T-Birds' offense erupts in Game Two win over Allen County

Cloud County freshman Jacie Marcotte finished with four hits, including a home run, and six RBI during Monday's doubleheader.
Cloud County freshman Jacie Marcotte finished with four hits, including a home run, and six RBI during Monday's doubleheader.

IOLA, Kansas — The Cloud County Community College softball team shook off a tough Game One on Monday against Allen County Community College, rolling to a 13-2 victory in Game Two to earn a split with the Red Devils.

The T-Birds (10-26 overall, 3-15 Region VI) bounced back after a 10-2 loss in five innings to begin the day by flipping the script on Allen County (11-28 overall, 6-12 Region VI) with a five-inning drubbing in the nightcap.

"It was good to be able to get the split. You could tell we had a couple off days with how we played in Game One, but I was proud of how we responded," said Cloud County head coach, Aaron Acree. "

Cloud County tallied 10 hits and capitalized on four Allen County errors in Game Two, while receiving big performances from a handful of T-Birds up and down the lineup.

Freshman pitcher Mattison Hogrefe and freshman first baseman Jacie Marcotte each launched two-run home runs, with Hogrefe's coming in the first inning to get Cloud County on the scoreboard and Marcotte's shot that concluded the scoring in the top of the fifth.

For Hogrefe, the home run was her third in her last four games and fifth of the season.

As for Marcotte, who finished 3-for-4 with a team-high four RBI, the home run gave her five long balls on the year and upped Cloud County's team total to 18 after finishing with just four a season ago and 13 home runs in 2016-17.

"Mattison is swinging the bat very well right now and it was nice to see Jacie break out and come alive again," Acree said. "The ability to hit a home run with this team has been a huge asset when we've been able to do things the right way. When we catch the ball out front and can get base runners on, they help in a hurry."

Sandwiched between the home runs to begin and end Game Two for the T-Birds was a balanced attack that saw Cloud County score at least two runs in each of the five innings, with five different players recording a hit.

Freshman second baseman Mikayla Bletscher was 2-for-4 with two RBI and two runs scored, while sophomore Kelsey Bowers was 1-for-2 with two RBI and freshman Kara Chisolm was a spotless 3-for-3 with two runs scored to help lead the offense.

"The best part about that was they all had great at-bats. They were working the count and then coming though with solid hits," Acree said, adding the performances were especially important given the fact Cloud County was without starting designated hitter Sarah Mccown on Monday. "I didn't know what to expect after we lost Sarah with a rolled ankle, but those girls helped pick it up."

In the pitcher's circle, Hogrefe was solid en route to picking up her sixth win of the season as she limited Allen County to two runs on five hits while striking out six.

As for Game One, a tough first inning put the T-Birds behind the 8-ball to begin the day as they trailed 5-0 after the first inning and were unable to gain traction, offensively, until it was too late.

Cloud County's two runs came in the top of the fifth inning, courtesy of a double off the bat of Marcotte, giving her a total of four hits and six RBI on the afternoon.

Up next for the T-Birds will be Sophomore Day this Thursday against Fort Scott Community College. Game times are set for 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. at the campus field.

"Hopefully we play well, put it all together and go into those games ready to compete and get out of there with two wins," Acree said. "Then we'll see what the postseason brings."