If you enjoy exciting softball, you would have love Thursday's doubleheader at Kansas City Kansas Community College.
Twice the Blue Devils came from behind, once in the bottom of the seventh in a 6-5 win and again in the sixth inning of a 13-8 nightcap in a sweep of Jayhawk Conference rival Allen County.
The sweep tightened KCKCC's grip on fourth place in the conference at 6-2 and improved the Blue Devils' overall record to 22-10 heading into a stretch of four doubleheaders in four days starting Saturday at Neosho County at noon. The Blue Devils stay on the road Sunday at Metropolitan-Maple Woods at 1 p.m., return home Monday to host Fort Scott in a conference twin bill at 2 p.m. and then go to Leavenworth Tuesday to take on Saint Mary JV, also at 2 p.m.
Freshman catcher Jennica Messer of Basehor provided the heroics in the 6-5 win Thursday, driving in four runs with a double and two singles. Trailing 1-0 in the fourth, Messer delivered the big blow in a four-run rally. After a single by Kaylee Arnzen and a pair of walks, Messer drove in all three with a double and then scored on a single by Hannah Redick.
Allen County re-took the lead 5-4 in the fifth, scoring the tying and go-ahead runs on a two-out bloop double down the right field line. Shay Grosstephen ignited KCKCC'S game-winning rally in the seventh with a single. Arnzen drew a walk and both runners moved up on a wild pitch. A single by Mackenzie Pinkerton tied the game with one out and with two down, Messer rapped a single into centerfield to score the winning run. "Just wanted to get a hit," said Messer. "Jennica had a great game at bat," said KCKCC Coach Lana Ross.
The rally made a winner out of Pinkerton (7-7), who gave up two runs and four hits in 2 2/3 innings in relief of Grosstephan, who allowed three runs on four hits before being relieved with one out in the fifth. Both Pinkerton and Grosstephan had two singles as did Redick in KCKCC's 10-hit attack.
KCKCC trailed 7-1 in the second game before scoring three runs in the fifth and seven in the sixth inning of the 13-8 win. Pounding out 15 hits, the 13 runs are the Blue Devils' most in the last 20 games dating back to March 16.
The Blue Devil attack included four home runs, two by Arnzen and one each by Redick and Grosstephan. Arnzen drove five runs with her two home runs while Redick drove in three with her home run and single. Britney Smith had three singles, Alexis Rymer and Grosstephan two apiece and Pinkerton and Messer one each.
Down 8-6 going into the bottom of the sixth, the Blue Devils quickly pulled even. Smith ignited the 7-run inning with a single and Redick tied the game with an inside-the-park home run. Arnzen then put the Blue Devils in front 10-8 with a two-run home run after Devin Purcell had been hit with a pitch. KCKCC then tacked on three more runs on a walk, a single by Alaina Howe and a double by Messer.
Pinkerton (8-7) also got the win in the second game after coming on in relief of Grosstephan with one out in the fourth. Grosstephan allowed four hits and four runs, one of which was unearned; Pinkerton allowed four runs on seven hits, striking out four and walking
PHOTO IDENT (A winner)