The McPherson College softball team was back in action on Sunday afternoon, hosting the Bethel College Threshers out at Bulldog Park. After splitting their last three KCAC series, the Bulldogs were finally able to get a sweep against the Threshers, winning game one, 11-1, and then taking the second game 6-3.
Game one was all about the Bulldog offense, which scored 11 runs on 14 hits, with eight of the 11 runs coming as a result of the long ball. Four Bulldogs recorded multiple hits, and three of the four had a perfect day at the plate. Jessica Jones was 2-for-4 with a pair of singles, and two runs scored from her leadoff position. Kylecia Taylor, Jenna Christensen and Destiny Bacon all achieved perfection at the dish.
Bacon was 3-for-3 with three singles, scoring one run and driving in another. Taylor was 2-for-2, but reached base four times. She was hit by a pitch twice, had a single, scored three times and hit a three run home run. Christensen had a huge day at the plate for the Bulldogs. She went 3-for-3, scored three runs and had six RBI. All of her hits went for extra bases, including a double and two home runs.
The offensive explosion overshadowed what was an excellent defensive performance as well. Christie Betker was in the circle and picked up the win. She went the distance, allowing just one run on five hits, with six strikeouts and no walks. The defense behind her did its job, finishing the game without an error.
The Threshers came out of the box and jumped out to a 1-0 lead after the first half inning. In the bottom of the first, the Bulldogs came back to take the lead on the first of Christensen's two home runs. She hit a missile over the center field wall to give the Bulldogs a 2-1 lead. In the end, that would be all the runs they would need as Betker and the defense was able to shutout the Threshers the rest of the way. For good measure, however, the Bulldogs added three more runs in the second on Taylor's home run, then three more in the fourth to lead 8-1. Needing one run in the fifth to end the game early, the Bulldogs closed the game in dramatic fashion. With runners on first and second, Christensen came to the plate again. She wrapped up her perfect day with a three-run walk off home run to secure the win for the Bulldogs via the run rule.
The recipe for success for the Bulldogs in the series finale was small ball. The Bulldog offense managed six runs on 11 hits with nine of those hits coming in the form of a single. The only two extra base hits were doubles by Maile Deutsch and Taylor, who continued to swing a hot bat, going 3-for-4 with three RBI. Jones also had another multi-hit game, going 3-for-4 with two runs scored, and an RBI.
Brittany Baroni got the start for the Bulldogs in the circle. She picked up the win, working the first five innings and giving up three runs on ten hits with a pair of strikeouts and no walks. With no outs, and runners on first and second in the sixth inning, Coach Segovia elected to bring back Betker to finish the game. Betker picked up the save, pitching the final two innings and holding the Threshers scoreless on one hit.
Like game one, Bethel took the early lead in game two with two runs in the top of the second inning. A half inning later, the Bulldogs took the lead by putting up a three spot on the scoreboard. In the third, the Bulldogs added two more to extend their lead to 5-2. In the sixth, the Threshers scored a run to cut the lead to 5-3, but the Bulldogs got the run back in their half of the sixth to push the lead back out to three runs, 6-3, where would stay the rest of the way.
"It was nice to see our offensive have a big day," Coach Tony Segovia said. "One through nine was on today, and our pitching was good as well. We had a great crowd and beautiful weather made for a great day. Two big team wins today very proud of them."
With the sweep, the Bulldogs move to 18-13 overall on the season, and 7-3 through their first ten KCAC contests. They will be back on the diamond on Tuesday afternoon when they host the Bethany College Swedes out at Bulldog Park. First pitch of the doubleheader is slated for 2 p.m.