ATCHISON — Bethany College's softball team swept Benedictine College 16-3 and 7-6 in eight innings on Monday.
"We have continued to stay strong offensively, which allowed us to get two wins against Benedictine today," Bethany coach Janice Esses said. "It allowed us to battle back and gain back runs that our defense errantly gave up in game two. We are working to bounce back after an error and recover, instead of just letting things snowball. We executed well in our first extra-inning win of the season. We have won a lot of different ways in our non-conference schedule, and we feel that going into conference play next week, we shouldn't be surprised by a situation."
The Bethany bats came out hot in game one, fueling a 5-0 early lead for Bethany. Jasmine Zaker singled, stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch while Mariana Cerenio-Jordan walked and stole second. Kelli Traffas put the Swedes on the board with a three-run homer to center field. Ashley Nicolich singled and Courtney Davis reached on a fielder's choice as Nicolich scored on a Benedictine miscue. Stephanie Minder and Emily Causey then roped consecutive singles, scoring Davis.
After holding Benedictine scoreless in the bottom half of the inning, the Swedes went back to work at the plate. Ashley Montoya doubled and scored on an RBI single by Traffas. Nicolich got on first on a hit by pitch and Jordan Blakesley reached on a fielder's choice, loading the bases. Davis walked, scoring Traffas, and Minder singled, scoring Arianna Galvan , who pinch ran for Nicolich. A Causey RBI single scored Blakesley, extending the Bethany lead to 9-0. Zaker reached on a fielder's choice and Cerenio-Jordan was hit by a pitch, scoring Minder. A double by Montoya cleared the bases, scoring three as the Swedes led 13-0. Montoya scored on a Raven error off the bat of Traffas, and Traffas stole second before scoring on a Blakesley single, giving Bethany a 15-0 lead.
Benedictine plated one run in the bottom of the second on a solo home run. The Swedes were unable to score in the third, and the Ravens scored two more to cut the Bethany lead to 15-3.
After a scoreless fourth, the Swedes added another run on a solo homer by Minder.
Montoya and Traffas combined for four hits, five runs and seven RBIs, while Minder and Causey combined for six hits, four RBIsand three runs. Zaker added two hits and two runs while Cerenio-Jordan tacked on one hit, one RBI and two runs. Blakesley and Davis contributed one hit, one run, and one RBI apiece while Nicolich had one hit and one run. Cerenio-Jordan and Traffas each recorded two stolen bases as Zaker and Causey had one apiece.
Minder threw the five-inning victory for Bethany, allowing two earned runs off four hits, striking out one.
Benedictine struck first in game two, taking a 2-0 lead in the first inning. The Swedes tied the game in the third as Cerenio-Jordan reached on a fielder's choice, Montoya and Traffas got on via consecutive walks, and Nicolich smacked a single to score Cerenio-Jordan and Montoya.
The Ravens regained the lead in the bottom half of the inning, plating one run. However, Bethany responded in the top of the fourth as Causey singled and scored on a RBI triple by Zaker, tying the game at three.
After a scoreless fifth and sixth inning, the Swedes mustered some offense in the seventh. Montoya doubled and scored on a triple by Traffas. Traffas scored on a RBI groundout by Minder as Blakesley singled, Danielle Buecker pinch ran, and Montana Bailey doubled, scoring Buecker to give Bethany a 6-3 lead.
However, Benedictine worked its way back into the game, eventually scoring three runs in the bottom of the seventh to force extra innings. In the tiebreaker, the Swedes started with Causey on second. Zaker bunted Causey to third, and a RBI single by Cerenio-Jordan scored Causey for the go-ahead run. Montoya singled, but Cerenio-Jordan was picked off of second. Traffas singled, but a groundout ended the inning for Bethany, holding a narrow 7-6 lead.
In the bottom of the eighth, the Ravens also started with a runner on second. However, Benedictine popped up a bunt, popped up to shortstop, and grounded out to second to secure a 7-6 victory for the Swedes.
Montoya and Causey each tallied two hits and two runs while Cerenio-Jordan and Traffas totaled two hits, one run and one RBI apiece. Zaker, Nicolich, Minder and Bailey each contributed one hit and one RBI.
Bailey started on the mound for Bethany, throwing 6.1 innings and allowing five earned runs off seven hits and three walks, striking out four. Kierstin Stolley came in as relief and picked up the win, throwing 1.2 innings and allowing one hit, striking out one.
The Swedes are currently 12-15 overall. The squad travels to Peru State College on today for a 2 p.m. doubleheader.