by Alan Hoskins, KCKCC
Scoring a pair of runs in the final two innings, Johnson County swept Kansas City Kansas Community College in opening Jayhawk Conference softball play Thursday.
After an 11-1 win in the opener, the Lady Cavaliers broke a 1-1 deadlock in the sixth inning of a 3-1 win in the nightcap.
The loss dropped KCKCC to 5-3 while JCCC evened its record at 5-5. The Cavaliers were ranked No. 5 in the preseason rankings but dropped out after losing three in a row in the Dallas area and being swept by No. 5 ranked Kirkwood.
Unfortunately, the road doesn’t get any easier for KCKCC. The Blue Devils play at No. 3 Highland (10-1) Tuesday and after a home twin bill with North Dakota State Wednesday at 1 p.m., KCKCC goes to No. 9 ranked Cowley (10-7) on Friday.
The Blue Devils outhit the Cavaliers 8-5 in the 3-1 second game loss but left seven runners on base.
Freshman Katelyn Kittrell of Lansing scattered the five hits while allowing just two earned runs and walking two.
Freshmen Kali Jacobson of Basehor-Linwood and Kaylee Arnzen each had two hits and Natalie Cowan, Jadyn Lindgren, Jennifer Mullins and Shannon Brown one each for KCKCC.
Johnson County took a 1-0 lead in the third on a single and two fly balls but the Blue Devils immediately tied it the bottom of the inning on a triple by Jacobson and a double by Mullins.
JCCC broke the 1-1 tie the sixth on a single, double and squeeze bunt and added an insurance run in the seventh on an error and sacrifice fly.
A home run by freshman Kaylee Arnzen of Pampa, Texas, was the lone bright spot for KCKCC in the 11-1 opener. The Blue Devils were limited to five hits including two each by Arnzen and Basehor-Linwood sophomore Natalie Cowan.
JCCC scored its runs in bunches, three in the first and four in the third and seventh. Sophomore Shannon Greene took the loss, allowing 15 hits and 10 earned runs. She struck out five, walked one.