit in the win including Sitter and Blackstock who had 2 hits apiece for Seward. Cicchetti earned the win as she went all 7 innings while striking out 12 Lady Buster hitters and allowing just 3 runs to the high powered Garden City offense.
Looking for the sweep to keep themselves in the race for the conference, the Lady Saints got off to a slow start in the back end of the double dip. The stranded a pair of runners in the 1st inning and managed just a 3rd inning single as far as base runners in the next two innings to remain scoreless. However, pitcher Blaire Taylor was able to work her way out of a jam in the 1st as well and kept Garden off the board again in the 2nd to keep the game tied at 0-0 after 2 ˝. In the 3rd the Lady Busters were the first to score as a leadoff single and home run put them ahead 2-0. Neither team scored in the 4th and the Lady Saints continued to be held off the board in the 5th as they stranded a runner in scoring position. In the Garden City 5th the Lady Busters pounded out four hits and turned them into two runs to go ahead 4-0 after 5. The Lady Saints finally pushed a run across in the top of the 6th when Bianca Adame singled home Rodgers with two outs but a strikeout ended the inning with two Seward runners on base to keep it a 4-1 game. After a pair of strikeouts to start the 7th inning made Seward’s chances look bleak for a comeback, Sitter singled and Duford homered deep over the center field wall to all of a sudden make it a one run game at 4-3. The Lady Saints brought the tying run to the plate but couldn’t find a way to score their fourth run of the game and would go down by the score of 4-3 to split the double header and the season series with Garden City. The Lady Saints outhit the Lady Busters 9 to 7 in the loss as Duford finished 3 for 4 with 2 RBI’s and Sitter finished 2 for 4 with a run scored and a stolen base to lead the offense.
The Lady Saints see their overall record go to 35-11 on the year and their conference mark stay at four games above .500 at 9-5 where they sit in third place with just two conference games remaining on the schedule. Seward will return to the diamond on Wednesday when six Lady Saints sophomores will be recognized on sophomore day as they take on Dodge City at 3:00 for their last career game at Lady Saints Field.