Garden City sweeps Hutchinson on a wild Saturday
Hutchinson literally didn't know what hit them.
Samarah Bailey and Miquela Guajardo surrendered four first-inning home runs, McKayla Encinias accounted for two of those, and Garden City annihilated the Blue Dragons 16-3 on Saturday afternoon at Tangeman Sports Complex.
But Saturday was just different.
With wind gusts in excess of 40 mph, perfect softball weather, the Broncbusters went to work. Encinias led off the first with a solo shot, Elycia Johnson followed suit with a blast to left, Nya Chacon delivered a two-run bomb to center, and Mackenzie Moore pulled a line-drive shot over the wall in left putting Garden City up 8-0. Alexis Maestretti then added to the lead in the third with an RBI double, Carley Powley homered to begin the bottom of the fourth, and Encinias hit one out again later in the inning. Three batters later, Chacon mashed a double to the gap that scored Johnson to make it 16-0.
The only drama in this one came in the seventh, when Hutchinson ended the shut out on the heels of Alexis Way's two-run homer. They scratched out another run later in the inning on Monet Martinez's error in right. But other than that, Tara Reid was terrific, allowing just two earned runs on seven hits despite Mother Nature and all her fury. She improved to 5-2 in the circle.
Seven Broncbusters recorded multi-hit games, Encinias drove in four runs, and Moore knocked in three.
Miquela Guajardo was tagged for 12 runs on 13 hits in 3.1 innings for Hutchinson, which lost for the fourth time in their last six games.
Could Saturday's finale get any more insane? Probably not.
McKayla Encinias smashed three more home runs, McKenzie Moore and Tara Reid each blasted two, and Garden City wiped away a 10-run deficit to scratch out a wild 24-23 victory over Hutchinson at Tangeman Sports Complex. Incredibly, the two teams combined for 47 runs on 42 hits while earned run averages were flushed down the proverbial toilet. In the end though, the Broncbusters held on for their fifth straight win.
There's no question that the live stats machine blew up sometime in the fifth inning when Garden City scored 12 runs and nearly batted through the order twice. They hit four balls out of the park, slugged out 11 hits, and forced Hutchinson Head Coach, Jamie Rose to pop about 200 antacids.
But that was the climax to a rollercoaster game, one that saw Garden City grab an early 2-0 lead before the Blue Dragons plated seven in the second, which was polished off by Natalie Bevan's three-run homer. Then, after Garden City crawled back to within two after Moore and Encinias went back-to-back in the second, Hutchinson hit Amy Schmeckpeper's team with a six-piece in the third. And amazingly, all of the destruction came with two outs. Haley Miller singled home a run, Madison Grimes walked with the bases loaded, Bevan doubled home a pair, and Kylee Dunn ripped a two-RBI extra base hit to the alley, putting the road team up 13-5. An inning later, Encinias booted a ball at second, allowing two more runs to score.
Now, on any other day, a 10-run deficit may have been too much. But not on Saturday. Not on a day when getting out of your car was more challenging than a physics exam at Harvard.
The Broncbusters roared back into the game in their half of the fourth when Moore homered again. Four batters later, Nya Chacon delivered a three-run shot, and Garden City was within five. Then in the fifth, Reid obliterated a 1-0 fastball, crushing it to dead center. Encinias followed with a two-run job, Maestretti doubled home Elycia Johnson, and Reid left the park, this time a three-run homer that had 'Ripley's Believe it or Not' on the phone with Schmeckpeper in the dugout. And they weren't done. After Moore laced a single to left, Encinias sent Samarah Bailey's change up into another zip code, finishing off an inning for the ages and putting Garden City up 22-15.
Too bad that lead didn't stick.
Hutchinson countered with a seven-run sixth, and by the time Madison Simoneau homered off of Reid, who replaced Lacey Kearsley with one out in the inning, the game was tied at 22. The Blue Dragons even came back to the lead in the seventh on an error by Monet Martinez in right.
However, the Broncbusters had no plans of going quietly.
Micaela MIrabal drew a one-out walk in their half, Encinias followed with a free pass, and Johnson jumped on the first pitch that she saw, driving it center for the game-winning knock.
The 21 hits were the second most this season for Garden City, which pounded out 28 in a one-run loss to Miles on March 8. Encinias finished 4-for-5 with six RBI and four runs scored, Reid drove in four, and Moore was a perfect 4-for-4 with five runs scored and four RBI. In all, the Broncbusters sent eight balls out of the yard.
Hutchinson starter, Jordan Galliher, was hit hard, allowing 15 runs on 11 hits in 5.1 innings. She gave up five home runs and walked nine batters.