GCCC softball splits with Pratt

PRATT - This is one that Becky Gundy will definitely want back.

Celeste Chavez drove in three runs, Alyssa Reyes did some early damage control, and Pratt stormed back from five runs down to beat Garden City Community College, 10-5, Wednesday at Lemon Park in the first game of a doubleheader.

This game looked like a Broncbuster blowout right from the start. Carley Powley wacked a two-out, RBI single in the top of the first, McKayla Encinias drilled a three-run bomb followed by Audrey Graf's solo shot in the second, and Garden City was up 5-0.

But everything flipped from there. The Broncbusters managed just three baserunners the rest of the way. Meantime, Pratt stormed back with three runs in the fourth, fueled by McKenzie Manriquez and Nikole Puetez, who ripped RBI singles, while another run came across on Encinias's error at short, cutting Garden City's lead to 5-3. An inning later, another Encinias' miscue coupled with Puetez run-scoring base hit and Chavez's three-run single, put Pratt in front 8-5. They added two more in the sixth.

Megan Walz took the loss for Garden City, giving up eight runs on seven hits. But she didn't get much help behind her. The Broncbusters committed four errors, the third most in a game this season. And after coming out on fire to begin the game, Garden City managed just one hit over the final five innings.

Reyes kept the Broncbusters off balance from the third inning on, scattering just five hits over seven innings.

To say Garden City was seething going into the second game on Wednesday would be a massive understatement. After all, they let one slip through the cracks in the opener.

There was no let down in this one.

Elisabeth McGill went yard, Carley Powley had three hits, and the Broncbusters earned a split, beating Pratt 11-7 in the finale at Lemon Park.

Garden City scored in every inning but the sixth and broke open a 1-1 game with two runs in the second-thanks to a massive miscue in left by Nikole Puetez that allowed Kaylee Rogers and Elisabeth McGill to score. Then in the third, it was one swing by McGill-a towering, three-run bomb to straight-away center that pushed the Broncbusters lead to 6-1.

That advantage eventually swelled to 9-1 when Rogers added an RBI single in the fourth; then scored on McKayla Encinias's RBI fielder's choice.

Pratt did manage to make things interesting, getting a run back in the fourth on Audrey Graf's error in center field. After Garden City scored in the fifth, the Beavers used a five-run fifth, capped by Marissa Reina's two-run homer that made it 10-7.

But that's as close as the home team got. Rogers, who was just named the Jayhawk Conference player of the week, allowed just one hit over the final 2 1/3, and McGill pushed across the Broncbusters' final run in the seventh when she drilled a long single to left center that scored Powley.

Powley finished 3-for-4 at the plate with three runs scored, McGill was 3-for-5 with a season-high four RBI, and Rogers knocked in a pair of runs.

Alyssa Reyes took the loss for Pratt, allowing nine runs on seven hits in 3 1/3.

The Broncobusters will be back in action on Saturday, with an 1 p.m. doubleheader at Dodge City.