HILLSBORO—The McPherson College softball team went on the road Monday evening for a KCAC doubleheader against the Tabor College Bluejays. The Bulldogs dropped the opener to the Jays, 4-3, but bounced back to shut them out in the finale 9-0.
The Bulldogs led 3-2 late in game one, behind another strong pitching performance by Christie Betker. Betker pitched another complete game, giving up four runs, only two of them earned on eight hits. She finished with five strikeouts and no walks to complete her stat line. An error on a routine ground ball in the bottom of the fourth extended the inning and allowed the Bluejays to tie the game on their next at bat.
An inning later, with the game still tied 3-3, another error by the Bulldog defense allowed the winning run to get on base. That base runner would come around to score, after a sacrifice bunt and a double to deep left center field, giving Tabor the lead 4-3. That score would hold up as the Bulldog offense was unable to muster any runs in their final two at-bats.
At the plate, the Bulldogs scored their three runs on seven hits, led by Jessica Jones and Kylecia Taylor, who were both 2-for-4. Taylor scored one of the Bulldog runs, and Jones finished with a pair of stolen bases.
After another tough loss by fewer than two runs, their ninth of the season, the Bulldogs regrouped and responded by holding the Bluejays scoreless, and ending the game an inning early via the run rule. Brittany Baroni was in the circle for the Mac ladies, and threw another gem. She pitched a complete game shutout, scattering five hits and finishing with five strikeouts and no walks.
Baroni got plenty of run support from her offense, and her defense was nearly perfect behind her, committing just one defensive miscue. At the plate, the Bulldog offense plated nine runs on six hits, led by Jones, who was 2-for-3 with two runs scored and two more stolen bases, and Maile Deutsch, who was also 2-for-3 with two runs scored, and an RBI. The big hits for the Bulldogs came off the bats of Jenna Christensen, and Payten Davies, who both hit home runs. Christensen's was a missile over the left centerfield wall, and Davies' was in inside the parker hit down the right field line.
The Bulldogs got some help from the Bluejay defense. They committed three errors in the game, directly resulting in three of the six Bulldog runs being scored.
Next up for the Bulldogs is a home series against Bethel College on Saturday out at Bulldog Park. First pitch between the Bulldogs and Threshers is slated for 1 p.m.