The Garden City High School softball team had its biggest offensive output of the season on Saturday in the final game of the two-day Emporia Spartan Round Ball Classic.
It came against Wichita Kapaun-Mt. Carmel, a team that had beaten the Buffaloes a year ago in the same event, but this time it was a 19-7 blowout by the Buffs as they scored the most runs in a single game this season.
En route to the romp, the Buffs smashed 22 hits, led by the four-hit games of Yazmin Vargas and Lauren Koster.
It is believed to be the first time that the Buffs have swept both games in the Emporia Classic dating back several seasons.
Vargas, whose at-bats included a double and a triple while driving in a team-high four runs, also spelled pitching relief for Hailey Dart, but it was the offensive output that told the story.
"The girls came out and hit the ball really well, and it was really nice to see," coach Trina Moquett said. "This is a team that I thought was there all along. They showed exactly what the team is capable of doing."
The Buffs got a single run in the first, then pushed across five runs in the second, followed by one in the third and two in the fourth to take command, 9-0. Kapaun got on the board with a single run in the fourth before a six-run uprising by the Crusaders in the fifth trimmed what had been a seemingly comfortable lead into a 9-7 nail-biter.
But the Buffs made it a runaway by scoring twice in the sixth and then blowing it open again with eight runs in the top of the seventh.
In Garden’s five-run second, Reigan Crawford singled to score a run, and then Vargas delivered a bases-clearing triple to right, and then came home on Erykah Foster’s single to left.
The big seventh inning got started on a two-run double by Taylor Terpstra, who later scored on Koster’s single to center. Ryleigh Whitehurst had an RBI single, Vargas doubled to drive in another run before Foster capped it off with a two-run single.
In picking up the win, Dart improved her season record to 9-4. In her 6 2/3 innings, Dart had seven strikeouts and just one walk.
The Buffs will have a quick turnaround as they hit the road Monday for a 4 p.m. doubleheader at Goodland. The twin bill originally was scheduled on April 3 as the team’s season opener, but inclement weather forced the postponement.
"I think the girls are just now starting to find their identity and playing their best ball of the season," Moquett said.
Following Monday’s regular-season finale, the Buffs will await their Class 6A regional pairings and site assignment, which are to be announced on Saturday. This year, the 16 teams in the western half of Kansas of Class 6A are seeded and the top four teams will each host a regional beginning the week of May 14. Currently, the Buffs are tied for the fifth seed with Wichita Southeast at 13-5.
Contact Brett Marshall at email@example.com.