Lady Buffs soccer blanks Dodge; baseball drops pair to Liberal
By BRETT MARSHALL
There's nothing like going into the home den of your biggest rival and leaving with a rare and hard-fought victory.
But that's exactly what the Garden City High School Lady Buffaloes soccer team accomplished on Monday, blanking the Dodge City Lady Red Demons, 2-0, at Dodge City's Memorial Stadium.
Playing their fourth game in the last six days didn't seem to have an effect on the Lady Buffs, who used a strong defensive effort and superb goaltending by freshman Ashlee Richman to pick up their eighth win of the season as they improved to 8-6-1 overall and 4-2-1 in the Western Athletic Conference.
The Lady Buffs will close out their regular season today with a WAC road game set for 5:30 p.m. at Liberal's Redskin Field.
Megan Martinez provided just enough offense for the Lady Buffs, scoring both goals, one in the 12th minute of the first half and the other in the 70th minute of the second.
The game-winner early came on a cross by Evelyn Rodriguez while the second-half score came on a breakaway unassisted goal.
"Anytime you play Dodge City and beat them at their home, it's a big win for our girls," GCHS head coach Joaquin Padilla said. "Again, defensively, we played well. In the past we've struggled to score, but we were able to get a couple of good shots today and got them in."
Padilla said that his team's defense continues to be solid, as the Lady Buffs have registered three shutouts in their last four games, losing only a 1-0 heartbreaker on Saturday in the championship game of the Wichita North Cup to top-seeded Wichita Heights.
"Right now, the defense and goalkeeping has helped everything," Padilla said. "The forwards haven't been able to score much, but today they did a nice job."
The Lady Buffs managed to get nine shots as opposed to four for the Lady Demons. Richman recorded four saves to three for her counterpart, Andrea Estrada, of Dodge City. The teams had played to a 1-1 tie on April 26 at GCHS' Buffalo Stadium.
Garden City 1 1 -- 2
Dodge City 0 0 -- 0
GC--Megan Martinez, cross from Evelyn Rodriguez, 12th minute
GC--Megan Martinez, unassisted, 70th minute
Shots--Garden City 9, Dodge City 4. Goalkeeper Saves--Garden City (Richman 4), Dodge City (Estrada 3).
It's been a struggle all season for the Garden City Buffaloes' baseball team, and Monday was a microcosm of that, as they fell in a Western Athletic Conference doubleheader on the road at Liberal, 7-2 and 8-7 in a game that went 10 innings.
"We're just not getting any kind of consistent hitting, and we continue to find ways to beat ourselves by making mistakes in the field," said GCHS coach Bill Wilson.
In Game 1, the Buffs scored once in the first inning and once in the fourth, but Liberal countered with a five-run second and two more runs in the sixth. Logan Dechant scored the first run when he came home during a rundown between first and second bases. Thomas Solorio drove in the other run with a sacrifice fly.
Mitch Hernandez suffered the loss as he went just one and two-thirds innings, walking two and giving up five hits.
In Game 2, the Buffs rallied with a four-run sixth inning after trailing 6-3. But they couldn't hold onto the one-run lead as Liberal tied it in the bottom of the sixth and the game went to extra innings. Isaiah Rodriguez went the first three and one-third innings before Solorio, normally catching, relieved and went six and one-third innings, striking out seven in the process.
Hernandez had a sacrifice fly to drive in one run, Edgar Montoya drove in a run with a fielder's choice while another run came home on a hit batsman and another on a groundout RBI by Daven Acker.
The Buffs are now 3-14 overall and 0-7 in the WAC. They were scheduled to host Great Bend at 4 p.m. today in their final home appearance of the regular season.
Garden City 100 100 0 -- 2 2 3
Liberal 050 002 x -- 7 9 1
Garden City 200 014 000 0 -- 7 9 2
Liberal 122 101 000 1 -- 8 9 3