Bluejay softball team picks up first two victories of the season

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN TOM STOPPEL
The Bluejays hosted Ottawa University Monday afternoon in KCAC action and lost both games by scores of 7-1 and 9-2.

Johannah Love took the loss in the opener while Cassie Borg absorbed the loss in the second game.

With the pair of losses, Tabor now stands at 2-15-1 overall and 1-5 in the conference.

Central Christian-The Bluejays split a doubleheader with Central Christian Saturday, winning the opener 8-6 but dropping the second game 14-13.

Pitcher Johannah Love went the distance in the first game to pick up the win, allowing nine hits to give Tabor its second consecutive win of the season.

“I’m pleased to see we’re hitting the ball and getting on base,” coach Tina King said. “Our hitters and base runners were a lot more aggressive today.”

In the opener, Central got on the board with a pair of runs in the fourth before the Bluejays erupted for seven runs in the fifth inning to take a 7-2 lead.

Tabor recorded five hits in the inning, including two by Clancey Kelley with the most damaging blow being a 2-run double to left by April Funk.

“We just figured out that if we were more aggressive on the bases that we could score,” King said. “We hit the ball hard and kept the pressure on them.”

After Central cut the lead to 7-4 in the fifth-despite no hits-Tabor extended its lead to 8-4 in the seventh when Sara Thiessen reached on an error and scored on a Kelley single.

“Clancey has improved 95 percent since the start of the season,” King said. “Clancey doesn’t have that much softball background, but she’s just soaking everything in right now. She’s such a good athlete. She learns everything you tell her and is able to use that knowledge on the field.”

Central managed two more runs in the seventh but came up short as Tabor claimed its second consecutive win going back to Tuesday’s win over Wesleyan.

In Game 2, Cassie Borg took the mound for Tabor in what turned out to be a slugfest.

Jacqueline Schnell doubled and scored in the first but Central answered to take a 2-1 lead after one inning.

Tabor responded with three runs in the third with Jessica Appelhanz and Love picking up runs batted in. But the Tigers scored four times in the bottom of the inning to lead 6-4.

April Funk walked and scored on a Schnell single in the fourth as Tabor whittled the lead to 6-5, then took a 7-6 lead in the fifth when Danielle Goossen and Thiessen both singled and eventually scored.

Tabor made it 10-6 in the sixth on four Bluejay base hits. Kelley, Schnell and Stephanie Stuber all scored.

Central tied the game at 10 in the sixth as the Tigers came up with five hits.

In the seventh, Tabor scored three runs, but the Tigers used four consecutive hits to produce four runs as Central captured the 14-13 victory.

“We played some different players in the second game because this was a non-conference game and we have two more conference games on Monday with Ottawa,” King said.

“I told the girls we needed to be patient. We did that today and it paid off for us. I was pleased with how the girls played.”

With the split, Tabor is 2-14-1 for the season.

Kansas Wesleyan-Tabor won its first game of the season Tuesday with a doubleheader split against the Coyotes in Salina.

The Bluejays lost the opener 4-2 before bouncing back for a 10-2 win in the second game.

“I think the girls know they can win and how they can play, so I know they won’t be satisfied with just one win,” coach Tina King said. “I sure don’t think either I nor the girls will be content because we still know how we’re capable of performing.”

In the opener, pitcher Cassandra Borg threw the first four innings before giving way to Johannah Love with the Coyotes on top 2-0.

“Jo came in with the bases loaded and did just a great job,” King said. “I was really impressed with how she got us out of that jam.”

Wesleyan added a pair of runs in the fifth inning to grab a 4-0 lead before Tabor tried to rally in the sixth.

April Funk led of with a walk and Sara Thiessen followed with a single. Both runners eventually scored without additional hits to slice the lead to 4-2.

Clancey Kelley singled with two outs in the seventh to put the potential tying run at the plate. But Porsche Davis struck out to end the game.

Tabor managed only three hits in the game while Wesleyan had eight. Love was strapped with the loss.

Tabor bounced back in the second game with one run in the second, two in the third and one in the fourth to go on top 4-0.

After Wesleyan tied the score in the fourth, Tabor regained the lead 5-4 in the fifth when Love singled with one out and scored on a Danielle Goossen double.

The Bluejays blew the game open in the sixth with five more runs on a hit batter, three consecutive walks, a single and two more walks.

Love picked up the complete-game win, allowing five hits in six innings.

“We played really well and didn’t commit very many errors,” King said. “We hit the ball really well and we were very aggressive and focused.”

Coming-The Bluejays are off until April 11, when they host Bethany College.

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