OTTAWA — The Bethany College softball team didn’t win the KCAC championship, but it determined who did.
Ottawa entered Tuesday’s doubleheader tied with Kansas Wesleyan for the KCAC lead at 13-3, but the Swedes played spoiler with 3-0 and 5-0 wins over the Braves to hand the title to their arch-rival to the north.
Bethany secured third place in the KCAC with a 12-6 record after starting 7-1. The Swedes have finished third or higher in the conference for seven consecutive seasons and compiled their third straight 30-win season as they improved to 31-22.
"We rallied our team to refocus and finish the season strong," Bethany coach Janice Esses said. "Today, we saw them respond to that. We talked about focusing on every play each inning and we saw them execute that. We believe that defense wins championships and that is what won us both games today. Now we turn our focus to the conference tournament."
Kiersten Stolley pitched the shutout in the first game, fanning five. Ashley Nicolich drove in two runs.
Stephanie Minder had a big second game, throwing a shutout and smashing a home run. Kelli Traffas added two hits.
Bethany next competes in the KCAC Tournament May 1-2 in Great Bend.