June 20, 2024

Rally falls short; Buffs softball season finished

Overland Park, Kan (westernkansasnews.com)-It took the Boston Red Sox more than half a century to lift what many people said was a playoff curse. That the result of the franchise’s biggest blunder of selling Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees in 1919. And while Garden City softball’s postseason drought isn’t to that extreme, you can definitely draw some similarities. 

GCHS watched Topeka Washburn Rural freshman Madison Roth pitch a gem-allowing just one hit in 4.1 innings of work as the Blues held off the Lady Buffs 7-4 in Thursday’s 6A softball state quarterfinal at Blue Valley High School. 

The loss dropped the Lady Buffs to 0-5 in state-tournament games since the program’s inception in 1994. 

“I’m really proud of our team,” senior Kennedy Brunson said after the game. “Even though we played from behind, we played well and stuck together.”

After the Buffs (14-8) went down in order to begin the game, it was Emporia State signee Kelsee Henry’s RBI single in the bottom half of the first that gave Washburn-Rural a 1-0 lead. The senior eventually came around to score on Chloe Holman’s run-scoring double. 

Garden City rallied back in the top of the third when Jordan Terrones scored on Henry’s error at short. Kennedy Brunson moved to third on the play, but with two outs, Jamie St. Clair grounded out to second-ending the threat. Garden City trailed 2-1. 

The Buffs appeared to have some momentum, but then the skies opened up, and a 45-minute rain delay ensued. 

When the weather finally cleared, the Blues extended their lead to 4-1 in the bottom of the third-thanks to Holman’s second RBI hit of the contest and Abby Snow’s shot to the gap in left-center field. 

Holman wasn’t finished-driving in a pair of runs in the fourth when she slapped a two-out double to left making it 7-1. She finished the game 3-for-3 with three RBIs. 

Garden City got back into the game with a couple runs in the fifth-one of those coming off Morgan Henry’s error at third; the other on Brunson’s RBI single that drove home Terrones and pulled the Buffs within four runs 7-3. 

In the sixth-it was Terrones doubling to left field-scoring Shea Nordby. But with a chance to get the tying run on base, Alyssa Long struck out on six pitches. Garden City went down in order in the seventh. 

“Couldn’t be more proud of these girls,” Moquett said after the game. “We continued fighting; it’s something we’ve done well all year long.”

The Blues move on to play 19-4 Olathe Northwest in the semifinals Friday afternoon at 1 p.m. The other final-four match-up pits Olathe East against Olathe South.