by Austin Lockwood
With both teams riding four-game win streaks, the college’s softball and baseball teams find themselves in a good spot with records of 23-10 and 30-12 respectively. However, despite the impressive overall records, the teams are in starkly different positions when it comes to the conference standings.
While the men’s team holds the better overall win percentage (.714), they still require a lot of help in order to reach the top of the standings, as they are currently four games behind Neosho County (35-6 overall, 14-6 conference) with a 14-10 conference record.
The remaining schedule could be seen as a blessing as well as a curse in that regard, as the Cavaliers face only one team with a better overall record in Fort Scott CC (29-10, 15-9). While winning the four-game series for the regular season finale would certainly boost the team’s position, they will have to sweep both Highland CC (6-34, 2-22) and Allen County (21-17, 15-9) in the process.
The Cavs have the tools to do so, and they will be relying on the defensive side to continue their success. The college has the lowest earned run average (ERA) in the conference with 3.88 and have just under 40 more strikeouts than the next team with 390 as of April 11. They will need their pitching to continue its success, but their fielding will offer good support. If the Cavaliers can win the majority of their series against Fort Scott and Allen, they will at least stay in the chase for the KJCCC East Division championship.
The softball team finds itself in a much better position, as the team is currently tied with Hutchinson CC (27-5, 13-3) for second place behind Highland CC (29-7, 12-1) in the KJCCC East Division. This situation puts the fate of team in their own hands, as they still have a two-game series against Hutchinson coming up on Friday, April 15.
The women’s team will also need to continue producing results on the defensive side, as they currently hold the best ERA in the conference with a mere 1.93. Allowing less than two earned runs a game definitely helps when the team ranks in the middle of the pack on offense in almost every statistical category aside from hitting triples, where the Cavs are third with 18.
If the Cavaliers can sweep Highland, they will only need a Hutchinson loss to take sole ownership of the division lead. Things won’t be easy, but that is the life of top teams and it is much better than fighting when you need to rely on other teams to help you climb the board.
The softball team will first go up against Labette County (18-17, 11-3) on Tuesday, April 12 before they meet up with Hutchinson while the men’s team will play Southeast CC (18-14) on Tuesday before facing off against Highland on April 14 and 16.