By ROY ALLEN
Seward assistant to the athletic director
Just when you thought the Jekyll and Hyde Lady Saints were gone and past, they showed up again Tuesday afternoon in Clarendon. After hammering Clarendon 22-1 in game one of their non-conference doubleheader, Seward inexplicably lost the second game of the twinbill 8-6 to the 12-28 Bulldogs.
Neither team scored in the first inning, and Seward took advantage of a Clarendon error to put a run on the board in the second to take a 1-0 lead.
In the third Seward’s first five hitters reached base with RBI singles from Becky Allen and Marissa Chavez to give the Lady Saints a 3-0 lead.
They weren’t done there.
With one out in the inning a wild pitch plated Seward’s third run and an RBI single from Vanessa Oakden made it 6-0.
After the Oakden single, Felisha Vogelaar hit a sacrifice fly for a 7-0 Seward lead.
Clarendon loaded the bases with one out, but Lady Saints starter Brittany Hopkins induced a double play to end the threat and the inning with Seward still on top 7-0.
Chavez’s second RBI in as many innings gave Seward an 8-0 lead in the fourth, and a Clarendon error tacked on another run for the Lady Saints to make it 9-0. With two outs in the inning, an RBI double from Tiffanie Bolanos scored another Seward run, and the big blow came off the bat of Oakden in the form of a two run home run to give Seward a 12-0 advantage.
The Bulldogs scored their first run of the game in the bottom half of the fourth inning after a Seward error allowed them to extend the inning to make it 12-1.
The Lady Saints batted around in the inning without a single out. Allen picked up her second RBI single, and Chavez knocked in two more with a single to make it 16-1. A triple from Joe Ann Rapoza stretched the lead to 17-1, and RBI hits from Bolanos and Carmen Hughes plated two more to make it 19-1.
Seward still wasn’t done there.
A groundout by Andrea Sitter scored another Seward tally and back-to-back RBI extra base hits for Pokey Ewell and Allen made it 22-1.
Lady Saints reliever Jacyln Wagner picked up a strikeout and a groundout to close out Clarendon in the fifth for the win.
Seward hammered out 18 hits and took advantage of seven Clarendon errors in the contest. Allen led the Lady Saints offense, going 4-for-5 with 3 RBIs and three runs scored in the victory. Ewell had three hits and four runs scored, missing the cycle by just a home run for Seward while Bolanos and Oakden each had two hits and three RBIs. Hopkins picked up the win in the circle, going four innings and allowed just six hits and one unearned run.
After exploding offensively in Game 1, the first inning of Game 2 was a bad precursor. The Lady Saints went down in order in the top half of the first including a pair of strikeouts, something they didn’t do once in the opener.
Clarendon’s first six Bulldog hitters of the inning reached base including a pair of RBI singles to quickly give Clarendon an early 3-0 lead.
Clarendon used two hits and a Seward error to score twice more to take a 5-0 advantage.
Bolanos smashed a solo home run to lead off the fifth and to break the ice for Seward making it a 5-1 game, and later in the inning a pair of Clarendon errors extended the inning and allowed Ewell and Allen to pick up RBI knocks to get the Lady Saints back to within one at 5-4.
Clarendon threatened to get the runs right back in the bottom half of the inning, loading the bases with two outs, but Seward starter Katelyn Craker tossed a three-pitch strikeout to get out of the jam and keep her team down just one.
Seward’s offense couldn’t take advantage of the zero however as they failed to score in the sixth, and Clarendon again put the pressure on the Lady Saints in the bottom half, scoring three times, including a two-out two-RBI double to push their lead to 8-4.
The Lady Saints made some noise in their final at bats as their first four hitters of the inning reached base including a two RBI double from Allen with one out, but with two cracks to tie the game with the equalizing run at the plate, Seward was unable to come through and a groundout and a pop out ended the game in an 8-6 loss.
Clarendon outhit Seward 11-8 in the contest and three Lady Saint errors were the difference in the two-run loss. Allen went 2-for-4 with two doubles and three RBIs while no other Seward player had more than one hit in the defeat.
Craker suffered just her third loss of the season allowing 11 hits and eight runs, six earned in six innings.
The loss is a disappointing one for the Lady Saints, dropping them to 36-9 overall on the year. Clarendon arguably earned its best win of the season, improving to 13-28 on the year.
Next up for the Lady Saints is somewhat of a Region VI/Region IX showdown in Colby as Seward will join a host of other Jayhawk schools in Northwest Kansas to take on their foes from the Empire Conference. The Lady Saints will play McCook, Western Nebraska, and Trinidad State on Saturday with Sunday’s games against Otero and Lamar being highly questionable due to forecasted weather in the area.