Taking part in his final home opener as coach of the Cowley College softball team, Ed Hargrove did what he has done more than 1,100 times in his 30-year career, lead the Lady Tigers to victory.
The No. 2-ranked Lady Tigers swept a doubleheader vs. Northern Oklahoma College-Tonkawa by scores of 7-0 and 9-7 Tuesday at Lady Tiger Field as they improved to 4-1 on the season.
In the first game, freshman shortstop Sarah Glass belted a three-run homer in the bottom of the fourth inning and sophomore second baseman Stephanie Couser added a solo home run an inning later as Cowley went on top 5-0.
Freshman outfielder Morgan Swisher, who went 3-for-4 with two RBIs and three stolen bases, added a two-run single in the sixth inning as Cowley went on to the 7-0 win.
Sophomore pitcher Jessica Seay (1-0) picked up her first win of the season by tossing a four-hit shutout. Seay struck out five and walked none.
"Jessica was very good, she was pretty much in complete control," Hargrove said.
Glass finished 2-for-3 with three RBIs and two runs scored, while Couser went 2-for-2 and reached base all four times.
In the second game, Northern Oklahoma scored a run off Lady Tiger starting pitcher Taya Haney in the top of the first inning, but Cowley answered with four runs on six hits in the bottom of the first. Couser had a RBI double in the inning, while Haney helped her own cause with a run scoring single before freshman first baseman Tiffany Isam came through with a two-run single.
However, the Lady Mavericks strung together seven straight two-out hits off Haney in the top of the second inning as they grabbed a 7-4 lead.
Sophomore Brooke Benge relieved Haney on the mound and pitched 5 1/3 scoreless innings of relief. Benge (2-0) allowed only one hit and has not allowed a run in 10 1/3 innings pitched this season.
"For her to come in and close the door gave us a chance to come back and win," Hargrove said. "I was so proud of her."
Cowley scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the second inning and tied the game at 7-7 on a solo home run by sophomore Jordan Haya leading off the bottom of the fourth inning. Swisher followed with a single, stole second, advanced to third on a single by Caitlyn Cosme, and came around to score the go-ahead run on a squeeze bunt by Benge.
The squeeze bunt was the first-ever called by Hargrove in his 30 years as coach of the Lady Tigers and it worked to perfection.
Cosme capped the three-run fourth inning by scoring on a RBI double by Rondeci Oliver.
Cowley had 14 hits in game two and 25 in the doubleheader. The Lady Tigers will remain home to play a doubleheader vs. Maplewoods Thursday at 2 p.m.
Krista Cummins, the coach at Maplewoods, is a former player at Johnson County.
"She has done a good job there and made them competitive," Hargrove said.
Score by inning:
Game one R H E
NOC 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 - 0 4 1
Cowley 1 0 0 3 1 2 x - 7 11 0
Game two R H E
NOC 1 6 0 0 0 0 0 - 7 10 1
Cowley 4 2 0 3 0 0 x - 9 14 0