By Adam Kolb / Co-Sports Editor
Just when it looked like pitchers Sadie Loney and Sam Bailey would be the headliners from opening day of the Hutchinson Community College softball season, the Blue Dragon freshmen stole the show in Game 2 against Fort Scott.
Freshmen Madison Grimes and Easton Head each launched a pair of home runs while Cheyenne Collins and Madison Simoneau also left the yard to power the Blue Dragons to a sweep of the Greyhounds at Fun Valley Sports Complex. The Blue Dragon offense exploded in with six home runs, and a single-inning record 15 runs as Hutchinson roared to a 27-0 win in five innings.
The Blue Dragons’ 27-run outburst tied for the second most runs in modern day Blue Dragon softball history. The single-game record is 28 runs. The Blue Dragons are now 2-0 and earned their second-straight season-opening doubleheader sweep.
Men’s Basketball – The men’s basketball team held high-scoring Cloud County 40 points under its season average on Saturday at the Sports Arena. The Blue Dragons rode that defensive effort and a dominant paint performance to a 73-52 victory, sending the Thunderbirds to their third-straight defeat.
Hutchinson outscored Cloud County 44-26 in the paint and outrebounded the Thunderbirds 44-22. The combination of forwards Majok Kuath, Matt Mayers and Stephan Gabriel combined for 44 points and 22 rebounds. The Blue Dragons shot better than 50 percent in a game for the first time this season with 50.8 percent shooting (31 of 61).
The Blue Dragons were 3 for 11 from beyond the 3-point line and 8 of 12 from the free-throw line.
Hutchinson evens its Jayhawk West record at 2-2 and improves to 3-2 overall. They will travel to Independence on Wednesday.
Volleyball – Freshman Kristina Head reached double figures in kills in both matches and had a season-high blocking effort to lead the volleyball team to a split of two matches on Saturday at the Missouri State West Plains Grizzly Invitational at the West Plains Civic Center.
Head posted season highs of 11 kills and eight blocks in the five-set victory over Jefferson College.
Freshman Shadee Briggs and sophomore Jenna Thorne had double-doubles for the Blue Dragons. Briggs had 14 kills and 11 digs and Thorne had 12 kills and 12 digs.
Women’s Basketball – The No. 11 ranked women’s basketball team rolled to a decisive 76-44 victory over the Cloud County Thunderbirds on Saturday at the Sports Arena. The Blue Dragons turned in one of their best defensive performances of the season, holding the Thunderbirds to 30 points under their 74-point season scoring average. Cloud County only shot 21.6 percent from the floor and was 1 of 14 from 3-point range.
Hutchinson shot 49.2 percent from the floor, going 3 for 12 from the three-point line and 11 for 14 from the free-throw line. The Blue Dragons outrebounded the Thunderbirds 54-44. Hutchinson improves to 4-1 overall and 3-1 in the Jayhawk West. The Blue Dragons have won their fourth straight and fifth in the last six meetings with Cloud County.
Men’s Track and Field – The men’s track and field team earned its first four qualifiers for the NJCAA Indoor Championships on Friday at the Cowley Indoor Invitational. Sophomore high jumper Wyatt Thiel earned a second-straight trip to the NJCAA indoor championships. Thiel tied his career high of 6 feet, 6 ¾ inches. Sophomore distance runner and cross-country first-team All-American Teagan Flanagan posted a personal best and national qualifying time in the 5,000 meters. He finished second in the race, with a time of 15 minutes, 16.36 seconds, which is the third-fastest indoor 5,000 time in Blue Dragon men’s history.
The third qualifier was freshman sprinter Donovan Hines. He won the 60 meters in his debut as a Blue Dragon with a national qualifying time of 6.86 seconds.
The Blue Dragons have one more meet scheduled before the Region 6 Championships in two weeks in Pittsburg.
Women’s Track and Field – Sophomore Rebeca Raymundo won two events and placed second in another to lead the women’s track and field team in its first indoor meet of the season, the Cowley Invitational. Raymundo won the 60-meter hurdles and long jump and placed second in high jump. She posted a 60-meter time of 11.78 seconds and went 14 feet, 8 ¾ inches in the long jump. Raymundo also posted a PR in the high jump going 4-9 ¾.
The Blue Dragons are scheduled to return to Cowley on Sunday.