By JASON ELMQUIST
Mother Nature wasn't the only thing unleashed Friday on John Ford Field at Tangeman Sports Complex. So too was the Garden City High School softball squad, which won 11-0 in a five-inning mercy rule game over Ulysses.
The Lady Buffaloes (5-2) were up 12-0 heading into the bottom of the second in the second game when the rain and hail saturated the field, bringing a halt to the nightcap.
"I had a home run, but so much for that," GCHS freshman Kayla Guerrero said.
The Game 1 victory was a monumental one for GCHS coach John Ford. It was his 200th win as head coach of the Garden City program.
"It's pretty neat," said Ford, the only coach in the program's history. "In the 17 years that I've been here, I've been blessed with a lot of great kids, great parents and the administrative staff has been awesome. This is just kind of a culmination of all of that coming together. So getting that 200th win is pretty neat."
GCHS roughed up Ulysses' starting pitcher in Game 1, Courtney Anthony. She went three innings and gave up nine runs on five hits and 10 walks. Carli Perez, the Game 2 starter, came in to relieve Anthony in the fourth and gave up a pair of runs including a two-run double by Vanessa Garcia to give Garden City the run-rule.
"I think we got (Anthony) down and timed her really good," Guerrero said. "We were just focused on hitting off of her and started getting our hits."
Garden City also got a strong pitching performance in Game 1 from Kori Thornton. The freshman went all five innings, giving up two hits and struck 10 for an average of two strikeouts an inning.
"Great performance by her," Ford said of Thornton, who is 3-0 on the season. "She's been 'Steady Eddy' out there. She puts the ball right around the plate and was good with her spins and changing speeds. I really felt like she pitched a whale of a game."
The lone hits by Ulysses were a pair of singles one by Jayde Jarnagin in the fourth and one from Carli Perez in the fifth.
Things didn't get any better for the Tigers when Game 2 got underway.
Garden City threw freshman Leslie Ford and she retired all six batters she faced including three via strikeout.
In the bottom half of the first in Game 2, Garden City sent 16 batters to the plate to score 12 runs. The Lady Buffaloes collected seven hits off of Perez, including doubles from Kim Bogner and Monique Lopez and an inside the park home run by Guerrero to cap off the 12-run inning.
"I thought it was going to be foul, but I figured I would at least get to third," Guerrero said of her home run. "(Coach Ford) told me to go, so I went."
Ford said he doesn't expect the second game to be finished.
"I feel pretty good about getting that one game in, but I tell you what, I would have loved to have gotten that second game," Ford said. "But it wasn't meant to be. So you've just got to go with what you got and keep plugging."
The Lady Buffs will host Liberal on Tuesday on John Ford Field at 3 p.m. before traveling to Great Bend on Thursday for a 4 p.m. start.
Garden City 11, Ulysses 0
Ulysses 000 00 -- 0 2 0
GCHS 314 3x -- 11 6 2
W Thornton (3-0). L Anthony. Anthony, Perez (4) and McCauley. Thornton and Lopez. 2B GCHS (Geurrero, Garcia).