Nationally ranked Cougars sweep McCook
The 13th-ranked Western Nebraska Community College softball team recorded four home runs in claiming a conference doubleheader over McCook Community College Wednesday afternoon at Volunteer Field in Scottsbluff.
Kasey Cash blasted her 10th home run of the season as the Cougars captured a 10-4 win in the first game. WNCC smashed three more runs in the second game, including a grand slam from Jennifer Cottle in capturing the 11-1 win.
Cottle, a freshman from Lehi, Utah, finished the two games going 5-for-8 with four runs scored, seven RBIs, a double and a home run. Cottle had all seven of her RBIs in the second game.
Still, with the offensive output the Cougars showed on Wednesday, Cottle said they weren't at their best but getting the two wins was huge for this team.
"We played pretty good, but we didn't play our best," Cottle said. "We struggled a few innings but overall we did pretty good."
The Cougars did allow some runs and base runners, but it wasn't enough to spoil a win. In fact, the Cougars offense was unstoppable as they combined for 28 hits in the two games with nine going for extra base hits.
Cottle said this team is dangerous at the plate from top to bottom.
"We are real big offensively," she said. "We work hard in the batting cages every day and then we come out big on the field with offense"
In the first game, the Cougars had 14 hits with five extra base hits, including a home run by Cash, and one double by Cottle and three from Mariah Shepherd.
The offensive slugfest started early as the Cougars scored four times in the first inning as Shepherd had a 2-run double for a 4-1 lead. McCook came back to tie it with three in the third.
The tie was short lived as WNCC scored four times in the bottom of the third as Duran, Cottle and Shepherd had three straight singles. Cash then came up and blasted a 3-run home run for an 8-4 lead.
WNCC added two more in the fourth as Duran singled and scored on a Cottle double. Shepherd followed with a run-scoring double for the 10-4 lead.
WNCC had three players finish with three hits in the contest. Duran went 3-for-3 with three runs scored and two RBIs. Cottle and Shepherd each went 3-for-4. Cottle had three runs scored and a double, while Shepherd had five RBIs, one run scored, and three doubles.
Kayla ROmey and Danielle Hearn also picked up to hits in the game. Romey also had three stolen bases.
Duran picked up the win in the circle. Duran went seven innings, allowing four runs on nine hits while striking out six.
In the second game, the Cougars received a sterling outing in the circle from Ravae Herrera. Herrera went six inning in allowing three hits, striking out four, and allowing just one home run. The run she allowed was a first-inning solo home run. After that, the freshman from Pueblo, Colo., kept the McCook batters at bat.
The Cougar offense also provided her with lots of run support finishing with 14 hits with three home runs.
WNCC scored its first run in the first as Angel Council scored on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Cottle. Duran then put the Cougars in front with a solo home run in the second for a 2-1 lead.
The Cougars went up 6-1 with four runs fourth on five singles. Shelby McGraw then pushed the lead to 7-1 with a solo home to center field in the fifth innings. The Cougars finished off the contest in the sixth. ROmey earned a walk followed by singles by Council and Duran to load the bases. Cottle then drove a pitch to left centerfield for the game-ending grand slam.
WNCC had five players finish with multiple hits. Council and Duran each had three hits. Duran went a perfect 3-for-3 with two runs scored and home run. Council had two runs scored and a RBI. Romey, Cottle and McGraw each had two hits. Cottle went 2-for-3 with a run scored, a home run and seven RBIs.
The Cougars, 19-4 overall and 5-1 in conference play, will be back in action today with a doubleheader against Dawson Community College beginning at 3 p.m. at Volunteer Field.
McCook 103 000 0 -- 4 9 1
WNCC 404 200 x -- 10 14 3
WP -- Bianca Duran; 2B -- Jennifer Cottle, Mariah Shepherd 3; HR -- Kasey Cash
McCook 100 000 0 -- 1 3 0
WNCC 101 414 x -- 11 14 0
WP -- Ravae Herrera; HR -- Duran, Cottle, Shelby McGraw.
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