T-Birds take two from Hesston College on Tuesday

Cloud County freshman Shania Schraad had a three-run double and saved a home run in Tuesday's doubleheader against Hesston
Cloud County freshman Shania Schraad had a three-run double and saved a home run in Tuesday's doubleheader against Hesston

HESSTON, Kansas — The Cloud County Community College softball team swept an important Region VI Division II road series on Tuesday, downing the Hesston College Larks by the final scores of 4-0 and 8-5.

Sophomore pitcher Jordan Ummel, who improved to 7-2 on the season, was sensational in Game One, limiting Hesston (22-21 overall, 5-15 Region VI) to two hits and two walks while striking out five to lift Cloud County (14-18 overall, 7-11 Region VI) to a win in the opener.

That was hardly surprising for the T-Birds' ace.

Cloud County saved the shock and awe for Game Two as it rallied from a 5-1 deficit through five innings to steal the nightcap, 8-5.

The T-Birds exploded for seven runs on five hits in the top of the sixth inning to put the game on tilt, with the big blows coming from freshmen Shania Schraad and Payton Gillen.

With no outs and the bases loaded, Schraad pulled Cloud County within a run with a bases-clearing double. She scored one batter later on a RBI single from freshman Madison Hammond to tie the game at 5-5.

Two batters later, Cloud County took the lead for good on a two-run double by Gillen.

Freshman catcher Mikayla Leakey capped the scoring with an RBI single to plate Gillen and leave the Larks shell shocked, down 8-5.

"(Hesston) had shut us down to that point, so it was really nice to see us get going," said Cloud County head coach, Aaron Acree. "We started hitting the ball up the middle and to the opposite field. It's a recipe that scores runs."

On the mound, Hammond picked up her seventh win of the season with a workmanlike outing as she scattered 10 hits, allowed five runs and struck out one.

Hammond's defense played well behind her, highlighted by a leaping snag in center field by Schraad in the bottom of the sixth inning to rob what would have a game-tying, three-run home run.

As for Game One, the T-Birds did their damage early to give Ummel a lead to work with as they scored three in the top of the first and added a run in the top of the second.

Ummel, and fellow sophomores Nicole Dinkel and Alyssa Corpus, all took turns handing off the baton in the first inning.

After a leadoff single by Gillen, she scored on a Ummel RBI single. Dinkel followed with a run-scoring double before trotting home on a single from Corpus.

Cloud County will look to build off Tuesday's wins when it concludes its season-long eight-game road swing this Thursday against Independence Community College (3-49 overall, 2-20 Region VI).

 "It was good for us to get two finally," said Acree after Cloud County snapped a streak of splits to sweep first doubleheader sweep since March 11. "Hopefully it can be a momentum changer and get us going for what we have the rest of the week. We need to keep building on this and be ready to attack and score runs early on Thursday."