Sooo cold softball: Lady Busters, Saints split wintry DH
Sooo cold softball
By ADAM HOLT
By the end of the Garden City Community College softball team's doubleheader with Seward County on Wednesday, the prevailing thought was likely, "It's finally over."
In conditions ill-suited for anything other than an outdoor hockey game, the Lady Broncbusters traded run-rule games in a split with the Lady Saints at Tangeman Sports Complex. GCCC took the first game, 11-3 in five innings, then absorbed a 13-0 loss in five in the second game.
Temperatures dipped to the 30s in the second game, and as low as 26 degrees with wind chill, and a cold wind picked up and gusted as high as 25 mph, coming in from left field.
"It wasn't bad early on, but the later it got, and the worse and worse it got," Garden City head coach Becky Holland said of the weather. "And unfortunately, when you're down, it makes it that much colder, that much harder to come back."
Garden City fell behind by four runs early in the 13-0 loss, with Seward County exploding for eight runs in the fifth inning to end the game after a scoreless bottom of the frame.
Starter Joslynn Lopez was pulled after facing seven batters in the second and allowing four runs. The Saints had scored on a sacrifice fly with two on, pushing another run across when the throw to the plate went over catcher Danielle Aronoff's head. Seward got a pair of doubles and a triple to score two more before Game 1 starter Kallie Hoover came in and got a groundout to end the inning.
Seward County sent 12 to the plate in the fifth to break open the game, getting seven hits and eight runs. Mekayla Aguiniga got a one-out single in the bottom of the fifth, but Saints starter Katelyn Craker got a pair of groundouts to end the game.
Garden City loaded the bases in the fourth with two outs, down 5-0, but Hoover struck out looking to end the threat.
"Just didn't really execute in some situations we needed to to cut that lead down, and then we just could never get that momentum going for us," Holland said.
Game 1 was much better — and a bit warmer — for the Busters in an 11-3 win.
GCCC was up 10-1 entering the fifth, and just needed to get three outs to end the game, but Seward got a pair of runs off Hoover to briefly stave off an early finish.
The Busters came right back, loading the bases all with two outs, then getting a walk from Amber Peterson to score Chelsea Justice and make it the final eight-run margin.
"Very pleased with that, being able to finish in five," Holland said. "It's always good to be able to do that."
A seven-run second inning brought Garden City back from an early 1-0 deficit. Justice and Micaela Werner each had two-run singles in the second, and Hoover, Aronoff and Lauren Shanks each had RBI singles as well.
An RBI triple from Aguiniga in the second with one out chased Seward County's Brittney Sharkey from the game, and Alex Barleen then hit a single off Kendall Derkson to make it 9-1. Jalen Espinosa, who came in mid-at-bat for Peterson after Peterson fouled a ball off her nose and briefly came out of the game, walked and scored on a single by Werner in the fourth.
Garden City improved to 20-19 this season and 9-5 in conference play, holding on to second place. The Saints are 5-5 and in third place, but have four games in hand on Garden City.
GCCC hosts Division II Dodge City (21-18) at 3 p.m. on Friday, before taking on No. 1 Butler (39-2) on the road at 2 p.m. on Saturday.
Garden City 11, Seward County 3
Seward County 100 02x x -- 3 6 0
Garden City 072 11x x -- 11 12 0
WP: Hoover. LP: Sharkey.
Seward County 13, Garden City 0
Seward County 040 18x x -- 13 15 1
Garden City 000 00x x -- 0 2 3
WP: Craker. LP: Lopez.