The No. 13-ranked Crowder Lady Roughriders closed out an unbeaten season at home (25-0) and improved to 48-2 overall with a sweep Friday afternoon of North Central, 5-1 and 9-1 in five innings.
The Lady ‘Riders have road doubleheaders remaining against Kansas City Kansas, North Central, Labette, and Neosho County.
Crowder can achieve its third consecutive 50-win season with its next two victories.
In the 5-1 victory Friday, freshman Bailey Buffington gave another strong performance in the circle and she allowed one run (earned) on six hits with seven strikeouts and two walks over seven innings. Buffington improved to 21-2 overall with one save, a 1.37 ERA, and 175 strikeouts in 133 innings.
Shelby Chavers, Baylor Miles, and Morgan Montgomery each had two hits for six of the team’s nine hits and Kenzie Kallio, Kristen Wade, and Payton Wildeman rounded out the hits with one each. Chavers doubled. Wildeman drove in two runs and Chavers and Montgomery picked up the other two RBI with one each.
Like the first game of the doubleheader, Crowder fell behind 1-0 before scoring the rest of the runs and the Lady ‘Riders went big with eight runs in the fourth, then Montgomery’s double closed out the run-rule victory in the fifth.
Once again, Crowder proved strong in the circle, as Maddy Prough tossed a one-hitter and she struck out two and walked none. Prough improved to 19-0 overall with a 1.07 ERA and 120 strikeouts over her first 111 innings.
Offensively, Chavers and Wade led Crowder with two hits each — Chavers batting in the leadoff spot normally filled by Lexi McClellan — and Dia Jackson, Lexi Lowrance, and Montgomery rounded out the team’s seven hits with one each. Lowrance joined Montgomery in the doubles department.
Crowder honored sophomores McClellan, Kallio, Wildeman, Wade, Montgomery, Lowrance, Carlee Silverest, A.J. Downey, Prough, Miles, and Aryn Scoggins, most of whom who have been part of more than 100 wins so far over the last two seasons.
Buffington ranks sixth in the nation in victories with her 21 and she’s tied with Chipola’s Brianna Bailey, Eastern Florida’s Katelyn Wilbert, and Chipola’s Amy Woodham. Prough is tied for 12th with Blinn’s Meghan Morris and Wallace State’s Meagan Schwieterman.
Prough ranks third in ERA at 1.07 and only Wallace-Dothan’s Baliee Dempsey (0.95) and Florida SouthWestern’s Kelsi Collins (1.05) have lower numbers. Huffington’s 1.37 ERA places her 10th.
Buffington and Prough rank 10th and 32nd, respectively, in strikeouts. All the pitchers ahead of Buffington in strikeouts have more losses.
Crowder ranks fourth in team ERA at 1.29 and third in strikeouts with 364 and second in Ks per seven innings with 8.38.
Crowder ranks ninth in team batting average at .399 and 15th in fielding percentage at .957.
Those stats were all before Tuesday’s doubleheader against Kansas City Kansas.