Buffaloes split with Hays on the road
Their first venture into Western Athletic Conference action proved to be every bit the challenge one might expect in a competitive league.
That’s what greeted the Garden City High School Buffaloes’ softball team Tuesday when they traveled to face the Hays High Indians.
An opening 5-4, 8-inning setback was the first loss of the young season for Coach Trina Moquett’s squad after winning their first four games in easy fashion. It wasn’t that way on Tuesday.
The Buffs, though, came back to win the nightcap by a 9-5 margin to improve to 5-1 overall and 1-1 in the WAC. The Buffs were scheduled to host the TMP-Marian Monarchs on Thursday, but due to forecasted inclement weather, the doubleheader has been rescheduled for May 11 at 3 p.m. at Tangeman Sports Complex.
In the opener Tuesday, senior Abby Ellerman delivered the first of her two, 2-run singles in the top of the first for the Buffs. That lead would hold until the Indians’ fifth when they plated two runs to knot the score.
The Indians would score another single run in their half of the sixth go to up 3-2 before the Buffs’ got the second 2-run single from Ellerman following Gisselle Gutierrez reaching on an error and Brie Manwarren’s two-out single in the top half of the seventh. That put the Buffs back up 4-3 heading to the bottom of the seventh.
But the Buffs couldn’t hold and yielded a single run to knot the score at 4-all and headed to extra innings. Garden, though, went down 1-2-3 in their eighth-inning at-bat. Hays got the game-winning run on a single, two stolen bases and an error that brought Ashlyn Zimmer home.
The Buffs scratched out eight hits, but did commit four errors. Gutierrez, who came in to pitch in the seventh in relief of Brie Manwarren, suffered the loss. Manwarren had tossed 6.1 innings, striking out 15 while walking just one. Aubree Thomas picked up the win for Hays.
In Game 2, the Buffs found themselves down 3-0 after Hays’ first at-bat. The Buffs scratched out a single run in the second only to have Hays answer with one in the bottom of the second for a 4-1 deficit. Garden City plated three runs in their half of the third to knot the score at 4-all. Mya Cruz had one RBI and Rilee McGraw a 2-run double to highlight the inning.
In the fourth, GCHS scored four runs to break the tie as Ellerman blasted a 3-run home run to center for the big hit of the inning. That made it 8-4 and the Buffs added a single run in the seventh as did Hays to finish out the scoring.
Manwarren, who pitched the final seven innings, picked up the victory. She finished with four strikeouts and walked none in relief of Gutierrez, who was tagged with 3 hits, 4 runs (1 earned), while striking out five and walking three. Thomas suffered the loss for the Indians.
Manwarren led a 14-hit attack with three, all doubles, and an RBI. Ellerman’s 3-run blast completed a 2-for-5 day with 4 RBIs. McGraw had 2 RBIs after going 2 for 3 while Angel and Anjie Serrano each went 2 for 4.
Garden City 200 000 20 -- 4 8 4
Hays High 000 021 11 -- 5 9 2
Manwarren, Gutierrez (L) and Cruz; Thomas (W) and Zimmerman. 2B—GC (Gutierrez), HHS (Schmidt, Zimmerman, Berry). 3B—GC (Manwarren). LOB—GC 7, HHS 6.
Garden City 013 400 1 -- 9 14 2
Hays High 310 000 1 -- 5 7 3
Gutierrez, Manwarren (W) (3) and Serrano, Cruz (3); Thomas (L) and Zimmerman. 2B—GC (McGraw 2, Angel Serrano, Manwarren 3; HHS—Fagan. HR—GC (Ellerman). LOB—GC 10, HHS 6.