Timely hitting and outstanding pitching propelled the Tabor College softball team to a doubleheader sweep of the University of Saint Mary April 4 in Hillsboro.
The Bluejays won the first game 1-0 and the nightcap 3-2. The victories pushed Tabor over the .500 mark for the season and extended their winning streak to seven straight games for Coach Suzanne Unruh and her squad.
In Game 1, Madison Byrd, coming off her second “KCAC Pitcher of the Week” award, was back in top form, blanking the Spires on three hits, three walks and eight strikeouts. It was the 13th complete game and third shutout of the season for the Bluejay sophomore, who is rewriting the Tabor pitching record books.
The game’s only run came in the bottom of the first inning. Byrd lead off with a walk, was sacrificed to second by shortstop Arizona Schraeder and scored on a single by catcher Kerrigan Travens. Travens went 2-3 at the plate to lead the Bluejays offensively.
In Game 2, Saint Mary scored a run off starter Hannah Jones in the top half of the second, but Tabor responded with three scores in the bottom half.
With the bases loaded, Byrd was hit by a pitch, forcing in the tying run. Schraeder followed with a two-run single to give the Bluejays a 3-1 lead. That’s all the support the Tabor pitching staff would need.
Jones held the Spires to two runs on five hits, keeping the Bluejays in the game. Marlee Baxter took over in the fourth inning and threw three scoreless innings of relief, allowed only one hit and one walk while striking out three.
Byrd finished the game with a clean seventh inning for her first save of the season.
Taylor Kathler and Schraeder each went 2-for-3 at the plate to lead the Bluejay offense.
Coming—With its three wins over Saint Mary, Tabor improved to 16-15 overall and 8-2 in KCAC play. The Bluejays were scheduled to take on Friends University in Wichita, but those games will be rescheduled because of weather. —Tabor College