Ford no-hitter helps Lady Blue Devils to 4-game sweep

Leslie Ford

by Alan Hoskins

Sweeping a four-game non-conference series over the weekend highlighted by a no-hit pitching performance by Leslie Ford, Kansas City Kansas Community College returns to Jayhawk Conference play with four doubleheaders in five days.

Weather permitting, the Lady Blue Devils will play host to Fort Scott Tuesday and Barton County Wednesday and then play at Cowley Friday and Independence Saturday. All four twin bills will have 2 and 4 p.m. starts.

The Blue Devils got big hits at the most opportune times in defeating Maple Woods 5-0 and 4-3 Friday before routing a club team from the University of Kansas 8-0 and 11-3 Saturday. The sweep improved the Blue Devils overall record to 16-6.

Ford got two wins and a save in the four games. After blanking Maple Woods 5-0 in Friday’s opener, Ford got the save with one inning of one-hit relief in the 4-3 nightcap, then came back with a 5-inning no-hitter over KU in Saturday’s 8-0 opening win. She struck out six and had a perfect game until walking the leadoff hitter in the fifth.

Ford also delivered one of the two biggest hits in the 5-0 win over Maple Woods, a two-run double following singles by Amanda Holroyd and Hanna Barnhart in the second inning. The other big hit came in the fourth, a two-out bases-loaded triple by Justice Scales after a single by Laura Vanderheiden and two errors had loaded the bases. Scales and Barnhart each had two hits in the win.

Vanderheiden and Ashley Henington delivered the big blows in the 4-3 nightcap win. Vanderheiden lashed a 3-run triple run in the second after KCKCC had loaded the bases on three walks. Maple Woods had taken a 2-0 lead, scoring runs in each of the first two innings and then tying the game on a double and two singles in the third. Henington provided her own support for the pitching win by breaking the 3-3 tie with a two-out RBI double in the bottom of the sixth. Henington gave up one hit and struck out one in two innings in relief of starter Elizabeth Seimears.

The Blue Devils lashed out 10 hits in the 8-0 win over KU. Holroyd led with three singles while Lacey Santiago added two hits. Mierra Morisette’s 2-run triple following a leadoff single by Santiago and a double by Scales highlighted a 4-run first inning.

KCKCC added 17 more hits in the 11-3 5-inning nightcap. Morisette and Santiago each had four hits while Scales and Holroyd each drove in three runs with a double and single. Vanderheiden also had had two hits while Ford doubled and drove in two runs. Henington pitched the first two innings, allowing three hits and no earned runs while Seimears pitched the last three, allowing just a pair of hits and striking out six.

KCKCC raps out 48 hits but splits four weekend games

 by Alan Hoskins

Kansas City Kansas Community College rapped out 48 hits in four games over the weekend but still had to settle for splits in doubleheaders with Jayhawk Conference rivals Pratt and Dodge City.

The Lady Blue Devils won the opener in both doubleheaders, defeating Pratt 6-1 and Dodge City 5-3 before losing to Pratt 5-4 and Dodge City 6-2.

The splits left the Blue Devils 8-6 in conference play and 12-6 overall heading into a doubleheader at first place Highland (15-1) Tuesday.

KCKCC then returns home to play host to Maple Woods Friday at 2 and 4 p.m. and a University of Kansas club team Saturday at 1-3 p.m.

Freshman centerfielder Justice Scales led the offense, collecting two hits in each game and driving in four runs while third baseman Lacey Santiago and leftfielder Mierra Morisette each had seven hits.

Leslie Ford, the winning pitcher in both games, helped her own cause with six hits while Amanda Holroyd and Hanna Barnhart each had five.

Ford allowed just four hits, struck out eight and no earned runs in the 6-1 win over Pratt.

Trailing 1-0 in the second, KCKCC scored twice on back-to-back doubles by Morisette and Ashley Henington and an RBI single by Ford and then made it 4-1 in the fourth on a run-scoring double by Laura Vanderheiden and an RBI triple by Scales following Megan Dike’s leadoff single.

The final two runs scored in the sixth following leadoff singles by Ford and Vanderheiden.

Pratt broke a 4-4 deadlock in the top of the seventh of the nightcap, scoring on three singles against Ford, who allowed just four hits and the one run while fanning five in 3.2 innings of relief.

KCKCC took a 3-1 lead, scoring twice in the first on singles by Santiago, Scales and Barnhart and once in the second on Santiago’s two-out hit.

Pratt went ahead 4-3 in the fourth but KCKCC tied it on another Santiago hit following a leadoff single by Ford.

The Blue Devils backed Ford’s 7-hit pitching with 16 hits in the 5-3 win over Dodge City as Santiago and Morisette each had three and Scales, Ford and Megan Dike two each.

KCKCC took a 2-0 lead in the first on singles by Santiago and Morisette, Holroyd’s sacrifice fly and Barnhart’s double and added two more in the second on Scales’ two-out single following hits by Ford and Dike.

A two-run home run in the sixth inning by Amanda Holroyd was the lone highlight in the 6-2 loss to Dodge City. Elizabeth Seimears took the loss, giving up 12 hits.

“Elizabeth pitched well enough to win but our defense gave them a couple of runs,” said KCKCC coach Kacy Tillery. “But we continue to swing the bats with Santiago and Scales at the top of the order and Morisette, Holroyd and Barnhart in the middle.”

KCKCC sweep sets up four-game home series Friday, Saturday

by Alan Hoskins

Kansas City Kansas Community College used some late inning dramatics to complete a doubleheader sweep of North Central College Wednesday.

A 4-1 winner in the opening game, the Lady Blue Devils trailed 6-1 before rallying to tie the game in the fifth inning and then winning in the bottom of the seventh 7-6.

The sweep came on the heels of 7-2 and 4-3 losses to Johnson County Tuesday, leaving the Blue Devils 10-4 overall and 6-4 in the Jayhawk Conference entering a four-game weekend home stand with Pratt Friday at 1 and 3 p.m. and Dodge City Saturday at noon and 2 p.m.

The Blue Devils rode the 3-hit pitching of Pitcher of the Week Leslie Ford to the 4-1 win over North Central. Ford struck out six and walked one and had a shutout until the seventh.

Justice Scales led a 9-hit attack with two doubles and a single while Amanda Holroyd drove in a pair of runs with two doubles.

KCKC jumped in front 1-0 in the first on a hit batsman, double by Scales and Maerra Morisette’s sacrifice fly and added two more in the third on singles by Lacey Santiago and Scales and Holroyd’s two-run double. The final run came on doubles b Emily Walsh and Scales in the fourth.

Tied 6-6 in bottom of the seventh in the nightcap, the Blue Devils won it by loading the bases on a walk to Morisette, a double by Ashley Henington and an infield single by Ford with one out.

Laura Vanderheiden then delivered the game-winner, a sacrifice fly to left with Morisette beating the throw to the plate.

Trailing 6-1, the Blue Devils tied the game with five runs in the fifth highlighted by a base-loaded double by Hanna Barnhart.

Singles by Vanderheiden and Scales sandwiched around a double by Santiago scored one run, Holroyd singled in another and Barnhart drove in three with her bases clearing double to right.

The rally made a winner out of Ford, who gave up a walk and then struck out two of the next three hitters in the top of the seventh in relief of Elizabeth Seimears and Myranda Ybarra.  Johnson County used its sweep to improve to 9-1 in the Jayhawk and 12-3 overall.

Justice Scales gave KCKCC a 2-0 lead in the first with a two-run home run but the Blue Devils managed only two singles the rest of the way.

JCCC cut the deficit to 2-1 on a home run in the fourth and then went ahead to stay on a grand slam home run in the fifth off Ford.

The Cavaliers built a 4-0 lead in the nightcap and then held on as the Blue Devils rallied for three runs in the fifth.

Scales followed a single by Vanderheiden and a walk with a two-run triple and scored on one of Holroyd’s three singles.

Morisette added two hits as the Blue Devils collected nine hits but left eight runners on base. Seimars gave up eight hits in absorbing the loss including fourth in a 3-run third.