By RAMA PEROO/Cowley College
With four conference games remaining, the No. 19 Cowley College softball team stayed in a tie with Johnson County for first place after knocking off Fort Scott 7-3 and 10-9 Saturday at Ed Hargrove Field.
The Lady Tigers, winners of 29 of its past 31 games, are now 33-13 overall and 17-1 in the Jayhawk Conference. Fort Scott falls to 28-13 overall and 11-7 in the conference.
Sophomore Maci Cole homered in both games of the doubleheader and now has 19 home runs on the season. Kyla Bonnarens also played well, going 6-for-8 with a double and three runs batted in. Bonnarens now leads the team in batting (.520), doubles (23), and runs batted in (72).
Saige Smith struck out nine and did not walk a batter in the 7-3 win of the opener.
Fort Scott starting pitcher Jenni Jennings (8-7) took the loss as she allowed seven hits and five runs in four innings.
Smith came back in to pitch in the nightcap with the Lady Tigers trailing 6-3 in the fifth inning. Cowley would score six runs in the bottom of the fifth and a run in the sixth to lead 10-6.
Fort Scott scored three runs in the top of the seventh and had the tying run at third base when Smith (20-5) struck out Julia Paisley to end the game.
Karleigh Bell drove in three runs in the victory, and Cowley finished with 24 hits in the doubleheader.
“We hit the ball really well in the doubleheader, and I thought game two we had better execution with only leaving two runners on,” Cowley head coach Jenny Hoyt said. “Fort Scott applied the pressure to our defense early in the second game, which caused us to make some errors. However, I really like the fight that we had later in the game.”
Cowley will play a doubleheader at Neosho County Tuesday at 2 p.m. The Lady Panthers are 24-20 overall and 11-7 in the conference.
“Neosho has been playing well here lately, and they always have a ton of energy playing at their field,” Hoyt said. “We just need to make sure we focus on doing what we can to be successful on the day.”
Score by inning:
Game one R H E
Fort Scott 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 – 3 5 1
Cowley 2 1 0 2 0 2 x – 7 11 0
Game two R H E
Fort Scott 2 0 0 1 3 0 3 – 9 10 1
Cowley 0 2 1 0 6 1 x – 10 13 4