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Despite split JCCC still leads conference race

Kerry Murphy has been a key run producer in recent weeks
Kerry Murphy has been a key run producer in recent weeks

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – The No. 12-ranked Johnson County Community College softball team opened a two-game series with Kansas City Kansas Community College Saturday afternoon with a 13-2 thumping, but did not complete the sweep, falling 5-3 in the second game. 

Despite the spit, the Lady Cavaliers remain on top of the Kansas Jayhawk D-II Conference standings at 13-3, ahead of Highland, Hesston, Kansas City Kansas and Cowley all at 11-5 and tied for second. 

In the opener, the middle of the order did a majority of the damage for Johnson County. Catcher Kerry Murphy and DP Kelsy Orender, the No. 4 and 5 hitters, each ripped two singles and a double and drove in three runs. Sophomore first baseman Jordyn Clough had one hit and drove in three and sophomore pitcher Kerrigan Dixon had two singles and two RBIs. 

Dixon also limited KCKCC to six hits with a walk and three strikeouts. With the victory, she improved to 10-3 on the season, and lowered ERA to 1.35, second-best in the conference. 

In the second game, freshman right-hander Hallie Henderson only allowed four hits, but each hit figured in the scoring for the Lady Blue Devils. Henderson pitched 4.1 innings, and allowed five runs, three earned with eight strikeouts. 

Freshman right-hander Kyleigh Lay pitched the final 2.2 innings. She did not allow a hit and strikeout five. 

Mackenzie Pinkerton kept JCCC's offense at bay, allowing just six hits, three runs and struck out eight batter, improving her season record to 13-7. 

Freshman leftfielder Kylie Hays and freshman DP Lenae Salinas was the Lady Cavaliers top offensive performers. Hays had a double and scored a run. Salinas had a single and double, drove in a run and scored once. 

Johnson County will host Iowa Western Community College in a double header on Wednesday, April 17 at 1 p.m. They close out the season with a pair of road conference double headers against Fort Scott Community College (11-27/1-13) Tuesday, April 23, and Hesston College  (24-11/11-5) Thursday, April 25.