GREAT BEND — Following a 4-2 win over sixth-seed Tabor College Thursday afternoon in the first round of the KCAC Tournament, the No. 3 seed Bethany College softball team next faced No. 2 seed Ottawa University. The Swedes lost 9-7 to Ottawa, and then were upset 3-0 by No. 5 seed Saint Mary in the loser’s bracket, ending their season.
The Swedes struck first against Ottawa, scoring one in the top of the first. Jasmine Zaker singled and Mariana Cerenio-Jordan reached on a bunt single. Zaker was thrown out at home on a first-and-third play, and Cerenio-Jordan advanced to third, eventually scoring on a ball off the bat of Kelli Traffas.
However, Ottawa pounded four runs in the bottom of the first to lead by three. Bethany answered with one run in the top of the second. Courtney Davis doubled, moved to third on a wild throw and scored on a passed ball.
The Braves added five runs in the bottom of the third to lead 9-2. In the top of the fourth, the Swedes found their way back to the scoreboard. Ashley Nicolich (SR/Modesto, CA) tripled to right and scored on a groundout by Davis.
Bethany went back to work in the top of the fifth. After two outs, Ashley Montoya roped a solo home run. Traffas singled, stole second and scored on a single by Jordan Blakesley. A Nicolich double scored Blakesley, and a single by Davis plated Nicolich to cut the deficit to two.
After a scoreless sixth inning, Bethany was unable to score in the seventh.
Nicolich went 2 for 4 with two runs and one RBI, while Davis and Montoya each had two hits, one run, and one RBI. Blakesley added one hit, one run, and one RBI as Cerenio-Jordan and Traffas each contributed one hit and one run.
Stephanie Minder started in the circle for the Swedes, throwing two innings and allowing five earned runs off five hits and four walks, striking out two. Montana Bailey pitched 1/3 inning in relief, allowing three earned runs off three hits and two walks. Kierstin Stolley (SO/Denver, CO) came in as relief, throwing 3 2/3 innings and allowing zero runs off one hit and two walks, striking out one.
Following the loss to Ottawa, Bethany next faced the University of Saint Mary Thursday night.
After two scoreless innings, the Spires plated two runs on a double in the bottom of the third to hold a 2-0 advantage.
The Swedes were held scoreless in the fourth, fifth and sixth. Saint Mary scored one in the bottom of the sixth to extend its lead to three. Bethany was unable to score in the seventh as it lost 3-0, ending the season.
Montoya and Traffas had the only hits for the Swedes.
Stolley pitched the complete game for Bethany, allowing three earned runs off six hits and one walk, striking out five.
The Swedes ended KCAC regular season play in third place at 12-6, and complete the season at 32-24 overall. The 2014 season marks the seventh consecutive season Bethany has finished third or higher in the KCAC, and its third straight 30-win season.