Lady Busters sweep Clarendon; Busters split pair at Hutchinson
By J. LEVI BURNFIN
By J. LEVI BURNFIN
When the Garden City Community College Lady Broncbusters opened the softball season at home on Feb. 17 against Pratt, head coach Becky Gundy's squad looked in mid-season form.
They swept the Lady Beavers in the doubleheader and were sharp in the field to stymie the Beavers' bats, holding them to just seven runs combined.
However, the Busters began to falter after that, dropping six of the next nine, including four of five in the Cowtown Classic in Fort Worth, Texas.
"I think everybody was just struggling and everybody wasn't together as a team and weren't confident with each other," freshman pitcher Jessica Soliday said of the Lady Busters' struggles.
That confidence grew on Friday afternoon at the Tangeman Sports Complex, though, as the Busters swept Clarendon College in a twin billing, improving the Lady Busters to 7-6 overall.
The first game wasn't without drama, though, as the Lady Bulldogs batted around in the top of the first, scoring five runs off Rachel Roe.
But the Busters answered back with three runs in the first, two more in the third and three in the seventh as Danielle Aronoff doubled to right to score Lauren Shanks and Mattie Miller for the walk-off 8-7 comeback win.
"We didn't do a good job right off the bat," Gundy said after the game. "We gave up too many runs early, but I guess we responded so I can't really be too upset. I would just like the kids to do a better job defensively early so we don't allow those runs."
Roe picked up the win, tossing seven innings, giving up all seven runs, but none earned, and struck out seven. Aronoff was 3 for 4 with four RBIs to lead the offense.
The Busters and Bulldogs were close again in the nightcap until the Busters exploded for three runs in each of the fourth, fifth and sixth innings to pull away in the 11-6 win.
Again, the Bulldogs did damage early, scoring three runs in the first off starter Soliday, who settled down in the later innings to keep the Bulldogs at bay.
Soliday received the complete-game win, striking out four and giving up six runs, two earned, in the seven-inning affair.
"It's not comforting as a coach necessarily," Gundy quipped about the Lady Busters falling behind twice. "I think we've proven we can score some runs. Defensively and pitching, we've still got some work to do."
Brooke Lovas led the Busters from the leadoff spot in the second game, driving in four on three hits.
"We know we're young," Gundy said, explaining some of the Busters' mistakes, "but that excuse is over for me. It's time to grow up, conference starts next week."
The Busters open conference play at home at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Wednesday against Colby in a doubleheader.
"By the time we get there, I hope we're ready," Gundy said. "We should be."
Clarendon 5 0 0 0 1 1 0 -- 7 6 2
Garden City 3 0 2 0 0 0 3 -- 8 10 7
Gloria and Lara. Roe and Aronoff. W - Roe. L - Gloria. 2Bs - Clarendon, Gloria, Rodriguez, Goode; Garden City, Aronoff 2, Miller.
Clarendon 3 0 0 0 0 3 0 -- 6 7 2
Garden City 2 0 0 3 3 3 x -- 11 15 8
Gloria, Forbes(2) and Lane, Lara(6). Soliday and Aronoff. W - Soliday. L - Forbes. 2Bs - Clarendon, Juarez 2, Lafferty, Vines; Garden City, Aronoff, Lovas 2.
By The Telegram
At Hutchinson, the Garden City Community College Broncbusters baseball team won the first game of a doubleheader to the Hutchinson Blue Dragons, 5-2, as center fielder Tyler Tucker scored two runs for the Busters.
The starting pitcher for the Busters, Chris Bonk, tossed five innings, earning the win with eight strikeouts. He gave up one walk and four hits for only one earned run.
Blue Dragons starting pitcher, Bobby Moretti, earned the loss in 3.1 innings, striking out four hitters, but giving up five hits and two earned.
Tucker had three hits in three at bats for the Busters, with teammate Kadin Hydrick chipping in two hits while scoring once.
Garden City 1 0 0 0 3 0 1 0 0 -- 5 8 0
Hutchinson 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 -- 2 5 1
Bonk, McKinney (6), Thomas (7) and Alvarez. Moretti, Harms (5), Wilson (7) and Shadoan. 2B - Garden City, Alvarez, Desantis; Hutchinson, Elk 2. 3B - Garden City, Hydrick, Tucker 2. HR - Hutchinson, Jacob Schleppenbach.
At Huchinson, in the night of the doubleheader, the Garden City Broncbusters fell to the Hutchinson Blue Dragons, 7-3, as left fielder Matt Jones hit a two-run home run for the Blue Dragons.
Brooks Trujillo received a no decision for the Busters, as he pitched five innings, giving up two earned runs, while striking out four and walking three. Madison Spencer earned the loss for the Busters in relief, tossing two innings and striking out two, but giving up the home run to Jones.
Tanner Raiburn earned the win, pitching 3.1 innings, while striking out five and giving up two runs with no walks. Blue Dragons starter Issac Lueth earned a no decision in his four innings of work, striking out four but also giving up four runs.
Cale Dineen was 2-of-3 at the plate to lead the Busters.
Garden City 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 -- 3 6 2
Hutchinson 0 0 2 0 0 1 2 2 x -- 7 7 2
Trujillo, Spencer (6), Spires (8), Aspegren (8) and Mohr. Lueth, Raiburn (5), Shadoan (8) and Bublitz. 2B - Garden City, Dineen, Alitz; Hutchinson, Oliver. HR - Hutchinson, Jones.