By BRETT MARSHALL
This time, there was no dramatic comeback for the Garden City Lady Buffaloes in Monday's doubleheader against Class 5A power Goddard Eisenhower.
Unlike last Thursday's heroic rally for a 5-4 win over Great Bend in the second game of a twinbill, Monday was all about Eisenhower doing everything fundamentally well, while the Lady Buffs struggled at the plate in Game 1 and committed seven unsightly errors in the two losses, 4-0 in the opener and 9-2 in the second.
For coach Trina Moquett, words were hard to come by after the sweep by the Tigers, who improved to 10-1.
"At times, it just looked like we were pressing," Moquett said of her team's performance. "It's a little bit like things in life. We've got to move on and get ready for tomorrow."
The Lady Buffs are now 9-3 overall and headed to Dodge City for a 4 p.m. Western Athletic Conference twinbill today against the Lady Demons. The games were originally scheduled for Friday but got rained out.
Everything that Moquett has tried to work with in this her first year as the Lady Buffs coach — fundamentals, making the routine plays, advancing runners, not making base-running errors — was absent in the two games. It was Eisenhower that came up with that type of play, and Moquett said it would be her desire for the Lady Buffs to play the same style of ball.
"Eisenhower's a really good team, and we knew that coming in," Moquett said. "You're not gonna face too many teams better than them. We need to see that caliber of team, so we know what we've got to do to get better."
In the opener, Eisenhower took advantage of four Garden City errors, leading to three unearned runs in the 4-0 shutout loss. While sophomore Dusti Befort suffered her first loss on the mound, she did strike out nine and walked three to fall to 5-1. But she had little support, both at the plate and in the field.
The Lady Buffs could muster only four hits, two of which came from Mekayla Guerrero. The Tigers, meanwhile, manufactured a single run in the first without the benefit of a hit. After a sacrifice bunt by Chandler Kirk advanced Mikayla Medberry all the way to third, catcher Alyssa Greenlee overthrew Jamie St. Clair at third on a pickoff attempt. That would prove to be all the scoring Eisenhower needed.
But the Tigers added one run in the fourth on three hits and added two insurance runs in the seventh when Kori Thornton dropped a fly ball that would have ended the inning, allowing the runners to score.
"We're just not getting that consistency on defense that you've got to have against good teams," Moquett said. "What's happening is that we make an error and we follow it with a mental mistake. We're not solid enough on all those things and that has to get better."
In the second game, the teams were locked at 1-1 thanks to a tying home run by Guerrero in the fourth after the Tigers had scored in the second on Brynn Minor's solo home run.
Thornton had been solid through four innings, giving up just three hits while walking just one and striking out four. Then, the roof caved in.
Eisenhower sent 11 runners to the plate, scored six runs and chased Thornton from the mound. The Tigers pounded out seven hits before Thornton exited. Befort came in to relieve and finished out the game, giving up two more runs in the sixth. The Lady Buffs' final run came in the sixth when St. Clair singled, went to third on a double by Guerrero and scored on Sierra Scott's sacrifice fly to center.
Guerrero was the lone bright spot offensively for the Lady Buffs, finishing the twinbill by going 5-for-7 with a pair of doubles and the home run.
Despite getting nine hits in Game 2, the Buffs could never muster more than two consecutive hits and two costly tries to score at home ended in runners being thrown out.
"Those were me trying to make something happen, and they made great throws," Moquett said. "We've just got to regroup and get ready to play Dodge. We can't look back."
Eisenhower 100 010 2 -- 4 9 0
Garden City 000 000 0 -- 0 4 4
Pitching--Eisenhower: Minor (W) and Harris; Garden City: Befort (L, 5-1) and Greenlee. LOB--Eisenhower 12, Garden City 5. 2B--Eisenhower (Medberry, Harris). RBI--Eisenhower (Halzman).
Eisenhower 010 062 0 -- 9 13 0
Garden City 000 101 0 -- 2 9 3
Pitching--Eisenhower: Wenzel (W) and Stockton; Garden City: Thornton (L, 4-2), Befort (5) and Greenlee. LOB--Eisenhower 7, Garden City 7. 2B--Eisenhower (Kirk, Demel, Harris), Garden City (Guerrero). HR--Eisenhower (Minor), Garden City (Guerrero). RBI--Eisenhower (Demel 2, Harris 1, Minor 2, Stockton 1); Garden City (Guerrero 1, Scott 1).