DCCC Softball: Conqs Sweeps Sophomore Day with Wins Over Northwest Kansas Tech

Joe Penno
DCCC Sports Information Director

The Dodge City Conquistador softball team welcomed the Northwest Kansas Tech Mavericks to Legends Park for a doubleheader to celebrate sophomore day for the Conqs. Coach Howie Smith's squad got the job done with an 11-2 run-rule victory followed by a 6-3 win on Saturday afternoon.

"First and foremost, I'm happy we were able to play well and come away with two victories for our sophomores," said head coach Howie Smith. "From a softball perspective, it was nice to see that we kept our hands back and utilized the big parts of the field with line drives. We have been so impatient the last couple of weeks committing too early in the swing and not driving the ball. Hopefully today helped some players build some confidence for the next six games before we start the region tournament."

The Conquistador offense opened up the day with a 3-0 1st inning to set the tone of game one early.  After Kalei Villegas got on base with a single, the Conquistadors used three consecutive RBI-doubles by AJ Poell, Madyson McCage, and KarliAnn Bauer to score three runs. The Mavericks responded with an RBI-single in the 2nd but it wouldn't be enough to keep pace with the Conquistador offense in game one.

Pitcher Danika Utajara got in the mix with a homer to left field in the 3rd to extend the lead to 5-1. The Conqs pushed their lead to 8-1 after the 5th, including a rare steal of home by McCage.

The Mavericks pulled within six at 8-2 off a solo home run in the top of the 6th, but the Conquistadors scored three in the home half of the 6th to evoke the run rule. Utajara hit a two RBI-single to push the score to 11-2 and give the Conquistadors the win.

Utajara went 6.0 innings giving up six hits, two earned runs, zero walks and striking out six. The win improves her record on the season to an even 7-7.

Game two saw the Mavericks push the Conquistadors a bit more, but some clutch hitting in the later innings proved to be the difference as the Conqs escaped game two with a 6-3 victory.

Down 3-1 heading into the bottom of the 3rd inning, the Conquistadors would score in four consecutive innings while holding the Mavericks scoreless in their last four innings at the plate.

Madyson McCage hit a triple to score AJ Poell for the Conq's lone run in the 3rd, making the score 3-2.

Caroline Stephenson hit a solo homer in the 4th to tie the contest at 3-3 and Makayla Garcia gave the Conqs the lead for good in the 5th with an RBI single to score Poell again to go ahead 4-3.

Dodge City scored two more insurance runs in the 6th, but wouldn't need them thanks to a gem pitched by sophomore Makayla Kolojay. Kolojay went the full 7.0 innings, surrendering five hits, only one earned run, and striking out six. The win moves her record to 7-7 overall.

The Conquistadors improve to 14-16 on the season and 9-11 in KJCCC play. They sit just a game behind their next opponent, the Seward County Saints, for 3rd place in the Jayhawk West. The Conqs are back in action on April 29 when they travel to Seward County for an afternoon doubleheader. First pitch is set for 2 p.m. in Liberal, Kansas.