Hays, KS (westernkansasnews.com)-Everything appears lined up for Garden City to make a run in 2015. And it all starts with the two girls in the circle: Dusti Befort and Abbie Dart.
Both were sensational on opening day; Befort struck out 12 batters; Dart 11 as the Buffaloes set down Thomas More Prep 15-0 and 3-1 Thursday afternoon.
“Once we all did our jobs, everything went well,” Befort said afterwards. “We came together, and it was good.”
The senior hurler, who has already signed a national letter of intent to play at Highland next spring, was literally unflappable in game one. She retired the first 16 batters she faced, losing her perfect-game bid when Heidi Gottschalk singled to left field with one out in the sixth. Befort responded by striking out the Monarchs next two batters to end the game.
Garden City’s (2-0) offense was just as potent, pounding out 21 hits and breaking open a 3-0 game with six runs in the fifth and six more in the sixth.
Haley Saldana and Dart each drove in three runs. Shai Cartmill and Aymee Seijas knocked in a pair.
In the finale, Dart was just as impressive. After surrendering the tying run in the bottom of the first, the sophomore responded by setting down 12 of the next 16 Monarch hitters.
She also helped her own cause out in the sixth-roping a run-scoring triple and then scoring on an error to give her team a two-run cushion.
The Monarchs tried to rally in the seventh after Laurel Hagemen reached on an error. But three straight Dart strikeouts slammed the door shut.
“It feels good to start the season with two wins,” Dart said. “We really finished strong.”