ABILENE, Kan.—The Abilene Cowgirl softball team played host to its intra-county rival Thursday afternoon and the Cowgirls were not very friendly hosts.
Abilene swept Chapman in two run-rule victories, winning the opener 11-1 in six innings and completing the run-rule sweep with a 10-0 win in five innings in the nightcap.
"We played two good games back to back," Abilene coach Don Nebelsick said. "The whole team did. They talked a lot better than they normally have been. They just were more relaxed and made plays better. They were just in the game more."
The Cowgirls broke open the first game when they scored two runs on three hits in the second inning and then batted around in the third inning, scoring four runs on three hits to build a 6-0 lead.
Abilene added three more runs in the bottom of the fourth, to push it to a 9-0 contest before the Lady Irish tallied a single run on a single hit and one Abilene error in the top of the fifth inning.
That lone Chapman run simply prolonged the game one inning as Abilene tallied single runs in the bottom of the fifth and sixth innings to make the 10-run limit after five innings.
The victory in the opener improved Abilene’s overall record to 8-7 on the season and 5-3 in the North Central Kansas League, but on a few times this season the Cowgirls have won big in the opener simply to turn around and lose in the second game of the doubleheader.
That scenario was one that Nebelsick talked to his team about in between the two games.
"One of our talks in between games was don’t let up," Nebelsick said. "Because, like I said, we have been here before. We have kicked butt the first game and then we have lost the next game and we don’t need that to happen tonight."
This time around, however, the Cowgirls did not lie down. They came out more determined, in fact.
The more determination showed when Abilene sent 13 batters to the plate in the bottom of the opening innings, scoring eight runs on four hits and one Chapman error.
Wildey, who struck out four and walked none in the opener, had all the run support she needed in the nightcap as she continued her dominance on the hill in the nightcap, as she gave up only two hits in the second game while striking out one and again walking nobody.
The Cowgirls plated single runs in the second and third innings and pushed across two runs in the bottom of the fourth to help secure the run-rule victory.
"Tonight we didn’t struggle at very much," Nebelsick said of his team after commenting that his team has struggled at times this season. "One of the things is just talking on the field and making plays. We have had way too many errors this year. Hitting, some times. Scoring runs, we weren’t hitting like we should and they kind of turned that around tonight."