LINDSBORG — Bethany College’s softball team sent a message to the rest of the KCAC on Tuesday when it opened the conference portion of the schedule with an 8-3 and 7-0 sweep of reigning champion and No. 24-ranked Friends University.
“These were two big wins and a great start to conference play," Bethany coach Janice Esses said. "Our tough nonconference schedule has prepared us to compete at a high level. Our team has made great strides since the start of the season, and this is the time of year we want to be playing well. Friends always has a solid squad, so we knew we would have to play well both defensively and offensively to compete with them. We are very proud of our pitchers' performances as they shut down a strong offensive Friends team."
In the first game, Ashley Montoya led the Bethany bats by going 2 for 3 with one run and three RBIs. Kelli Traffas homered and added two RBIs ,while Emily Causey and Mariana Cerenio-Jordan each scored two runs. Jasmine Zaker tacked on two hits and two runs as Stephanie Minder contributed a homer.
Minder pitched the complete-game win for the Swedes, allowing three earned runs off six hits and four walks, striking out two.
In the second game, Traffas and Ashley Nicolich homered to spark the Swedes to the win.
Traffas led the Swedes with a three hits, three RBIs and three runs. Nicolich had two RBIs.
Montana Bailey got the start in the circle for Bethany, throwing four innings and allowing zero earned runs off four hits and two walks, striking out two. Kierstin Stolley came in as relief, pitching two scoreless inning, allowing two hits and striking out two.
The Swedes are 19-16 overall, winning 13 of their last 15 games. They return to action on Saturday as they host KCAC foe and cross-town rival Kansas Wesleyan University for a 1 p.m. doubleheader.