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February 8, 2013Ranked third in the pre-season NJCAA Division II softball poll, the Cowley College softball team opened its season with a pair of hard fought victories over Northern Oklahoma College-Tonkawa Tuesday at Lady Tiger Field in Arkansas City.
Cowley opened with a 3-1 win of game one behind the pitching of sophomore transfer Keelyn Bonar. The Lady Tigers then won game two 11-9 despite being out-hit 14-8.
Cowley took advantage of five walks, one hit batter, and three errors by the Lady Mavericks in the nightcap.
"It was nice to come out of the chute with two wins and a good way to take us to Fort Worth," Cowley head coach Ed Hargrove said.
The Lady Tigers will play six games at the Cowtown Classic held Friday and Saturday in Fort Worth.
On Tuesday, Bonar allowed only four hits and one run in the win of the opener. She struck out four and did not walk a batter, while making her first start after transferring to Cowley from Allen County Community College.
"It was important for her to have a good outing her first time out," Hargrove said. "The more she pitches the more comfortable she will get in her role for us."
The Lady Tigers got two hits and two runs batted in from sophomore third baseman Austin Hilt who missed all of the fall scrimmages due to injury.
"It was good to see Austen come out and hit the ball well after not playing in the fall," Hargrove said.
Freshman second baseman Stephanie Couser went 2-for-3 with a double and a run scored, while Shelby Smith also played well and went 1-for-3 with a pair of stolen bases and two runs scored.
In game two, Cowley fell behind 2-0 after one half inning of play, but tied the game in the bottom of the first inning on a two-run homer by freshman Caitlynn Cosme in her first at bat in a Lady Tiger uniform. Cosme would finish the game 2-for-4 with two RBI's and two runs scored.
Cowley scored eight runs on only four hits over the next two innings as they led 10-3 after three innings of play.
Freshman Jessica Seay started on the mound for Cowley and allowed five hits and three runs over the first three innings before being relieved on the mound by freshman Brooke Benge, who allowed seven hits and four runs in 1 2/3 innings pitched as The Lady Mavericks pulled within 10-7.
Fellow freshman Kristen Hall came in to record the final out of the fifth inning but then served up a solo home run to Taloa Earnest leading off the top of the sixth inning.
Following the homer, Hargrove decided to summon Seay back to the mound.
Seay would allow a solo home run to Missy Swanson in the top of the seventh inning but avoided further trouble in closing out her first win as a member of the Lady Tiger softball team. Seay allowed six hits and four runs in five innings pitched.
Freshman outfielder Rondeci Oliver entered the game in the third inning and promptly delivered a two-run double in the four-run inning.
Returning All-American Haley Strawn walked all four times up to bat, the last three of which were intentional walks, and scored three runs.
Cowley will open play at the Cowtown Classic in Fort Worth, Texas Friday at 8 a.m. when they take on Trinity Valley (Texas). The Lady Tigers will play three games on Friday and three more on Saturday. Cowley's six opponents are from either Texas or Oklahoma.
"Going to play these teams is probably as tough or tougher than the national tournament," Hargrove said. "I hope we play well and use this as a way to get ready for the season and league play."
Score by inning:
Game one R H E
NOC 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 - 1 4 2
Cowley 1 0 1 1 0 0 x - 3 6 1
Game two R H E
NOC 2 0 1 0 4 1 1 - 9 14 3
Cowley 2 4 4 0 0 1 x - 11 8 0