The bats seem to have come alive early this season for the Garden City Buffaloes softball team, scoring a combined 20 runs in Tuesday’s doubleheader en route to blowing out the Hays Indians, 9-3 and 11-5, in Hays
The 20 runs add to the impressive season total for the Buffaloes — who improved to 4-0 — as they have scored 41 runs thus far.
“I’m really happy for the girls — it was a full team effort today,” said head coach Trina Moquett on her team’s performance on Tuesday. “Definitely liked how the way our bats came out today and liked our pitching as well. Hailey (Dart) threw game one but in game two we had to throw Yazmin (Vargas) and Gisselle (Gutierrez) . It was a good day to get two (Western Athletic Conference) wins under our belt.”
In the first game, the Buffaloes fell behind early, allowing the Indians to score on a fielder’s choice to bring in the first run of the game and give Hays the 1-0 lead after the first inning.
That lead didn't last long, as the Buffaloes exploded for six runs in the second inning starting with a Kelbi Richter RBI, bringing in Ryleigh Whitehurst for Garden City’s first run of the night.
This was quickly followed by a Dart double, which brought in Richter and Whitehurst, for her second scored run of the inning, extending Garden City’s lead to 3-1.
Two more doubles by Taylor Terpstra and Erykah Foster brought in the last two runs of the inning to close out the six-run inning and giving the Buffaloes the commanding 6-1 lead.
Garden City would go on to score three more runs, two in the fourth and one in the fifth.
Dart got the win for the Buffaloes in game one, throwing a complete game on 85 pitches and only allowing the three runs on four hits.
“I think our first game there was a lot of walks and errors, but I think right now the girls are definitely dialing in and concentrating on what they want to hit,” Moquett said. “We saw better pitching today, so I really liked how our girls approached their at-bats, and they scored when it mattered and hit the ball hard.”
Unlike the first game, the nightcap started off as a closer game, seeing each team take the lead at least once in the first three innings.
Garden City scored first in the second game, after a Dart sacrifice fly brought in Vargas to give the road team the early 1-0 lead. Vargas then doubled in the second inning, bringing in Richeter to double the Buffaloes lead, 2-0.
Garden City scored one more in the third, but not before Hays scored four runs, two in second and two in the third, to take back the lead at 4-3.
That lead, just like in game one, did not last very long. A three-run, fourth inning gave Garden City back the lead at 6-4. Dart and Foster both came up big in the inning, bringing in the three runs that inning.
In the first game, the Buffaloes didn't wait long to explode for a big inning, scoring six runs in the second. Garden City decided to wait a little longer in the second game for their big inning, waiting until the fifth inning to score five runs, to put the game away once and for all.
Gutierrez got the win in game two, pitching in four innings, allowing one run and three hits on 52 pitches.
Starting the season on a four-game winning streak can be a morale booster for her team moving forward, and Moquett is hoping this can continue the rest of the season, “It's huge for us to be 4-0 right now. Getting those two WAC wins is big for us, and I think sometimes when you get that confidence early, it'll roll into the latter games and give us that confidence that we need going forward.”