By BRETT MARSHALL
Three Garden City High School sports teams were in the Wichita area Friday for respective competitions.
Both the Buffaloes' baseball team and Lady Buffs' softball team played doubleheaders against Wichita North while the boys and girls track teams were at the Valley Center Invitational.
It was, literally, a perfect way for the Lady Buffs softball team to open its 2013 season under new coach Trina Moquett.
The Lady Buffs got two perfect-game pitching efforts from Kori Thornton and Dusti Befort as they overwhelmed the Lady Indians, 24-0 and 29-0, in games shortened to three innings due to the 15-run mercy rule.
"The girls came out excited, just being able to see somebody else on the field," Moquett said of the season-opening dominating performance by her team. "Overall, we played well. They (North pitchers) threw a lot of balls and we had to be patient at the plate."
In the opener, Thornton faced the minimum nine batters, striking out five and walking none.
The Lady Buffs struck early and often, scoring five runs in the first, 10 in the second and nine in the third.
MeKayla Guerrero led the way with three hits, four runs and four RBIs. Sierra Scott, Kennedy Brunson and Thornton had three hits each, with Scott driving in three runs. Jamie St. Clair, Shea Nordby and Thornton each had a pair of RBIs with two hits, while Casey Curran drove in one run and had two hits. The Lady Buffs finished with 21 hits and drew 10 walks.
In the second game, it was much the same, as the Lady Indians' pitcher struggled with her control, issuing 19 walks.
"It's difficult to tell how you're really doing when you have that many walks," Moquett said. "Again, I thought the girls were patient at the plate and did a good job of picking out pitches to swing at."
The Lady Buffs tallied nine runs in each of the first two innings and added another 11 in the third.
Befort was also perfect in her first pitching performance for the Lady Buffs. She recorded six strikeouts and walked none.
Brunson had four hits and drove in four runs. Curran had a pair of hits and three RBIs, while Befort also drove in three. The Lady Buffs finished with 14 hits, as Scott also had a pair of hits.
"I don't think the games are any indication of where we'll be or where we're at," Moquett said. "It was hard to coach these kind of games because you couldn't run plays that you'd like because you didn't want to overrun them. It was very difficult."
Of her two pitching performances, Moquett had plenty of positives.
"They were two bright spots," Moquett said. "They came out, got their confidence early and hit their spots. It was good to see them perform so well."
The Lady Buffs return to action with a 3 p.m. Tuesday home doubleheader against Goodland at Tangeman Sports Complex.
Garden City 5(10)9 -- 24 21 0
Wichita North 000 -- 0 0 0
WP--Thornton (1-0) and Greenlee. 2b--GC (Thornton). 3B--GC (Brunson, Scott). RBI--GC (Guerrero 4, Scott 3, St. Clair 2, Curran 1, Befort 1, Nordby 2, Thornton 2, Greenlee 1).
Garden City 99(11) -- 29 14 0
Wichita North 000 -- 0 0 0
WP--Befort (1-0) and Greenlee. 2b--GC (Curran). RBI--GC (Brunson 4, Guerrero 1, Scott 1, St. Clair 1, Curran 3, Befort 3, Nordby 1, Greenlee 3, Arellano 1).
It was a mixed bag of results for the Garden City High School boys baseball team on its trip to Wichita on Friday.
The Buffs opened with a 19-8 victory over Wichita North in the opener, but then were no-hit in the second game by senior Tanner Raiburn.
"We just ran out of pitchers, ran out of gas," said GCHS coach Bill Wilson of the nightcap. "The kid's a good pitcher, but we just didn't have much left."
It was the second consecutive day of doubleheaders for the Buffs, who had split on Thursday with TMP-Marian of Hays at home before the long drive to Wichita.
"We gave a good effort, but we used every pitcher we had available over the last two days and we just had some there at the end who were just throwing," Wilson said.
In the opener, the Buffs fell behind 4-0 in the first inning before scoring three times in the second, four in the third and nine in the fourth to take command, 16-6. They scored three single runs in each of the fifth, sixth and seventh innings.
The Buffs got 12 hits in the victory with Thomas Solorio leading the parade with three hits and two RBIs. Davin Acker, Edgar Montoya, Logan Dechant and Isaiah Rodriguez each had a pair of hits, with Montoya driving in two runs and Dechant one. Mitch Hernandez also had an RBI off a solo home run.
"We were more aggressive, but their pitchers just weren't all that good," Wilson said of North's mound corps that issued eight walks and hit four batters. "Still, that's part of the game and the boys did a nice job of taking advantage of those opportunities."
Acker had started on the mound for the Buffs in the opening game and went 2 2/3 innings before giving way to Mitch Hernandez. Hernandez finished out a strong outing by going the final 4 1/3 innings, limiting the Redskins to three runs. The Buffs helped the cause by committing four errors, but North helped out, too, committing six miscues.
In the second game, the Buffs had Emilio Parr, Frank Rosas and Rodriguez on the mound as they simply ran out of pitching following two days of four games.
The Buffs return home for a 6:30 p.m. Tuesday single game against Dodge City at Clint Lightner Stadium.
Garden City 034 911 1 -- 19 12 4
Wichita North 402 021 0 -- 8 13 6
WP--GC (Hernandez). 2B--GC (Solorio). HR--GC (Hernandez).
Garden City 000 -- 0 0 0
Wichita North 375 -- 15 12 0
WP--WN (Raiburn), LP--GC (Parr).
The Garden City boys and girls track teams placed third at the Valley Center Invitational on Friday.
The Buffaloes' boys finished with 75 points, well behind champion and Western Athletic Conference rival Hays' 176 points and Bishop Carroll's runner-up 111 points. The Lady Buffs scored 90 points in a tightly-contested team race, with Valley Center claiming top honors with 97 points and Bishop Carroll taking second with 94.5 points.
"It was a very tough meet, with Hays the 5A champion, and Bishop Carroll is among the top teams," GCHS Coach Mike Smith said. "The kids competed hard. In some ways, this is a tougher meet than we will even see at regionals (6A)."
There were two first-place finishes in each of the boys and girls divisions for the GCHS teams.
Jonathan DuVall garnered the top spot in the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 39.78, but finished third in the 110-meter high hurdles (15.93) behind Hays' Adam Deterding (15.30) and Dominique Carrasco (15.85). The race was run into a stiff south wind.
"Jonathan clipped a hurdle near the end of the highs, or he would have had second," Smith said of the 110s. "Running into that wind was tough for everybody. He really ran well in the 300s and won that easily."
Dusty Tempel claimed first in the long jump with a leap of 21-4.25.
On the girls side, Alex Miller captured the 3,200-meter run with a time of 12:03.66, while the 4x800-meter relay team of Miller, Neysa Harman, Katy Doll and Kayla Doll clocked a 10:08.48 to easily win that event.
Runner-up finishes in the girls division were taken by Kayla Doll in the 800-meters (2:26.34 to Bishop Carroll's Katherine Dillard's 2:26.16); Taylor Linenberger in the pole vault (8-06); Taryn Tempel in the triple jump (35-2.25) and the 4x400-meter relay team of Katy Doll, Kayla Doll, Linenberger and Tempel with a time of 4:20.54.
"We mixed up the relays some and we will do that through the season," Smith said. "We're trying to make sure not to have the kids run all the same races each meet."
Doll's 800 race was one of the featured events of the meet, and the .18 of a second difference was about as close as a race could get.
Miller garnered a third-place finish (5:34.42) in the 1,600-meters behind Carroll's standouts Dillard (5:29.11) and Kaelyn Balch, last year's third-place finisher in Class 5A state (5:33.26). Katy Doll was fourth in 5:40.98 and Chelsea Jackson sixth in 5:47.49. Jackson also finished fourth in the 3,200 in 12:20.52. Taryn Tempel took third in the 400-meters (1:03.45).
For the Buffs' boys, Aaron Vasquez took runner-up in the pole vault with a leap of 13-06.
"The amazing thing about that is they finished it in the dark," Smith said of the pole vault, which was held behind the bleachers without direct light available.
The 4x100-meter relay team of DuVall, Dusty and Greyson Tempel, and Vasquez took second with a time of 43.80, just behind Derby's 43.47. The 4x800-meter relay team, comprised of Hunter Delgado, Jacob Thomas, Jesus Reyes and Connor Schultz, took third with a time of 8:56.80. The Tempel brothers, Delgado and Vasquez were fourth in the 4x400-meter relay event with a clocking of 3:36.71.