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Softball Dragons Force Decisive Region 6 Title Game After Win Over Butler

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By Hutchinson CC Sports Information

DODGE CITY, Kan. (BlueDragonSports.com) – Bolstered by a six-run first inning, the second-seeded Hutchinson Community College Softball team extended its season on Sunday afternoon in the Region 6 Tournament championship game at Legends Park.

BOX SCORE

Making their sixth Region 6 Tournament championship game appearance in program history, the second-seeded Blue Dragons defeated tournament top-seed and 13th-ranked Butler 12-3 in championship game No. 1 on Sunday. The Blue Dragons reached the title game with a 9-5 losers’ bracket final victory over Barton earlier on Sunday.

The Blue Dragons (45-10) and Grizzlies (47-9) will play in a winner-take-all championship game at Noon Monday at Legends Park. The winner earns an automatic bid to the NJCAA Division I Softball Tournament.

The Blue Dragons are in search of the program’s first regional championship since 1987.


BLUE DRAGON SOFTBALL

Hutchinson vs. Butler – Region 6 Tournament Championship Game
When: Monday, May 6, 2024
Where: Legends Park, Dodge City
Time: Noon
VideoKJCCC Network, Noon
X: @bluedragonsport

 

With the victory over Butler, the 2024 Blue Dragons set a new program record for victories, surpassing the old record of 44 set last season.

The Blue Dragons also snapped Butler’s 24-game Region 6 Tournament winning streak. The Grizzlies had not lost in the regional tournament since 2017.

The Dragons took charge right out of the chute with their first at-bat.

Alexis Mastin hit a two-run home run to left field to give Hutchinson a 2-0 lead just three batters in the inning. Mastin’s homer ignited a six-run first inning. Eleven Hutchinson players hit in the first inning. Madi Divis had an RBI single for a 3-0 lead. Brooke Backhaus, Tami Lozoya and Bailey Backhaus all followed with run-scoring singles to camp the inning for a 6-0 lead.

The first inning ended when centerfielder Korri Lies made a highlight-reel diving catch in shallow right-center field to strand a Butler runner at second base.

Leading 6-1 after two innings, Lies led off the top of the third with an inside-the-park home run. That was followed by Tami Lozoya scoring on a Butler error and a bases-loaded walk to Jaeleigh Darnell that capped a three-run inning for a 9-1 lead.

The Dragons scored one run after a bases-loaded walk to Lies scored Olivia Sandoval in the fifth. The Dragons scored two runs in the seventh when Madi Divis and Lies scored on wild pitches to build a 12-2 lead.

Freshman pitcher Dakota Lake pitched her seventh complete game of the season to become the third Blue Dragon pitcher to win 10 games this season. Now 10-3, Lake allowed six hits and three runs with three walks in seven innings. Her eight strikeouts against the Grizzlies gave Lake 195 strikeouts for the season. The Jayhawk Conference leader in strikeouts, Lake moved past D.J. Cannon (2017) into third place on the Blue Dragon single-season strikeout list.

The Blue Dragons out-hit Butler 15-6 on Sunday. The Dragons also took advantage of six Grizzly walks and five Butler errors.

Bailey Backhaus went 4 for 4 for the second time on Sunday – she was also 4 for 4 against Barton earlier on Sunday – and was on base in all five plate appearances. Backhaus scored two runs and drove in one run. With 86 hits this season, Backhaus is No. 4 on Hutchinson’s single-season hits list.

Brooke Backhaus went 3 for 5 with three singles, a run scored and an RBI.

Jaeleigh Darnell, Divis and Lozoya all had two hits.

Mastin’s first-inning home run was her 14th of the season and 22nd of her career. She tied Jamie Tanno (2010-11) for second on the Blue Dragon career home run list.