Christie Betker threw a pair of complete games, striking out 17 batters in total, as the McPherson College softball team swept Sterling College, 6-2 and 2-0, in a Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference (KCAC) doubleheader Thursday night at the Sterling High School diamond.
Betker, who pushed her season total to 177 strikeouts, broke her own single-season mark of 160 set a year ago.
Game 1 McPherson 6, Sterling 2
The Warriors grabbed an early lead as Tiana Bonde led off the second inning with a solo home run.
The Bulldogs responded with a run in the top of the third as Kylecia Taylor led off the frame with an infield single, then scored on a triple to deep right by Taylor Hires-Caulk.
McPherson pushed the lead to 5-1 with four runs in the fourth. After loading the bases on a walk and a pair of base hits, Destiny Bacon and Taylor rapped back-to-back RBI singles to short. Taylor Perez and Hires-Caulk followed with consecutive sacrifice flies before Sterling finally got out of the inning with a groundout back to the circle.
The Warriors got one run back in the bottom half of the frame as Dominique Salgado doubled in Miranda Escalera.
The Bulldogs answered in the top of the fifth as Jenna Christensen scored on a Bacon RBI single. McPherson left two on in the sixth and one in the seventh but could not add to their lead.
McPherson retired Sterling in order in both the fifth and sixth innings and Betker worked around a one-out error in the seventh by striking out the final two batters of the game.
Betker took the win, allowing just one earned run on two hits and two walks while striking out 12.
McPherson had 11 hits, including two each from Ali Smith, Bacon and Taylor. Bacon and Hires-Caulk each drove in a pair.
Christensen hit a double, drew a pair of walks and scored twice.
Mia Luques took the loss in the circle for Sterling, while Salgado and Bonde each had a hit and an RBI.
Game 2 --- McPherson 2, Sterling 0
Betker and Stella DeLuca engaged in a pitcher's duel early on in game two with the Warriors stranding a runner in each of the first two innings.
McPherson didn't get its first base-runner until the third inning when Perez hit a one-out single to shallow right-center. Nothing would come of that base-runner, but the Bulldogs broke throuw for a pair of runs in the top of the fourth. Conrad led off the inning with a single through left side and stole second before coming around on a Maile Deutsch (Palmer, Texas, Ennis HS) RBI double. Christensen followed with another RBI double to score Deutsch, which signaled the end of DiLuca's night.
The Warriors got out of the inning with a couple of groundouts and a strikeout. Sterling loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom of the frame on a pair of walks and a hit batter, but Tiah Grass popped out to Taylor in foul territory to end the inning.
Betker worked around a walk and a single to open the fifth and retired the Warriors in order in the sixth. She struck out the first two batters in the seventh, then allowed back-to-back singles to put the game-tying run in scoring position but Escalera popped out to short to end the game.
Betker struck out five while scattering four hits and five walks in the complete-game shutout.
Deutsch had two hits, including a double, and an RBI to lead the Bulldogs offensively.
DiLuca took the loss, allowing two runs on four hits while pitching into the fourth. Byanka Diosdado gave up just two hits and walked one while striking out three.
Chica Bati had two of Sterling's four hits from the leadoff spot in the order.