Courtesy of Dodge City Daily Globe
With the season coming to a close, Wednesday afternoon's regular season home finale against Central Christian was viewed as an opportunity to work on fundamentals, as well as work in a few players into the lineup due to recent injuries. The Dodge City Community College Lady Conquisatdors got exactly what they wanted, pounding the visiting Tigers 8-0 and 9-0 in two run-rule shortened affairs at Legends Complex. While they are preparing for a home playoff series with Hesston College on Saturday, and possibly Sunday, the Conqs were dealt with two big blows in their most recent action against Garden City. Both Sarah Penry (shoulder) and Shelby Dill (knee) will be out the remainder of the season due to injuries sustained in those games. "Today we were able to play two different second basemen, and I was hoping they would get some more action on the field, but we were able to make adjustments," said head coach Howie Smith. "At least we got 10 innings in today to work on a few things and we'll be ready Saturday." So Wednesday's action against the Tigers was a chance for Smith to insert some fresh faces into his lineup to see how he was going to replace the production of those two missing starters. "While I was hoping we could have gotten more work with ground balls, I'm not going to complain," Smith said. "We got out of here injury free, which was a key. We'll get back to work and start putting a gameplan in for this weekend." One of those players was Danielle Klassen, who managed to have her best game of the season during the opening contest. She led off the scoring in game one with an RBI single, scoring Mackensy Payne on a bunt to the pitcher. Then, with Dodge still clinging to that 1-0 lead, Klassen stepped up with runners on second and third. She proceeded to hit a laser over the left field wall, opening up the game for the Conqs. But, she was not done. In the fourth inning, a couple Tiger errors allowed her to step up to the plate with Rhiannon Beck on third. Just as she did the previous frame, she hit a line drive home run to left field, her second of the game. Klassen finished 3-for-3 in game one with two home runs and six RBIs, as the Conqs plated one more run in the bottom of the sixth to complete the win. On the mound, Alexis Walters tossed a masterpiece, going the full six innings and shutting out the Tigers. She allowed only five hits and struck out seven on the day.
In the finale, the Conqs wasted little time jumping all over Central Christian's pitching, as catcher Amanda Best opened up the scoring by launching her 17th home run of the season. Then, after two walks and a single, Kylie Newton lined a hard single to right field, scoring Haley Kollenz and Alisa Seaman. By the end of the first inning, Dodge City held a 5-0 lead and never looked back. They added one run in the second and third innings, and Cassie Volanti hit a 2-run double to center field in the bottom of the fifth to cap off the victory. Freshman pitcher Jaycie Morris was near perfect, tossing a complete game shutout, not allowing a hit until there were two outs left in the fifth innings. She ended up allowing two base knocks, walked two, and struck out for for the win. With the sweep, the Conqs continue their amazing turnaround, going from a 5-win team last year, to a 25-win squad this season. Now they will gear up for a playoff set with Hesston, which will begin at Legends Complex on Saturday at 2:05 p.m. "I just want our kids to have quality at bats, but for us it's going to start on the mound with Lex and Jaycie, and I know they'll do a great job," Smith said. "We can not allow to give Hesston four or five outs in an inning, we have to make the simple plays and get the outs we can get. Hesston is definitely playing better than the last time we played them, and it's going to be at least two tight ball games." The best of three series will begin on Saturday at 2:05 pm, with two games on the schedule. If necessary, both teams will play a third game at Legends on Sunday at 12:05 p.m.