LADY DRAGONS SPLIT JAYHAWK EAST PAIR WITH NO. 3 JOHNSON COUNTY
OVERLAND PARK - The Hutchinson Community College softball team defeated the Seeing a four-run lead evaporate in a 6-5 loss in Game 1 on Friday, freshman pitcher Brittany Olender allowed just one unearned run as Hutchinson downed Johnson County 6-1 in the second game. The Lady Dragons snapped a nine-game losing streak to the Cavaliers. HCC's last win over Johnson County came on March 25, 2011, a 5-4 victory in Game 1 of a doubleheader at Fun Valley. Previous to Friday, the highest-ranked team a Rose-coached HCC team defeated was No. 6 Cowley, a 9-7, extra-inning victory in the opening round of the Region VI Tournament in Wichita. The Lady Dragons - now 14-20 overall, 11-15 in Region VI, 9-13 in the Jayhawk East - will play a doubleheader at Fort Scott beginning at Noon on Saturday.
GAME 2 RECAP Olender upped her record to 7-8 with a six-hit complete game performance. But she lived in constant danger throughout the game. Only once did Johnson County go down in order, the third inning. Johnson County left nine runners on base, five in scoring position. Olender scattered six hits and allowed just two walks and a second-inning unearned run. Olender struck out six Cavaliers. With a run already across and a runner at third with one out, Olender kept the game tied with back-to-back strikeouts to end the inning. Johnson County got its first two batters of the fourth on base, but Olender coaxed an infield fly, fly ball to right and a strikeout to get out of that unscathed. Olender got some defensive help in the sixth. With a runner at first with one out, second baseman Alyx Bloom started a 4-3 inning-ending double play. Hutchinson out-hit Johnson County 8-5 with five hits going for extra bases. Sophomore Makenzi Shackley was 3 for 4 with a career-high three doubles, two RBIs and two runs scored. Sophomore Asia Budd was 2 for 2 with a solo home run in a decisive three-run sixth inning that put the game away. Natalie Johnson added a double and three RBIs. The Lady Dragons took a 1-0 lead on Shackley's double that plated leadoff hitter Lacey Hudson. After Johnson County tie the game in the second, the Lady Dragons answered back in the third inning. Shackley's second double scored Budd with the go-ahead run and Shackley scored to make it 3-0 on a Johnson sacrifice fly. Budd ignited the three-run sixth inning with a home run to lead off the inning for a 4-1 HCC lead. Later in the inning, HCC made it 6-1 on a two-run double by Johnson.
GAME 1 RECAP After a four-run second inning the Lady Dragons had No. 3 Johnson County on the ropes in Game 1. The Lady Dragons had a big two-out rally in the second inning to take a 4-0 lead. Sarah Rothe singled and Hayden Pixler was hit with a pitch. Bloom doubled home Rothe for a 1-0 HCC lead. Hudson followed with an RBI triple and scored on an error off the bat of Budd to make 4-0. After Johnson County but the lead to three, Bloom's RBI groundout boosted the margin back to 5-1 after 3 1/2 innings. HCC had other chances to score and increase the lead, but stranded three runners on base in the final three innings. Johnson County scored two runs in the fourth inning to cut the HCC lead to 5-3. It could have been worse, but Bloom started an inning-ending double-play to get out of the jam. The Cavaliers finally broke through on Sidney Dey in the sixth. After a lineout, three-straight Johnson County runners reached and scored. Jamison Kothe's two-run triple to left field tie the game at 5. She scored on a safety squeeze bunt by Taylor Brunson which gave the Cavaliers a 6-5 lead. Johnson pitcher Zoe Price worked a perfect seventh inning with two strikeouts to finish off HCC. Dey went six solid innings. She allowed seven hits, six earned runs while striking out two and walking three. Rothe was 3 for 3 with two runs scored to lead HCC offensively. Bloom was 1 for 3 with two RBIs and Hudson was 1 for 4 with a triple and two RBIs and a run scored.