KCKCC SWEEPS INTO REGIONAL SOFTBALL PLAYOFF SEMIFINALS
A pair of complete game pitching performances by freshman Leslie Ford has advanced Kansas City Kansas Community College into the semifinals of the Region VI playoffs.
Ford scattered nine hits in a 3-1 opening win over Neosho County Saturday and then followed it up with a 5-hitter in a 4-2 nightcap win.
The sweep sends the Lady Blue Devils (31-13) against No. 3 ranked Highland (36-8) Saturday noon at Topeka's Hummer Park. Independence (40-14) and Cloud (29-12) meet in the other noon semifinal. A double elimination tournament with the finals Sunday, the two winners and two losers will clash at 4 p.m. Saturday.
"Our pitching and defense did a great job in getting us out of some jams," said KCKCC Coach Kacy Tillery. Two of the three runs allowed by Ford came on solo home runs.
Neosho put runners on base in each of the seven innings of the opener but scored only in the first on a two-out home run. The biggest jam came in the seventh when the Lady Panthers loaded the bases on three singles before Ford ended the game with her 11th strikeout. Neosho also put the first two hitters on base in both the third and fourth innings but Ford escaped each time with a pair of strikeouts.
Trailing 1-0, KCKCC went ahead in the third, scoring twice on a walk, a two-out RBI double by Justice Scales and an error and then added an insurance run in the fifth on a bases-loaded walk to Amanda Holroyd after a walk and singles by Lacey Santiago and Meierra Morrisette.
Ford gave up just five hits in the second game and only two the final five innings, striking out five and walking one. Neosho took a 1-0 lead on an unearned in the first before KCKCC pulled even in the third on back-to-back doubles by Scales and Morrisette and then went ahead to stay on Holroyd's two-out, two-run double following a walk and an error in the fifth,.
Neosho closed to 3-2 with a home run in the sixth but the Blue Devils matched that in the bottom of the inning on singles by Megan Dike and Ashley Henington. The top three hitters in the KCKCC lineup, Santiago, Scales and Morrisette, each had a pair of hits in a 10-hit attack.