Cloud County splits Saturday doubleheader against Labette

Freshman pitcher Sarah Teufel
Freshman pitcher Sarah Teufel

CONCORDIA, Kansas — The Cloud County Community College softball team split Saturday's home doubleheader against Labette Community College, earning a come-from-behind 7-3 win in Game One and dropping a tight 2-1 contest in the finale.

"We had a couple hiccups in that second game, but we'll learn from it," said Cloud County head coach, Aaron Acree. "We're playing good ball right now and that's what we expect."

Cloud County (11-9 overall, 4-2 KJCCC East) made the visiting Cardinals pay for five errors in Game One as the first four runs pushed across by the T-Birds were unearned.

After falling in a 2-0 hole through two innings, Cloud pushed across three runs in the third. Two straight errors put runners on second and third for freshman Jordan Ummel, who promptly singled to center and found her way to third after the ball slipped under the Labette center fielder's glove and rolled to the fence.

Ummel came home to score the go-ahead run two batters later on a sacrifice fly by sophomore Samantha Shafer.

Labette tied the game at 3-3 in the top of the fourth, but the T-Birds answered in the home half of the frame with an unearned run on a booted ball at second base, allowing freshman Nicole Dinkel to trot home.

Cloud County put the game away in the sixth on RBI singles from Dinkel and Ummel, and a run scoring fielder's choice off the bat of Jaycee Worrell.

Freshman pitcher Sarah Teufel turned in another great start for the T-Birds as she tossed her second shutout in as many days, limiting the Cardinals to three runs, none earned, on nine hits. She walked one and struck out two.

In Game Two, Labette was again able to strike first as it tallied two runs in the first inning on a two-run home run by Laura Pineda and made it stick in a 2-1 victory.

The silver lining in the series finale, despite the tough-luck loss, was the performance of sophomore pitcher Bayleigh Cope, who settled down after the first to go five innings, allow just the two runs on two hits, while striking out three.

It was a much-need bounce back effort by Cope coming off three straight outings where she didn't reach the fifth.

"It was huge to see Bayleigh pitch well again because it puts us all back together again," Acree said. "We can go on and win a lot of ballgames if we have all our pithers rolling on the mound."

Cloud County pushed across its run in the second on an RBI triple by Shafer. Unfortunately, one batter later, Shafer was cut down at home as she tried to score on a grounder to shortstop on a ball Acree said he believed was on its way to center field.

The T-Birds will have two-days off before hosting Independence at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. on Tuesday. Cloud County will be hunting a pair of wins to close out its eight-game home stand to begin KJCCC East action at 6-2.

"It'll be huge if we can get these next two," Acree said. "It'll make it a pretty successful home stand against the conference and that's what we have to do. We have to come out ahead in home conference games."