By ROY ALLEN
• Seward assistant athletic director
The Seward County Lady Saints continued their red hot play Saturday afternoon at Lady Saints Field in Liberal, hammering the visiting Lamar Runnin’ Lopes 9-1 and 13-3 in a doubleheader to improve to 35-8 overall on the year.
In their second matchup of the week the Lady Saints got on the board right away, getting an RBI single from Becky Allen after a one-out double from Pokey Ewell to give Seward a 1-0 lead after the first inning.
The first three hitters of the third inning reached for the Lady Saints in front of their top RBI woman Allen. She wasted no time in blasting the first pitch that she saw over the left field wall for a grand slam home run to quickly put Seward on top 5-0. Two Lamar errors after the big fly allowed another Seward run to score and at the end of the third Seward had a 6-0 lead.
The Lady Saints defense faltered in the fourth and allowed a run to let Lamar get on the board for the first time in the game cutting the Lady Saints lead to 6-1.
Seward leadoff hitter Andrea Sitter just missed her fourth home run of the season to lead off the Lady Saints fourth and instead settled for a triple. She was able to score on a two-out single by Danielle Orr for a 7-1 lead.
A two-out RBI hit for Lamar in the top half of the fifth cut Seward’s lead to 7-2.
Allen and Orr continued to swing their hot bats in the sixth with RBI singles to put Seward on top 9-2. With a runner on third and nobody out, and a seven-run lead, Seward had three cracks to push the runner home to win the game, but they were unable to force the run rule and took a 9-2 lead into the seventh.
Hopkins wouldn’t need the extra help as she retired the Lopes side on just nine pitches in the top half of the seventh, giving the Lady Saints a 9-2 win.
Seward outhit Lamar 12-6 and saw the top of their lineup excel. Allen finished the game 3-for-4 with a home run and 6 RBIs in the three hole while Sitter was 3-for-4 with a triple and three runs scored out of the leadoff spot. Hopkins earned her 15th win of the season in the circle, going seven innings and allowing six hits and two runs, one earned.
Seward scord five times in the bottom of the first inning in Game 2 on an RBI single from Allen and two-RBI singles from Joe Ann Rapoza and Tiffanie Bolanos to give them an early 5-0 lead.
The first three Lady Saint hitters of the second inning reached to load the bases with nobody out and a wild pitch and a beanball reloaded the bases and put Seward up 6-0. Marissa Chavez chopped a single through the left side of the infield to score two more for the Lady Saints, stretching their lead to 8-0 and later in the inning Vanessa Oakden did the same to make it a 10-0 game. A sac fly from Felisha Vogelaar plated Rapoza and with two outs Sitter got her second hit of the inning to drive home another run making it 12-0 Seward.
Despite the long inning, Seward starter Katelyn Craker maintained focus, working a 1-2-3 top half of the third against the Lopes to keep the score 12-0 and the Lady Saints added another run in the bottom half of the inning on a two out single off the Lopes pitcher by Oakden to make it 13-0 Seward.
Lamar scored a run in the fourth and two more in the fifth, but it was far too little, too late. The run rule kicked in on a 13-3 Seward County win.
The Lady Saints beat the ball all over the yard in the win, outhitting the Lopes 13-5 in the contest. Sitter had three more hits at the top of the Seward order while Rapoza, Chavez, and Bolanos each had two RBIs while Oakden had two hits and drove in three in the win. Craker went four innings, allowing just two hits and one run to improve her record to 17-2.
Seward improved to 35-8 overall on the year and has now won 13 of their last 14 contests. Lamar fell to 22-23.
Next up for the Lady Saints is a Tuesday non-conference doubleheader against Clarendon in Texas followed by a weekend tournament in Colby where they will play a host of Region IX foes including Lamar once again.