The Seward County Community College softball team put the eight run mercy rule into effect in both games against Colby Community College, 16-2 (five-innings) and 14-1 (five-innings), on Tuesday afternoon in a Region VI District doubleheader at Lady Saints Softball Field in Liberal. Seward County batted .552 (32-for-58) in the doubleheader, as they sent the defending Jayhawk West Conference champs home after 10 innings of play. Seward County remains in first-place in both the Jayhawk West Conference (12-0) and the Region VI District (12-0) as they improve to 43-5 overall this season, and extend their school record winnings streak to 21 games. No. 14 nationally-ranked Seward County also improves their overall team winning percentage to .896, ranking second in the NJCAA behind only No. 18 Central Alabama, who is currently 39-4 (.929) overall this season.

Seward County had consistent hitting and pitching in game-one, with 17 base hits and with sophomore Dana McLaren, who needed only 49 pitches (37 strikes) to shutdown the Lady Trojans hitters. SCCC put the game out of reach in their first at bats scoring nine runs on seven base hits, with a total of 14 batters coming to the plate.

The first-inning fireworks started with Sarah Venegas crushing a two-run double into right center field to score Meisha Patterson and Rachel Balencia. Five-hole hitter, Jennifer Collins, worked a 2-1 count before launching an opposite field, three-run homer to right field, giving Seward County a 5-0 lead with no outs. The rally continued as catcher Melissa St. Clair doubled to center field and then scored on a full-count double to center field by Lili Franco, giving Seward County another run before Colby recorded their first out of the inning.

Seward never stopped scoring as they played four runs in the second inning, two in the third and a run in the fourth inning. St. Clair led all players going 4-for-4 with two runs scored and a RBI. Balencia hit a grand slam in the second inning, as she went 2-for-3 with three runs scored and four RBI. Venegas also chipped in three hits (3-for-3) with three RBI and Collins also added three RBI for the Lady Saints.

McLaren earned her 20th win of the season pitching a five-inning complete game, scattering four hits, two runs (two earned) with one strikeout. In McLaren’s last seven starts, she has thrown seven straight complete games and she has earned the win in each game during that streak.

In game-two, Patterson led off the bottom of the first inning for Seward County with a solo home run to center field, her 12th home run of the season, to give the Lady Saints the early advantage. The third-inning was another big inning for Seward County as they scored eight runs on eight base hits, including a solo home run from Jena Rue, and a two-run double to center field by Haley Martin.

Seward County finished with four runs in the fourth inning on a solo home run from Lili Franco, a RBI single by Patterson and a two-run double to left field by Venegas. Rue led all players with a 3-for-4 game, which included her team-leading 31st extra base hit of the season. Five other Lady Saint players joined Rue with multi-hit games. Stephanie McCarthy was the winning pitcher throwing a five-inning complete-game, where she allowed three hits, one run and posted four strikeouts.

Seward County had five different players hit home runs on Tuesday, improving their school record for single-season home runs to 59 for the season. In addition, the Lady Saints are now batting .396 (6th in the NJCAA) as a team. Seward County will be back at home hosting Barton County Community College for a Jayhawk West doubleheader on Thursday, April 19 at 3 p.m. at Lady Saints Softball Field on the campus of SCCC.