by Alan Hoskins
Kansas City Kansas Community College rode Leslie Ford’s strong pitching and hitting to a 3-2 win at Coffeyville Tuesday but had to settle for a split when Coffeyville rallied for a 4-3 win in the nightcap.
The split left the Lady Blue Devils 3-1 in the Jayhawk Conference and 5-1 overall heading into doubleheaders at Hesston Friday and Hutchinson Saturday.
A freshman from Garden City, Ford scattered six hits, struck out 12 and drove in the game-winning run in the 3-2 win. She was backed by an 11-hit attack that included two singles and a triple by leadoff hitter Lacey Santiago and a double and single each by Ford and Justice Scales.
Trailing 1-0 in the fifth, the Blue Devils took the lead on five straight singles by Ford, Megan Dike, Santiago, Scales and Mierra Morisette. Coffeyville tied it in the bottom of the inning before KCKCC scored the decisive go-ahead run on a one-out single by Ashley Henigton and Ford’s RBI double to center.
Coffeyville threatened in the bottom of the sixth with a leadoff double but Ford escaped with a pair of strikeouts and a popup and set down the Red Ravens in order in the seventh.
The Blue Devils took a 3-0 lead in the first inning of the nightcap. After a leadoff single by Santiago, Scales tripled and scored on Morisette’s single. A double by Hanna Barnhart and a single for Ford added the third run.
Santiago and Scales each had a pair of hits in the 9-hit attack but the Blue Devils managed on four more base-runners the rest of the way.
Elizabeth Seimear took the loss despite allowing only six hits and two earned runs. She struck out four and walked one.
After tying the game with two unearned runs in the second, Coffeyville won it on a two-out single in the fifth.
“Elisabeth Seimear threw well but they were able to score on a couple of bloop hits,” said KCKCC coach Kacy Tillery. “Leslie Ford pitched well in the first game and Megan Dike called a good game behind the plate with the 12 strikeouts. And the defense played well both games with just one error.”
Kansas City Kansas Community College got its spring season started in outstanding fashion Monday and Tuesday, finishing just one stroke back in the Ottawa Spring Invitational Tournament.
Tied for second four strokes back of Oklahoma Wesleyan after the first round, the Blue Devils were nipped 613-614 by Sterling College in the 8-team tournament played at Eagle Bend in Lawrence. Okla.
Wesleyan finished third at 618 followed by Ottawa (625), Kansas Wesleyan and Haskell (both 633), Independence Community College (636) and Bethel (704).
Freshmen Seve Sites of Shawnee Mission West and Lane Pauls of Newton led the Blue Devils, each firing identical rounds of 74 and 77 for 151 totals to finish in a fourth place tie.
Sophomore Collin Herron of Topeka Hayden tied for 12th with a 79-78-157; freshman Montana Fasching of Piper tied for 16th with a 77-81-158; and Newton freshman Dalton Ayres was alone in 22nd at 81-78-159.
Coach Gary Shrader’s Blue Devils are now idle until March 23-24 when they begin Jayhawk Conference designated tournament play at the Salina Municipal course.