Cole Deutschendorf
Co-Sports Editor

The Hutchinson Community College softball team has gotten off to a hot start this year, as the Blue Dragons currently sit at 4-0. They swept Independence in their doubleheader on Tuesday, which included a dominant Game 1 and a Game 2 comeback.

In the first game, the Blue Dragons had 14 hits, compared to the Pirates’ three. They scored early and often, winning 9-2.

The second game had a different start, as the Pirates got off to a 5-0 lead in the second inning. HutchCC tallied three runs in the third inning and five in the fifth. The fifth inning was particularly peculiar, which included two walks, an error, two runs scored on wild pitches, a bases-loaded single, and an RBI double.

The Blue Dragons had a strong showing in their first double header as well, picking up two Jayhawk Conference Player of the Week awards, as freshman Riley Wertz was the Week 1 Pitcher of the Week and sophomore Haley Miller was the Week 1 Division I Player of the Week.

Wertz pitched two shutout innings including striking out the side in one inning against Ottawa University’s Junior Varsity team in the Blue Dragon’s first game, before pitching a 1-2-3 inning in their second game.

Miller got off to a blistering start, going 6 for 6 against Ottawa from the plate, which included two triples, three singles, seven runs batted in, and eight total runs scored between the two games.

Women’s Track and Field – Blue Dragon women’s star long distance runner Louise Cocking qualified for the NJCAA Indoor national championships for the third-straight meet, finishing third-place in the Mile Run. Her time of 5:23.15 is good for the second best in Blue Dragon history. Cocking has also qualified in the 3,000 and 5,000-meter runs.

Sophomore thrower Lushous Davis produced her second PR of the season in women’s weight throw, achieving a mark of 44 feet, 5.5 inches.

There were also some standout performances from the rest of the Blue Dragon team as well, which included Freshman Keneah Romney’s fifth place finish in the 600 meters, sophomore Noel Buckhaults’ ninth place finish in the Mile Run and sophomore Patrisha Doll’s sixth place finish in the shot put.

Men’s Track and Field – Sophomore Donovan Hines qualified for the NJCAA Indoor Championships with a finishing time of 6.89 seconds in the 60-meter finals, good for third in the event.

Freshman Alex Holt produced a strong performance in the 60-meter hurdles despite posting a career-low time, finishing second with a time of 8.36, which was good for the seventh best finish in Blue Dragon indoor history.

Several other Blue Dragons had good days as well. Jovan Jackson placed third in the 600 meters, Jobe Fowles was fifth in the triple jump, and Caleb Manning placed fifth in the high jump as well as fourth in the long jump.

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