By BRETT MARSHALL
After a disappointing 1-0 loss at Hays on Monday, the Garden City Lady Buffaloes' girls soccer team rebounded with an impressive 5-1 victory on Tuesday at Great Bend in Western Athletic Conference action.
The Lady Buffs (4-4, 2-1 WAC) led just 2-1 at halftime, but had a strong second-half performance with a three-goal outburst to put the game out of reach.
"We emphasized that after Monday we really needed to win if we want to have a chance to win the WAC," GCHS coach Joaquin Padilla said. "I thought we did a better job of getting the ball to different forwards than we've been able to and they did a nice job in getting the goals."
The Lady Buffs had to overcome the shock of giving up a goal just 50 seconds into the contest, as Summer Bates scored an unassisted goal.
But Megan Martinez tied the game for Garden City on a goal with an assist from Tiffany Butler in the 24th minute. Haley Brennaman broke the deadlock with a goal on a corner kick assist from Lauren Walz in the 28th minute, providing the Lady Buffs a 2-1 halftime lead.
In the second half, Martinez got an unassisted goal in the 50th minute, Evelyn Rodriguez took an assist from Fernanda Canal in the 55th minute and Martinez scored her third goal, a hat trick, when she got an assist from Rodriguez in the 63rd minute.
Freshman goalkeeper Ashlee Richman was again solid in net, recording nine saves off 11 Great Bend shots. The Lady Buffs, meanwhile, fired away on 35 shots.
"A lot of shots, a lot of misses," Padilla said. "Our offense needs to be more consistent because I believe our defense has been good most of the sason."
The Lady Buffs will play host on Tuesday to rival Dodge City with a 3 p.m. pitch at Buffalo Stadium.
Garden City 2 3 -- 5
Great Bend 1 0 -- 1
GB--Summer Bates, unassisted, 1st minute
GC--Megan Martinez, assist Tiffany Butler, 24th minute
GC--Haley Brennaman, assist corner kick, Lauren Walz, 28th minute
GC--Martinez, unassisted, 50th minute
GC--Evelyn Rodriguez, assist Fernanda Canal, 55th minute
GC--Martinez, assist Rodriguez, 63rd minute
Shots--Garden City 35, Great Bend 11. Saves--Garden City (Richman 9), Great Bend 14.
The Lady Buffs softball team remained unbeaten with another strong offensive showing on Tuesday, dominating Liberal 24-5 and 12-1 in games at Liberal.
Tuesday's twinbill sweep improves the Lady Buffs to 6-0 for the young season, and they will play host to Colby at 3 p.m. on Friday at Tangeman Sports Complex.
In the doubleheader, freshman Dusti Befort and junior Kennedy Brunson led the first-game offensive attack with four hits apiece, while Sierra Scott and Kori Thornton had three each. Jamie St. Clair, MeKayla Guerrero, Casey Curran, Shea Nordby and Haley Saldana all had two hits apiece.
In the three-inning run-rule win, the Lady Buffs scored five times in the first, added 10 in the second and topped it off with nine runs in the third.
Senior Kori Thornton picked up her third win of the season, striking out five and walking one while giving up just four hits.
Befort drove in five, while St. Clair, Scott and Guerrero had three RBIs each. Brunson and Curran also each knocked in a pair of runs. Curran and Thornton had doubles while Brunson, Scott and Guerrero tripled.
The second game saw the Lady Buffs get off to a quick start, scoring four runs in the first. Befort was on the mound and she gave up her first earned run of the season in the second. But the freshman pitcher buckled down and finished with 12 strikeouts, that coming on the heels of a 15-strikeout performance a week ago against Goodland. She improves to 3-0 after giving up just one hit and walking three.
The Lady Buffs continued their strong offensive attack, getting three runs in the fourth, a single tally in the fifth and adding four more in the sixth as the game ended an inning early, once again by the 10-run mercy rule.
In the 11-hit attack, Thornton led the way with three hits and two RBIs. Curran added a pair of hits and two RBIs while St. Clair contributed two hits, including a double.
"Overall, I thought we did alright," said GCHS coach Trina Moquett. "We've still got things to work on, but I think our pitchers are settling in now and we're hitting the ball well."
Defensively, the Lady Buffs committed just two errors combined in the two games, of which Moquett said she was pleased.
"The defense has been doing well," Moquett said. "They've been doing a good job of making the plays on groundballs and the flyouts."
Garden City 5(10)9 -- 24 24 2
Liberal 401 -- 5 4 4
WP--Thornton (3-0), LP--Darroch. 2B--GC (Curran, Thornton), Liberal (Darroch). 3B--GC (Brunson, Scott, Guerrero).
Garden City 400 314 -- 12 11 0
Liberal 010 000 -- 1 1 0
WP--Befort (3-0), LP--Granger. 2B--GC (St. Clair).