by Alan Hoskins,
Not even freezing temperatures could cool off the bats of Kansas City Kansas Community College in opening Jayhawk Conference softball play against Allen County in Iola Tuesday.
The Blue Devils pounded out 20 hits in just five innings in a 14-3 opener and added 17 more in a dramatic come-from-behind 11-9 win in the nightcap.
“I’ve never been so cold in my life,” said KCKCC head coach Kacy Tillery. “Softball is not meant to be played in weather like this but it wasn’t our decision. I couldn’t be more proud of the way we handled the conditions, especially in the second game when we came back from trailing 9-5 in the final two innings.”
Now 4-0, a doubleheader scheduled for Thursday at Maple Woods and a home twin bill against North Central Saturday have been postponed. No decision has been made on next Tuesday’s home doubleheader with Neosho County.
Justice Scales, a freshman outfielder from SM South, and sophomore third baseman Lacey Santiago swung the biggest bats for the Blue Devils. Each had seven hits and drove in five runs. Scales’ seven hits included two triples and a home run while Santiago had three doubles and a triple among her seven hits.
Sophomore outfielder Mierra Morisette added six hits including a double and triple and three RBI; second baseman Amanda Holroyd of Tonganoxie rapped out six hits including three doubles; Bishop Ward shortstop Hanna Barnhart had five hits including a pair of doubles; and freshman Laura Vanderheiden of Blue Valley Southwest had four singles.
Righthanded freshman Leslie Ford of Garden City got the pitching win in both games. Ford gave up just four hits and no earned runs in the 5-inning opener and then pitched the final 5.2 innings of the nightcap.
Trailing 4-2 early in the second game, Scales put KCKCC in front 5-4 with a two-run home run in the fourth only to have Allen go ahead 8-5 with four runs in the bottom of the inning.
Down 9-5 in the sixth, the Blue Devils scored twice on Holroyd’s two-run single following singles by Santiago and Scales, and then won it with a four-run seventh. After a leadoff single by Ford and a walk to Emily Walsh, Santiago tied the game with a 2-run triple and scored the go-ahead run on a Scales’ single and Holroyd added an insurance run on her third hit of the game.