ARKANSAS CITY, Kansas — The Cloud County Community College lost a pair of tightly contested games Wednesday to Cowley College, playing toe-to-toe with the No. 11 ranked Tigers as it fell 4-1 in Game One and 2-1 in Game Two.
While a pair of losses to end the conference schedule was not what the T-Birds (18-20 overall, 11-13 KJCCC) had hoped for, they are still in position to get their desired result of hosting a first-round playoff series with the KJCCC Playoffs getting underway on Saturday, April 29.
Cloud County currently sits in sixth plate, one game ahead of seventh-place Hesston College, which has two games left against No. 8 ranked Johnson County this Saturday. The Larks (24-20 overall, 10-12 KJCCC) would need to win each game against the Cavaliers to leapfrog Cloud for the sixth spot.
In Game One, the T-Birds had chances to get on the board early. They had a runner in scoring position in each of the first three innings — including a leadoff double in the second by sophomore outfielder Samantha Shafer — but were unable to produce the big hit. They'd leave seven runners on base for the game.
Cowley College broke the scoreless tie in the third inning with a solo home run by Peyton Wayland, then added three insurance runs in the bottom of the fifth to end what had been a strong start from freshman pitcher, Sarah Teufel.
Aside from two home runs that led to three of Cowley's runs, Teufel was solid as she limited the Tigers to four runs on six hits in her five innings of work.
Cloud County prevented the shutout in the top of the seventh inning when sophomore shortstop Leslie Schuetz drilled her third home run of the season to lead off the inning.
As for the nightcap, the T-Birds received another great start as sophomore Bayleigh Cope, despite allowing nine hits, was able to limit damage over her five innings. She allowed two earned runs and walked one, with her one mistake being the go-ahead home run in the bottom of the fifth inning by Cowley's Jolona Shield.
Shield's home run came one half-inning after the T-Birds had tied the score in the top of the fifth inning, following a leadoff single by Shafer, a stolen base, and a sacrifice fly off the bat of freshman Nicole Dinkel.
Cloud County had a chance to tie in the top of the seventh inning as Schuetz smacked a two-out double, but were unable to bring her home as Cowley starting pitcher Kacia Hitley closed out her complete game.
The T-Birds will look to snap their current four-game skid and head into the playoffs with momentum when they complete their regular season with a road doubleheader against Doane College JV on Tuesday. Game times are set for 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.