Dodge City, KS (westernkansasnews.com) It was well worth the wait for the Garden City High School softball team to get their offense in gear Friday against Dodge City’s tough righthander Mattie Tieben. When it clicked, the runs came and Garden City not only improved their record to 15-5, but ended their regular season with road wins over their main rival 10-0 and 7-0 in Dodge City.
The Lady Buffs will host regionals as the number two seed Thursday at Tangeman Field. Hutch and Wichita South will play the first game at 2pm. Garden City faces Wichita East at 3:30pm. The winners play in the championship game at 5.
Game One Highlights
Dodge City had the first threat of game one against Garden City sophomore pitcher Abbie Dart. Red Demons centerfielder Riley Lopp walked and was bunted to third by catcher Alex Stecklein, a play where Dart fell down in front of the pitcher circle for a fielding error. Dart struck out the next three batters on route to eight consecutive strikeout in and finished the game with 19 strikeouts passing the school record of 18 in one game set by Leslie Ford.
Almost a week after Dusti Befort notched her third no-hitter of the season and days after Dart no hit the Hays Indians for her first of the year, Dart no hit the Red Demons for the team’s fifth no-hitter of the year (Befort has three, Dart two). Dart walked four against Dodge City in game one (one in the first, fourth, sixth and seventh innings). The offense did the rest, but it took a bit of time to settle in.
Garden City had one hit each in the first four innings, but they could not mount a scoring threat against Red Demons righhanded pitcher Mattie Tieben until the sixth. Dusti Befort had a two out single and was brought in by Shai Cartmill’s RBI single to right for the first run of the game.
Just like it was in their first meeting six days prior, all Garden City needed was an opening. The Lady Buffs had nine runs in the third inning of an 11-0 win over Dodge City on Saturday. Garden City matched it with a nine run seventh inning in Friday’s first game with the Red Demons.
The inning began with Tieben’s strikeout of Kaci Finch. Rylee Crawford tripled to right and scored on Jordan Terrones infield single making it 2-0 Lady Buffs. After Alyssa Long and Abbie Dart reached on infield singles, Dusti Befort blew it open with a three run double. Shai Cartmill added a two run single and after a passed ball brought in Shea Nordby, Crawford and Long each added RBI singles to give Garden City a 10-0 lead.
Tieben did well until the final inning allowing one run on six hits, while striking out seven through six. Tieben finished giving up 10 runs on 16 hits in going the distance. In the end it was Dart who won his seventh game of the season and enjoyed her second no-hitter of the week and Garden City’s celebrated their second no-hitter of the season against Dodge City.
Game Two Highlights
One thing that made Dodge City feel better in game two’s 7-0 loss to Garden City, at least they pounded out nine hits off Lady Buffs starter Dusti Befort, a pitcher that no-hit them one week ago. Despite their success hitting the ball, Dodge still could not get a runner to cross the plate.
The Red Demons best threat once again came in the first when they scratch for three hits, one of them a groundball by Camryn Williamson struck runner Reva Swaney between first and second for runner’s interference, meaning Swaney was out and Williamson took first on a single.
The only other inning where Dodge City had multiple hits came in the fifth when they had back-to-back singles from Lopp and Stecklein before Befort struck out Swaney and induced a groundout from Williamson to end the inning.
Garden City’s offense took advantage of three errors in the first inning to grab a 1-0 lead. Jordan Terrones scored on a fielding error from shortstop Lauren Esquibel. The Lady Buffs added two more runs in the third when Befort lined a ball off pitcher Mattie Tieben’s hand. Tieben stayed in and served up a RBI single to Haley Saldana making it 3-0 Garden City. Tieben slam the door shut in retiring the next two batters.
Garden City wrapped up their scoring with a four run sixth inning. Rylee Crawford hit into a fielder’s choice for a RBI, Terrones walked with the bases loaded, Long added a Sac-Fly and Befort knocked in her second run of the game and fifth for the doubleheader with a RBI single.
Dodge City’s Mattie Tieben allowed seven runs in game two (five earned) with eight hits, striking out seven while walking one. Dusti Befort improved to 8-2 allowing nine hits in seven shutout innings striking out twelve and did not allow a walk. Garden City outscored Dodge over the three games this season 28-0, but the Red Demons kept it competitive especially in game one trailing only 1-0 heading into the seventh before the Lady Buffs scored nine times.
Garden City Coach Trina Moquett’s Post-game
Garden City ends the regular season 15-5 finishing two games behind Great Bend for the WAC Crown. Dodge City wraps up the regular season at 12-8.