As a junior in 2010 at Ogden, Utah’s Bonneville High School, Stephanie Mark was the states home run queen with 14 long balls. Wednesday, in Colby, Kansas, the now Seward County CC sophomore became the Lady Saints RBI queen, driving in five runs in Seward’s 11-1 and 14-10 sweep of the Colby Trojans to run her career total to 118 to set the school’s all-time record. In game one of the twinbill it was the top of the Seward order that did the damage against the Trojans. Marissa Chavez was a perfect 4 for 4 with 3 RBI’s and 3 runs scored, accounting for 6 of the 11 Lady Saint runs in the 11-1 run rule victory. In the second game it was the Mark show, as the Lady Saints first baseman set a career high with 5 hits, including a pair of doubles and a home run, while driving in 4 runs to lead Seward to a 14-10 win.

Seward got their final week of the regular season underway in chilly Colby on Wednesday. Becky Allen got the scoring started for Seward in the opener, launching the first pitch she saw of her 2nd inning at bat sailing over the left center field fence for a solo home run to put the Lady Saints on the board 1-0. Seward’s long ball show continued in the 3rd when Marissa Chavez connected on her second home run of the season with two outs to push the lead to 2-0. Colby got the run back in the bottom of the 3rd when Gabby Palacios went deep to lead off the inning to cut Seward’s lead to 2-1 and is looked like the Trojans were going to get more as they got back to back singles after the home run, but Lady Saints starter Brittney Sharkey stranded the pair to keep Seward in front 2-1. In the 4th Allen was at it again. The freshman right fielder took a 3-1 pitch from Colby starter Natalie Elmgreen and blasted her second home run of the game, this one of the two run variety to put the Lady Saints up 4-1. After a quick 1-2-3 inning by Sharkey in the bottom of the 4th the Lady Saints added to their lead as the 5th inning got underway. Felisha Vogelaar doubled to start the frame and Chavez singled behind her to put runners on second and third with nobody out. A Colby error scored Vogelaar and later in the inning Chavez scored on an RBI groundout by Michelle Duford to extend Seward’s lead to 6-1. The Lady Saints blew the game open in the 6th as Vogelaar rapped her second double in as many innings to score one run and Chavez’s second single in as many innings scored two more to make it a 9-1 game. Seward tacked on two more runs in the frame to take a commanding 11-1 lead into the bottom of the 6th. Colby looked destined to avoid the run rule as they put runners on second and third with one out in the bottom of the inning, but Sharkey finished what she started, getting a pair of groundouts to keep the Lady Trojans from scoring and therefore locking the game down in an 11-1 win for Seward.
Chavez had a career game at the top of the Seward order in the win. The freshman left fielder was 4 for 4 with a home run, 3 RBI’s, and 3 runs scored for Seward. Allen also starred in the Seward win, going 2 for 3 with a pair of home runs and 3 RBI’s for the Lady Saints. Seward outhit the Lady Trojans 13 to 9 in the game. In the circle Sharkey earned the win. The sophomore righthander scattered 9 hits and allowed just 1 win in her 6 inning complete game victory.
In game two, Seward again didn’t waste any time in taking the early lead. Chavez singled and stole second to start the game and later scored on a Colby error to make it 1-0. With two outs in the inning the reigning Jayhawk West Player of the Week Samantha Phelps ripped a single through the hole on the left side to score another run to push the Seward lead to 2-0. Unfortunately for Seward, Colby was ready to swing the bats early in game two as well. The Lady Trojans started the game with a triple, single, and double on just five pitches to quickly put a run up to cut the Seward lead to 2-1. With runners at second and third later in the inning, a Lady Saints error cost them two runs and Colby had their first lead of the day after one inning of play 3-2. Colby extended their lead to 4-2 in the 2nd on a two out RBI single from Samantha Duran, but Seward averted further damage later on in the inning when they gunned down Duran at the plate as she tried to score on a double from Ashley Archer. A double from Rachel Shockley and a single from Stephanie Mark put Seward in business in the top of the 3rd as they looked to regain the lead. A Colby error scored Shockley and Mark was able to trot home along with Duford after Allen launched her third home run of the day deep over the left field fence to put Seward in front 6-4. The slugfest continued in the bottom of the inning as it was Colby’s turn to use the long ball. After a leadoff single from Chelsea Kinnett, Bailey Pfortmiller hit her first home run of the 2013 season to tie the game at 6 which is where the score was after 3. Chavez was again in the middle of the Seward offense in the 4th as she doubled with one out and stole third to set the table for Mark. Mark seized the opportunity and sent a 2-2 offering from Colby pitcher Samantha Mengel towering over the center field wall and into the trees to give Seward the lead back 8-6. Seward worked an unconventional 1-2-3 inning in the bottom of the frame to get back to the dugout to hit again and they opened their lead up on doubles from Allen, Phelps, Sierra Tadiarca, and Vogelaar to score three runs to take an 11-6 lead. Colby charged back in the 6th as a pair of singles and a pair of walks forced a run home to make it 11-7, still with just one out in the inning. A Seward error allowed another run home to make it 11-8 and their second error of the inning gave the Lady Trojans two more gift tallies to make it a one run game 11-10. The fireworks continued in the 7th for Seward as Tadiarca smacked her first home run of the season to lead off the inning and make it 12-10 and with two outs and the bases loaded Mark slammed a double to the gap to score two more to extend the Lady Saints lead to 14-10. After going the distance in game one, Sharkey came out of the Seward bullpen in game two and recorded back to back strikeouts to start the Colby 7th before getting a pop fly to end it and give the Lady Saints a 14-10 win.
Seward swatted out 16 hits in the second game including a record breaking 5 for 5, 4 RBI effort from Mark. With the 4 RBI’s in the game, Mark now has 118 in her Lady Saints career, breaking the school record held by Marissa Coats who drove in 115 in 2009 & 2010. Allen had her second straight 2 for 3, 3 RBI game that included her 9th home run of the season. Phelps and Tadiarca were each 2 for 4 with 2 RBI’s in the win and Chavez was 2 for 5 with 2 runs scored at the top of the Seward order. Katelyn Craker earned the win thanks in large part to her offense. The reigning Jayhawk West Pitcher of the Week went 5 1/3 innings, allowing 9 hits and 9 runs before Sharkey came in to pick up her second save of the season with 1 2/3 innings of hitless work.
The Lady Saints seem to be clicking at the right time, running their season long win streak to five games to improve to 30-21 overall on the season and jump into second place in the Jayhawk West standings at 9-5 with two games remaining. Next up for the Lady Saints is a date with conference leading and #1 ranked Butler on Friday in El Dorado to wrap up the regular season. Region VI Tournament action will begin on Saturday, May 4th in Wichita.