by Alan Hoskins
Kansas City Kansas Community College’s hopes of playing host to a first-round Region VI playoff series took a big hit Thursday as the Blue Devils divided a home doubleheader with Allen County.
KCKCC took an 8-4 win in the opener only to have Allen County rally for a 10-8 win in the nightcap and drop the Blue Devils (14-16) into fifth place in the Jayhawk East.
At the same time, Coffeyville (15-15) was winning a doubleheader at Independence 7-5 and 2-0 to take a one-game lead over KCKCC in the battle for fourth place.
With just six games remaining, the split left the Blue Devils (26-19) needing help from Independence or Labette, Coffeyville’s final two foes.
KCKCC, meanwhile, will play a doubleheader at Allen County Saturday and then close out regular season play against Fort Scott next Thursday (away) and Saturday (home).
Jonathan May allowed seven hits and three earned runs in KCKCC’s 8-4 win in Thursday’s 7-inning opener. Trailing 4-2, the Blue Devils went ahead with three runs in the fourth and added three more in the sixth.
Tyler Raymond singled and doubled for KCKCC while Tanner Foerschler and Alex Thrower each drove in two runs, Foerschler with two singles and Thrower one. Travis Stroup, who had two sacrifice flies, drove in the other three runs.
A 16-hit attack wasn’t enough in the nightcap as Allen County wiped out a 7-4 deficit with five runs in the seventh and then choked off two potential game-tying rallies in the eighth and ninth innings.
Foerschler and Stroup each had three hits in the game while Eli Lovell drove in three runs with a double and single.
Alex Lugo led the Red Devils with a pair of home runs, the second a 3-run blast that tied the game in the seventh.
Alan Hoskins is the sports information director for KCKCC.
Kansas City Kansas Community College forward Julia Garrard has signed a letter of intent to attend Hillsdale Free Will Baptist College, a perennial power in the Association of Christian College Athletics Conference.
Located just south of Moore, Okla., Hillsdale has won eight ACCA national championships including three in a row from 2012-2014.
A 6-0 sophomore from Bentonville, Ark., Garrard was a major contributor in KCKCC compiling 24-8 and 28-4 records in her two years.
A starter in 31 games as a freshman, Garrard averaged 6.9 points, 6.5 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game. This past season, she averaged 4.0 points and 3.4 rebounds.
Her strength, however, was on the defensive end where she was a fierce defender.
“She’s going to be a valuable asset to Hillsdale,” said KCKCC coach Valerie Stambersky. “A great defender and rebounder, she’s one of the hardest workers we’ve ever had here. She had a lot of quality schools from which to choose. I’m both very happy and very proud of her.”
Alan Hoskins is the public information supervisor at KCKCC.