by Alan Hoskins, KCKCC
Their season opener spoiled by a 7-1 loss, Kansas City Kansas Community College’s Lady Blue Devils rebounded with a 15–hit attack and a 10-8 win over State Fair Thursday.
The Blue Devils now hit the road for doubleheaders at Haskell University in Lawrence Tuesday and State Fair in Sedalia, Mo., Thursday before returning home against Missouri Valley Wednesday, Feb. 28.
Six Blue Devils had two or more hits in the 10-8 win over State Fair. Shannon Brown singled three times and Kaylee Arnzen homered and doubled as they both drove in three runs. Jennifer Mullins also had three singles; Paris Forshey doubled and singled; and Kalie Jacobson and Aspen Salines singled twice.
“I think the first game was nerves; we were not making the simple plays and over-thinking things,” KCKCC coach Kacy Tillery said. “We are very young but I am proud how they never gave up in the first game and fought back in the second game.”
Trailing 2-0 in the second inning of the nightcap, the Blue Devils went ahead 3-2 on a walk, singles by Mullins and Brown and Forshey’s 2-out, 2-run double. State Fair retook the lead 4-3 in the third but KCKCC went right back ahead to stay in the bottom of the inning, scoring twice on singles by Jacobson, Brown and Salines.
The big outburst came in the fourth, a four-run uprising that included five straight hits and a 9-4 lead. Forshey led off the inning with a single and with one out, Jacobsen and Jadyn Lindgren singled, Arnzen doubled and Mullins and Brown singled. Arnzen added a big insurance run with her leadoff home run in the sixth after State Fair had closed the gap to 9-8.
KCKCC used four pitchers in the contest. Faith Maslak got the start, Katelyn Kittrell got the win but needed clutch relief help from Shelby Espy and Shannon Greene.
Espy got the final two outs in the sixth and left the tying and lead runs on second and third base. Greene then came on with the tying runs on base with one out in the seventh and induced a game-ending double play.
The Blue Devils managed just three hits and struck out 12 times in the opening 7-1 loss. Freshman outfielder Jadyn Lindgren belted a home run in the fifth inning for KCKCC’s lone run. Basehor-Linwood sophomore Natalie Cowan singled in the first and Kaylee Arnzen singled in the fourth for the other hits.
Leading 2-0 in the fourth, State Fair scored five times on two doubles, a single and two errors. Shannon Greene took the loss, allowing 12 hits but just two earned runs. She struck out three, walked one.