Bluejays grab second conference win


Tabor College pitcher Dorene Dodson fires to the plate early in the first game of the Bluejays? final double-header of the regular season. Dodson allowed only two earned runs, but lost 11-1.

The Tabor College softball team assembled its best stretch of the season for a set of six games in three days to close the regular season, but the Bluejays struggles with winning close games continued. Tabor came out on the short side of a 1-run difference three times before breaking through to win the finale, 4-2 over Sterling.

Tabor was swept by Southwestern and Saint Mary leading up to the split.

Sterling?The Bluejays allowed 11 runs before scoring their first, and dropped the opener 11-1 by way of 10-run rule.

Dodson?s start fell apart when Sterling broke though with a six-run first inning. She finished with four walks and seven strikeouts in five innings, and only two of the runs she allowed were earned.

Jessica Klose scored Tabor?s only run after after a singling in the fourth inning. As a team, Tabor notched six hits, but none went for extra bases.

Danielle Cronauer started the second game and went the distance. Taking a 3-0 lead in the third inning, Cronauer allowed 12 base hits, but chilled the Warriors for most of five innings before Sterling broke through.

Tabor recovered one run in the bottom of the fifth, and Cronauer did not allow another score to preserve the victory.

Dating back to the earliest records kept on the conference website, Tabor has never finished off its regular season with a win.

Saint Mary?Tabor played its most competitive double-header of the season against the team it will meet in the play-in round of the post-season tournament, but lost each games in the bottom of the seventh inning.

Behind a strong start from Danielle Cronauer, the Bluejays led 3-0 through two innings, 4-2 through three innings and held a 4-4 tie entering the top of the fifth.

But the Spires? superior pitching depth choked the life out of the Bluejay offense. After the Saint Mary offense failed to break a 5-5 tie in the bottom of the sixth, Tabor was unable to crack relief pitcher Alana Boeschen in the top of the seventh.

Cronauer notched one out in the final frame before the Spires broke though with the game winner.

Dorene Dodson?s solo home run was Tabor?s biggest hit of the night.

Dodson started the second game and carried an 8-4 lead into the bottom of the sixth. She recorded no outs before being relieved by Megan Wedal midway through a 6-run outburst by the Spires. But after Wedal stopped the bleeding, the Tabor offense rallied to restore a 10-10 tie.

Wedal notched two outs in the seventh before the Spires pushed the winning run across.

Boeschen allowed 10 runs in a starting role, but also finished the game to defeat the Bluejays.

Southwestern?Tabor?s week began with a 1-0 shutout loss to Taryn Ruud, who limited the Bluejays to four hits in seven innings to one-up starter Danielle Cronauer.

Cronauer scattered six hits, but could not keep leadoff batter Kelli Barnes off the basepaths. Barnes reached base three times and batted in the game?s only run?scored by Amanda Baughman in the top of the third inning.

With a double and a walk, Roxanne Rodriguez was the only Bluejay to reach base more than once.

In the second game, Barnes drove in three runs to help turn a 3-3 tie into a 15-6 Moundbuilders win. Ruud pitched all seven innings to win her team-high sixth game of the year.

Kezia Cabrera stole five bases and scored three times for Tabor, and Dorene Dodson notched three RBI on three hits.

Dodson lasted 6.2 innings and allowed all 15 runs?only two of which were earned, as the Bluejays committed seven errors to compound the ill effects of eight walks.

Coming?Tabor (2-14) meets Saint Mary (4-12) in the play-in round of the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference post-season softball tournament at 10 a.m. Thursday in Ottawa. With a win, the Bluejays would earn a shot at regular season champion Friends, slated for 2 p.m. the same day at a different site in Ottawa.

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