by Alan Hoskins, KCKCC
Kansas City Kansas Community College rode the pitching arm of sophomore Brittany Gustin to a sweep of Neosho County Tuesday.
A Raytown graduate, Gustin scattered 10 hits in a 6-inning 12-4 opening game win and then repeated in a 4-2 decision in the 7-inning nightcap played at the Piper softball complex. The wins were the 15th and 16th against nine losses for the Blue Devil right-hander.
The sweep improved KCKCC’s record to 23-18 heading into a Thursday makeup game at Highland at 2 p.m. The Lady Blue Devils then close out their home season this weekend at Steineger Field adjacent to Turner Middle School. Sophomores will be honored between games Saturday when the Blue Devils are the host to Cottey College at noon and 2 p.m. KCKCC is also scheduled to be the host of a University of Missouri club team Sunday, again at noon and 2 p.m.
KCKCC used the long ball to win the 12-4 opener. Tiffany Killam and Mekayla Guerrero each ripped 2-run home runs and Mekayla Foskett crushed a two-run triple. It was the 15th home run for Killam, a KCKCC record, and the fourth for Guerrero.
LaTisha Thomas, who had four of the Blue Devils’ 15 hits, led off the Blue Devil first inning with a single and scored one batter later on Killam’s line home run to left-center for a 2-1 lead. KCKCC made it 4-1 with two out in the third on Foskett’s triple following singles by Geena Harris and Gustin.
Neosho knotted the game in the fourth, scoring three runs on five straight hits but KCKCC quickly re-grabbed the lead on Guerrero’s towering home run to right following a leadoff single by Thomas. The Blue Devils then put the game out of reach with four runs in the fifth on just two hits, a run-scoring single by Thomas and a 2-run single by Harris.
KCKCC then spread the game in the sixth on hits by Savannah Dukngan, Thomas and Morgan Oroke. In addition to Thomas’ four hits, Harris had three and Oroke and Gustin two each.
Gustin allowed only three hits in the first four innings of the 4-2 nightcap before Neosho scored its only two runs on a home run in the fifth. By then the Blue Devils had built a 4-0 lead.
The first two runs came in the first on singles by Thomas and Oroke and then added two more in the third on Gustin’s 2-run single following singles by Guerrero and Oroke. Oroke finished with three hits and Guerrero added a single and double.