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Ibarra and Aggie Softball Bring Home Two Wins from Winfield

Released by Panhandle State Sports Information on 03/02/2018 Senior pitcher Julia Ibarra holds a 7-3 season record after gaining two wins at Southwestern College.-Sydney Dougherty photo Senior pitcher Julia Ibarra holds a 7-3 season record after gaining two wins at Southwestern College.-Sydney Dougherty photo

Winfield, Kan.—The Aggies edged within one game of a .500 record (8-9) after gaining two road wins at Southwestern College on Wednesday. Panhandle State softball sealed a game one victory (11-4) in five innings, and took a one-run triumph (6-5) to eight innings in game two.

Centerfielder Jewell Lee remained reliable at the plate, taking six hits for four RBI and nine total bases over the two-game series. Lee plated four runs of her own in ten at-bats and held a .900 slugging percentage to lead the team. The freshman added extra bases with a double in game one and a triple in game two. The Aggies saw solid performance from another freshman, third baseman Jaylinn Reyes. Reyes held a team-high batting average (.625), going 5-8 at the plate with two runs and two RBI; she also went 1-1 in stolen base attempts.

Wednesday's first matchup saw the Aggies start off strong, taking two hits for two earned runs in the first inning. Jewell Lee led off with a single and advance on a sac-bunt by Karah Ortiz; Lee then moved to third on a walk by first baseman Brooklyne Bolton followed by a long single to right-center from Jaylinn Reyes. Reyes proceeded to steal second, and Bolton was pushed through on a sacrifice fly by short stop Jena Konieczka for the Aggies second run of the inning.

Senior Julia Ibarra led off in the circle for Panhandle State and gave up two hits and one run in the bottom of the first. Ibarra scored the Aggies' lone run in the top of the second after being hit by a pitch to reach base and advancing on a single by Lee, walk by Ortiz and single by Bolton. Solid fielding by the Aggie defense left the Moundbuilders empty-handed in the second inning to give the Aggies a 3-1 advantage. Panhandle put up two more runs in the third inning as catcher Haleigh Scott and left fielder Chrislyn Dovers started things off with singles. Batting DP, Lindsay Jacobs came through with a sac-bunt to move both runners up. With one out, Lee knocked a double to deep center bringing in Scott and Dovers for the 5-1 lead. Southwestern brought in one run in the bottom of the inning to pull within three of the Aggies.

The fourth inning brought 12 Aggie batters to the plate starting with Bolton who reached base on an infield error by Southwestern. A single from Reyes, walk by Scott and hit batter sent Bolton home for the first of six runs scored in the inning by Panhandle State. Reyes came through on a single by Lindsay Jacobs, and was backed by a fielder's choice play from Ibarra that sent Scott through for run number three. A single from Lee scored Dovers, and Lee would follow Ibarra on singles by Bolton and Reyes respectively. The Moundbuilders managed one run in the bottom of the fourth due to an Aggie error with two outs on the board.

Panhandle State sent five up in the fifth, taking three strikeouts and leaving one runner on base for zero runs. Southwestern brought in one last run in the bottom of the fifth inning, but were contained by Ibarra and effective fielding by the Aggies. Ibarra gained her sixth win of the season, facing 34 batters and taking 12 hits and three earned runs in the five-inning stretch.

Ibarra would gather another win in game two, as she entered in the sixth inning for starting pitcher Lindsay Jacobs. Jacobs faced 29 batters over her six-inning stint and gave up eight hits and one earned run on her watch.

Jacobs held the Moundbuilders scoreless through the first two innings, allowing just one hit in each inning. The Aggies added one run each in the innings one and two, opening with an RBI single from Jena Konieczka to score Jewell Lee in the first. Jacobs scored the second run of the day for Panhandle State, reaching base on a lead-off single in the second. Southwestern took down three Aggie batters in a row to start the third, and the Moundbuilders would bring in one run in the bottom half of the inning. An empty fourth left the Aggies in the lead by one run (2-1) going into the fifth inning. A double from Konieczka sent Jaylinn Reyes home to nudge a 3-1 led for the Aggies. The Moundbuilders took three hits for three runs scored in the bottom of the fifth to gain a 4-3 edge. Panhandle left one runner on base in the sixth, producing an empty inning. Southwestern stranded two in the fifth to leave the score at 4-3 going into inning seven.

A lead-off single from Ortiz followed by a single from Reyes with one out, put two Aggies on base to start the seventh. Brileigh Murphree and Abby Gregory stepped in to pinch run for Ortiz and Jacobs (respectively), and Murphree scored the tying run for the Aggies with two outs on an RBI single from Haleigh Scott; pop-fly to second base ended the inning with an even score. Ibarra allowed zero hits and zero runs in the bottom of the seventh, prompting the International Tie-Breaker rule.
The Aggies placed Jacobs at second base to start the eighth inning. Two consecutive outs followed bringing heavy-hitter Jewell Lee to the plate. Lee came through with a big triple to bring in Jacobs, and Lee would soon score on a single by Karah Ortiz. Panhandle State closed out the top of the inning with a 6-4 advantage. The Moundbuilders pulled through their second-base runner with the help of an Aggie error and a single. A fielder's choice play brought the first out, and a double play from Reyes to Bolton ended the game in favor of the Aggies.

Panhandle State Softball will host a non-conference doubleheader against Sterling College (4-6) of the KCAC this Saturday, March 3 at Noon. Games will offer live stats to fans with an online link available at opsuaggies.com. The team re-enters Sooner Athletic Conference play on the road next week with games at Oklahoma City March 8 and at Southwestern Christian March 9-10.