Hutchinson CC Sports Information
CHANUTE – With the No. 17-ranked Hutchinson Community College softball team staring a damaging Jayhawk East doubleheader sweep against it right in the face, sophomore Kameron Pope and freshman Natalie Semmel came to the rescue.
After Neosho County won the first game of Thursday's Jayhawk East doubleheader 9-6, the Blue Dragons trailed the Panthers by three runs entering the final at-bat of Game 2. Pope and Semmel both hit two-run home runs in the top of the seventh and then Pope ended the game with an unassisted double play to complete a 9-8 come-from-behind victory for a split.
Now four games into a six-game-in-three-day stretch – the Dragons are 3-1 in those games – Hutchinson is 27-7 overall, 12-6 in the Jayhawk East and 14-6 in Region VI-Division II. The Blue Dragons complete this stretch of games with a 2 p.m. doubleheader on Friday against Allen at Iola.
Trailing the second game 8-5 in the top of the seventh inning, Brynne Stockman reached base on an error to lead off the inning. Two batters later, Pope hit her first home run of the season to pull the Blue Dragons within 9-7. Ashton Reynolds then singled and Semmel followed that with a go-ahead two-run home run, her third of the year, to give the Blue Dragons a 9-8 lead.
But the heroics weren't done yet for the Dragons.
Neosho County loaded the bases in the bottom of the seventh with one out. The game then ended on one swing of the bat when Katelyn Stucky hit a line drive to Pope at third, who doubled off Ashlyn Riley at third for an unassisted double play to end the game.
GAME 2 RECAP
Trailing 1-0 through three innings, the Blue Dragons finally had a big inning in the fourth. Bre Johnson's sacrifice fly scored Pope to tie the game, and then Cassidy Prucha and Izzy Godinez hit back-to-back home runs. Prucha's was a three-run home run and Hutch led 5-1.
Neosho County answered with two runs in the fourth and then scored five runs in the fifth to lead 8-5.
Hutchinson's comeback made freshman Megan Davis (1-0) the winning pitcher. Davis tossed 2 2-3 innings of scoreless relief with three hits and two walks allowed. She struck out three.
The Blue Dragons were out-hit 15-12 in Game 2.
Pope led the Dragons going 3 for 4 with a pair of singles and her first home run of the season and extended her hitting streak to nine games. Bekah Roberts also had three hits. Reynolds and Prucha both had two hits. Prucha had three RBIs with her first career home run.
Destiny Schulze had a no-decision with 4 1-3 innings, allowing 12 hits, eight runs, but struck out five with no walks.
GAME 1 RECAP
Neosho County handed Blue Dragon starter D.J. Cannon only her third loss of the season. The Panthers were relentless in out-hitting Hutch 15-10 in the opening game.
After Johnsons' first career home run, a two-run shot, gave Hutch a 2-1 lead in the second, the Panthers answered with four runs in the third for a 5-2 lead after Sarah Wood hit a grand slam with two outs in the third inning.
The Blue Dragons tied the game at 4 in the top of the fourth with a three-run Raven Bass home run, but Neosho County answered right back with three runs in the bottom of the fourth to take the lead for good.
Godinez, Reynolds and Johnson had two hits each. Godinez hit a solo home run to lead off the sixth inning.
Cannon allowed season highs of 15 hits, nine runs and seven earned runs while striking out five and walking one.