BLUE DRAGON SOFTBALL
No. 15 Hutchinson (33-9) vs. Hesston College (26-23)
When: Saturday, April 28, 2018
Where: Fun Valley
Admission: Free to public
Game times: Game 1 – 2 p.m.; Game 2 – 4 p.m. (Game 3, 1 p.m. Sunday if necessary)
REGION VI-DISTRICT E TOURNAMENT
Opening Round (Best-of-3 series)
No. 1 Cowley – opening-round bye
Hutchinson CC Sports Information
One year ago, the Hutchinson Community College softball team came within one game of going to the NJCAA Tournament.
After a 33-9 regular season in 2018, the No. 15-ranked Blue Dragons begin the postseason on Saturday at Fun Valley with the hopes of taking that extra step.
The Blue Dragons will play host to the Hesston College Larks in the best-of-3 series at Fun Valley. Games 1 and 2 will be played on Saturday beginning at 2 p.m. A third game, if needed, would be at 1 p.m. on Sunday at Fun Valley.
The Blue Dragons enter play on Saturday winning 7 of their last 9 games. Hutch has the No. 4-ranked offense in the region with a .370 batting average and is scoring 8.0 runs per game. The Dragons have scored 10 or more runs 14 times this season. Hutch's 2.66 team earned-run average is the top mark in the region and 18th in NJCAA Division II.
Hutch has hit 47 home runs, which is the second most in program history, second in the region and fifth in the nation. Hutch is a perfect 73 of 73 in stolen base attempts this season.
All nine Blue Dragon starters in the batting order are hitting better than .300 this season led by Izzy Godinez, who is hitting .436 with a team-high 58 hits. Kameron Pope hit hitting .418 and Raven Bass is hitting .393. Bass has a team-high 14 home runs, one shy of tying the Dragon single-season home run record.
The sophomore pitching duo of D.J. Cannon and Destiny Schulze has been a solid 1-2 punch. Cannon is 17-4 with 162 strikeouts (fourth in the NJCAA) and a 1.91 ERA. Schulze is 12-5 with a 2.85 ERA with 74 strikeouts.
Hutchinson will face the nation's leader in strikeouts in Hesston's Ashley Yasin. She is 17-14 with a 2.69 ERA.
The Larks are hitting .305 as a team and are led by outfielder Lexi Avalos, who is hitting .394 with 56 hits. Sam Amarante is hitting .366 with 42 RBIs. Sierrah Long has a .357 batting average and team highs of nine home runs and 44 RBIs.
The Blue Dragons swept Hesston in a Region VI doubleheader on March 13 at Fun Valley. Cannon out-dueled Yasin in an 8-4 victory in the first game. Kiarra DeCrane had two home runs and Bass added a two-run homer as Hutchinson rallied from an early 2-0 deficit.
The Dragons trailed 3-0 in the second game, but rallied to win 10-7. Cassidy Prucha had a pair of RBI doubles as Hutch scored five runs in the fifth and three more in the sixth to rally.
The winner of the Hutchinson-Hesston series will play the Coffeyville-Allen winner next week at Hummer Park in Topeka.