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Wertz Sets KJCCC Career Saves Record in Sweep of Busters


By Hutchinson CC Sports Information


HUTCHINSON, Kan. – Hutchinson Community College All-American relief pitcher Riley Wertz made Jayhawk Conference softball history on Friday at Fun Valley, after becoming the league’s career leader in saves.

Wertz collected her 14th career save in Hutchinson’s 4-0 Game 1 victory over Garden City in a series moved up one day because of frigid weather forecast for Saturday. Wertz hit a three-run home run and pitched the final inning in a non-save situation in Game 2 as the No. 17-ranked Blue Dragons completed the sweep with a 12-3 five-inning run-rule victory over the Broncbusters.

The Blue Dragons extended their current winning streak to eight games and improve to 23-4 overall and 11-1 in the Jayhawk. Garden City fell to 11-18 overall and 5-7 in the league. The Blue Dragons travel to Seward County on Wednesday.

Wertz tied the KJCCC career record for saves last Saturday with a save against Barton. That tied Cowley’s Randi Hamilton, who had 13 saves in 2017.

Wertz moved into sole possession of the KJCCC record for saves with a two-inning save against Garden City. Wertz entered the game in the sixth with Hutchinson leading 2-0. Wertz struck out the side in the sixth. He finished the game with four strikeouts and a walk.

Friday’s save against the Broncbusters was her fifth of the season. One year ago, Wertz led the NJCAA with nine saves.

Freshman Delaney Blakesley threw five shutout innings against one of the most prolific offensives in the league on Game 1.

Blakesley (2-0) retired 15 of the 18 Garden City batters she faced, including nine straight at one point. She allowed a pair of two-out singles in the second and a two-out single in the fifth.

Throwing 68 pitches over five innings, Blakesley struck out three and walked one to ern his second victory of the season.

The Blue Dragons had 10 hits in Game 1, but needed three two-out run producing hits to score against Garden City starter Lacey Kearsley.

The Dragons took a 2-0 lead in the first when Alexis Mastin singled through the left side of the infield to score Olivia Sandoval and Madison Grimes. Hutchinson took a 3-0 lead with Jaeleigh Darnell‘s two-out RBI single scored Mastin in the fourth.

The Dragons closed out the scoring when Aspen Goetz extended her hitting streak to 11 games with a two-out single to score Sandoval to make it 4-0.

Madison Grimes, Goetz and Mastin all had two hits to lead the Dragons in Game 1.

The Blue Dragons hit three home runs and got a combined 10 RBIs from Wertz, Mastin and Allie Stipsits in the second game victory.

After Kearsley homered in the top of the 1st to give Garden City a 1-0 lead, the Blue Dragons immediately reclaimed the lead with a second-run first inning. Mastin hit a two-run homer to left-center and Wertz launched a three-run homer to right-center. Sandoval and Grimes added RBI doubles and Hutchinson led 7-1 after one.

Stipsits’ three-run home run off the left-field foul pole boosted the Dragon lead to 11-2 after two innings.

The Dragons had 14 total hits with three homers and four doubles.

Wertz led the Dragons going 2 for 3 with four RBIs. Mastin was 2 for 3 with three RBIs and two runs. Stipsits was 2 for 3 with a homer and three RBIs.

Sandoval had a pair of doubles in a 2 for 3 performance with two runs and an RBI. Grimes was 2 for 3 with a double and RBI. Korri Lies also doubled.

Sophomore Morgan Pennycuff earned a victory in her fourth-consecutive start with four innings of work. Pennycuff allowed two home runs and five total hits and three runs. She struck out three and walked nine as she improved her record to 9-1.

Wertz pitched the fifth inning on a non-save situation.