Tabor blanked by Coyotes in finals

Madison Byrd fires a pitch against Ottawa Sunday. Byrd threw a three-hit shutout to earn the pitching win and improve to 24-8 on the season. She walked one Brave batter and struck out nine. Tabor went on to lose to Kansas Wesleyan in the championship.The fourth-seeded Tabor College softball team concluded its season as KCAC tournament runners-up after losing to second-seeded Kansas Wesleyan in the championship game Sunday.

The Coyotes were a proverbial thorn in the Bluejays’ side all season—they were the only KCAC team Tabor did not defeat at least once.

Already having lost a 3-2 decision to Kansas Wesleyan in eight innings earlier in the tournament, this time Tabor succumbed 2-0.

The Coyotes scored one run off two hits and two errors in the first inning and scored a second insurance run in the sixth inning off one hit.

Tabor recorded three hits in the game—one each by Arizona Schraeder, Kerrigan Travens and Kaylie Felix—and stranded five base-runners.

Madison Byrd (24-9) absorbed the pitching loss. In six innings, she gave up three hits and two runs (one earned). She walked one batter and struck out four.

Kansas Wesleyan, with regular-season champion Ottawa—whom Tabor swept in both the tournament and the regular season—will advance to postseason play.

Tabor concludes the season with an overall record of 33-19.

Tabor 1, Ottawa 0

KCAC Tournament, Sunday

The Bluejays’ loss to Kansas Wesleyan meant a rematch with Ottawa in an elimination game. With a trip to the championship game on the line, Tabor earned the victory.

Madison Byrd (24-8) threw a three-hit shutout to earn the pitching win. She walked one Brave batter and struck out nine.

Tabor scratched the winning run across in the fourth inning. Kerrigan Travens, who was 2-for-4 at-bat in the outing, led off with a single, and later, with the bases loaded, Brittany Vankonynenburg chased home the winning run with a base hit.

Tabor out-hit Ottawa 4-3, but made three errors to Ottawa’s two.

Kansas Wesleyan 3, Tabor 2

KCAC Tournament, Friday

Pitted against the only team that swept the Bluejays during the regular season, Tabor suffered defeat in eight innings.

The Coyotes got on the board with a four-hit, two-run bottom of the second inning.

Tabor recorded its first hit in the sixth inning, then knocked out three more in the seventh. In that half-inning, Kerrigan Travens hit a single, then Araselly Vargas cleared the bases with a game-tying, two-out, two-run home run. Tabor stranded two runners on base.

The Bluejays recorded one hit and left one base runner on in the top of the eighth, then the Coyotes used three hits to score the game-winning run in walk-off fashion in the bottom half of the inning.

Dani Calder was 2-for-3 at-bat. Vargas had two RBIs.

Madison Byrd (23-8) absorbed the pitching loss. In 71⁄3 innings, she gave up 10 hits and three earned runs while walking one batter and striking out seven.

Tabor 8, Ottawa 1

KCAC Tournament, Friday

Tabor plated run support early with a three-hit, three-run first inning keyed by Brittany Vankonynenburg’s two-RBI single. Madison Byrd also hit an RBI single.

Each team scratched across one run in the fifth inning. Travens, who was 4-for-4 at-bat, led off the inning with a solo home run.

Byrd polished the win by hitting a grand slam to key the two-hit top of the seventh inning. She led the team with five RBIs and earned the pitching win, improving to 23-7 on the season. She scattered four hits and one unearned run over seven innings of work. She walked one batter and struck out 11 Braves.

The Bluejays swept the top-seeded Braves during the regular season, but Ottawa only lost two more KCAC games after that, ending the regular season with 17 consecutive wins to claim the title.

Tabor 1, Okla. Wesleyan 0

KCAC Tournament, Thursday

In Tabor’s first game, Madison Byrd (22-7) threw a two-hit shutout, walking no one and striking out seven Eagles to earn the pitching win.

The Bluejays, meanwhile, knocked out seven hits off Eagle pitcher Ashleigh Capps, including a third-inning RBI single by Brianna Quiroz that broke the scoreless tie.

Quiroz was 2-for-2 at-bat. Shanae Strate was 2-for-3.

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