The McPherson College softball team finally got an opportunity to play on their home field, hosting crosstown rival Central Christian College at Bulldog Park. The weather conditions were less than ideal, with temps in the 40s and winds in the 30s, but the Bulldogs were able to improve their record to 8-7 on the season, taking both games of the double-header from the Tigers. The Bulldogs won both games in five innings, taking game one, 12-2 and then winning the finale 13-1.
Brittany Baroni got the start in circle for the Bulldogs in game one. She went the distance, picking up the win, giving up two runs on nine hits, with three strikeouts and two walks. She got plenty of run support from the offense, which slugged out 12 runs on 12 hits, including four extra base hits.
Kylecia Taylor led the Bulldog offense with a 3-for-4 performance that included a pair of singles, a home run, one run scored and four RBI. Others with multiple hits included Jessica Jones 2-for-2 with two runs scored and two others batted in, and Erica Almaraz 2-for-2 with one run scored, and one RBI.
The Bulldogs jumped out in front of the Tigers with a run in the bottom of the first, but then failed to add any more in the second despite having bases loaded and just one out in the inning. In the bottom of the third, the Bulldogs bounced back, and broke the game open scoring 11 runs on seven hits, including Taylor's three run home run. The Tigers scored a single run in the fourth and fifth innings, but it wasn't enough and the Bulldogs won via the run rule in five innings.
In the series finale, the Bulldogs sent Sydney Lang to the circle. Lang worked the first four innings, earning the win, recording four strikeouts, and giving up just one run on five hits. Christie Betker was called out of the bullpen to pitch the top of the fifth inning. Betker faced three hitters and recorded three strikeouts.
At the plate the Bulldog offense kept rolling, pounding out another nine hits, leading to 13 runs. Jones continued to swing a hot bat. She was perfect again from the plate, finishing 2-for-2 with a walk and three runs scored. Katy Wilson also had multiple hits for the Bulldogs. She finished the game with a 2-for-three performance with a pair of singles, and a run scored.
The two big hits in the game came off the bats of Jenna Christensen, and Maile Deutsch, who both recorded home runs as part of a six run third inning. Christensen's was a grand slam while Deutsch's was a solo shot that capped off the inning.
The Bulldogs put a crooked number on the scoreboard in every inning. They opened the game with three in the first, added two in the second, six more in the third and two in the fourth. Central scored one in the third to avoid the shutout.
"It was great to see the offensive explosion today," Bulldog head coach Tony Segovia said. "Very proud of how we scored early and kept the pressure on. A great way to open our home opener and get two team wins."
Next up for the Bulldogs is their KCAC opener on Tuesday at Tabor College. First pitch between the Bulldogs and Bluejays is set for 5 p.m. in Hillsboro.