The Seward County Lady Saints got their 2012 softball season underway on Tuesday afternoon at Lady Saints Field, drawing the Pratt Lady Beavers for their opening games. Seward fell behind early in game one before coming back to win 4-2 and took control from the start in game two and held on to win 3-1.

The Lady Saints got the season started off on the right foot as starting pitcher Jill Dickson picked up two strikeouts in a 1-2-3 top of the 1st inning and Sewardís offense responded with traffic on the base paths that led to an RBI single from Samantha Phelps to give them a 1-0 lead. Pratt, led by former Seward star Becky Holland, battled back though and took advantage of a Lady Saints error to get two runs in the 3rd to take a 2-1 lead of their own. The Lady Saints put a big threat together in the 4th inning but left the bases loaded without scoring a run and remained behind by one as the teams went to the 5th. A quick inning for the Lady Beaver offense in the top of the 5th got the ball rolling for the Lady Saints and a leadoff double by Stephanie Marks put the gals in green in business. After the next two hitters were unable to move Marks, Ashley Kirkes came up with two outs and laced a single up the middle to score the equalizer and make it a 2-2 game after 5 innings of play. A hit and an error put two on with nobody out for Pratt to open the 6th frame but the Lady Saints were able to find a way out of a later bases loaded jam to keep the game tied at 2-2. A Pratt error to start the Lady Saint half of the 6th proved costly. After two quick outs behind the mishap that would have ended the inning, the Lady Saints got another double from Marks to put runners at 2nd and 3rd with two away and Seward sophomore Taylor McDougall stepped up to the plate and drove a ball deep to left field for a double to score both runs and put the Lady Saints up 4-2. Down by two with the game on the line, Pratt made some noise in their last at bats. Two runners reached base and successfully stole bases to put them both in scoring position with just one out but Dickson was able to wiggle her way out of the mess to preserve the lead and give the Lady Saints the 4-2 win. Mark finished her first game as a Lady Saint with 3 hits in 4 trips and also scored a pair of runs while slappers Bianca Adame and Kirkes each had 2 hits in the win. Dickson earned the win for Seward as she went all 7 innings, allowing 5 hits and 2 unearned runs while striking out 5.
Seward didnít wait around to take the lead in game two as the Lady Saints tallied a run right off the bat in the first inning as Breanna Diaz walked with one out and scored two batters later as McDougall ripped a single up the box to make it 1-0 Seward. Blaire Taylor worked around a leadoff single and an error in the 2nd to keep the Beavs off the scoreboard and the Lady Saints tacked on another run in the bottom half of the inning as Kirkes walked and stole second base before Carissa Hackett brought her in on a groundout to make it 2-0 Seward. The Lady Saints were at it again in the 3rd inning as Mark singled with one out and McDougall continued her strong day with a booming double to center to score her and make it 3-0 Lady Saints after 3. Both teams went in order in the 4th and couldnít get anything going in the 5th and quickly the game went to the 6th with Seward up 3-0. For the first time in the day, the Lady Saints defense looked shaky in the top of the 6th inning as they gave the Lady Beavers five outs with a couple of errors and it cost them a run without Pratt having to get a hit and cut their lead to 3-1. The Lady Saints couldnít get the run back in the bottom of the 6th so the game went to the final inning with Seward holding onto the two run lead. Taylor gave up a single to start the 7th and after a pair of ground balls, the runner reached third base but the Seward sophomore got a popup on the infield which was caught and secured the 3-1 win for the Lady Saints. Taylor was good in the circle, earning her 15th career win at Seward by throwing the complete game in an economical 84 pitches and allowing just 3 hits and 1 unearned run. McDougall led the offense with 2 hits and 2 RBIís while Diaz, Kirkes, and Marks scored the runs for Seward.
The Lady Saints start the season 2-0 for the third time in four seasons and will take their perfect record to Poteau, Oklahoma this weekend where they will participate in the Carl Albert State Tournament. There the Lady Saints will take on the host Vikings at 11:00 on Saturday, Arkansas Baptist at 3:00 Saturday and then wrap up their trip with Paris on Sunday at 11:00 and Coffeyville at 1:00 Sunday.