CONCORDIA, Kansas — The Cloud County Community College softball team suffered a pair of KJCCC East losses on Friday to Johnson County Community College, falling by the final scores of 9-0 and 7-2 to the visiting Cavaliers.
Cloud County (7-9 overall, 1-3 KJCCC) came into the day riding a three-game winning streak, including a doubleheader sweep of Bethany College JV last Sunday that saw the T-Birds combine for 28 hits between the two games.
Unfortunately for the T-Birds, they were unable to get the bats going until late in the afternoon Friday as Johnson County's Kerrigan Dixon threw a five-inning no-hitter in Game One.
"We didn't show up in the first game. Our bats were flat and we can't do that," said Cloud County head coach, Aaron Acree. "The offense started to get better at the end of Game Two, but you can't wait 13 innings to get the bats going. We have to be more aggressive and jump on it early."
The T-Birds broke through in the fourth inning of Game Two as freshman outfielder Kelsey Bowers smoked a two-out double to right-center that allowed sophomore Nicole Dinkel to score all the way from first base, tying the game at 1-1.
Cloud County's momentum was halted the next half inning, though. Sophomore pitcher Jordan Ummel, who is 4-0 on the season with a sparkling 1.50 earned run average, was forced to leave the game in the top of the fifth inning with an arm injury.
"Hopefully Jordan isn't hurt too bad. We'll play it by ear and see what happens," Acree said. "Her injury kind of took the wind out of our sails. We needed to buckle down there and play really good defense and we ended up having a few errors in there and a key hit (for Johnson County). The inning snowballed."
Johnson County (11-7 overall, 6-0 KJCCC) would score five runs in the fifth inning to take a 6-1 lead, aided by two errors in the inning and a three-run home run by Shay Tolbert.
The T-Birds were able to generate some traffic in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings — their second run coming on a RBI sac fly by sophomore Autumn Adams in the seventh inning — but were unable to mount a comeback.
Freshman center fielder Shania Schraad paced the T-Birds with a 2-for-3 performance in the No. 9 hole.
Defensively, sophomore catcher Kayla West had a stellar Game Two as she threw out a career-high four base runners.
Freshman pitcher Alyssa Corpus was another bright spot on the afternoon as the southpaw worked two strong innings, allowing just one unearned run while striking out two.
It was an encouraging step forward for Corpus, who will be relied upon to pitch Saturday in the absence of Ummel when the T-Birds host Fort Scott Community College at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.
"She did a good job in there for us and we're going to need her ready to go again (Saturday)," said Acree, referring to Corpus. "It was good to see how she pitched and hopefully she can keep rolling."