Manwarren’s pitching leads Buffs to sweep
Sophomore Brie Manwarren continued her winning ways on April 22, with a 2-hit, 15-strikeout performance in pacing the Garden City Buffaloes to a 6-1 Western Athletic Conference victory at Liberal. She then followed that with a second 2-hit, 1-run effort in a 10-1 romp over the Reds.
In the opening victory, Liberal got an unearned run in the first before the Buffs scored two runs in the second, three more in the fifth and tacked on one insurance run in the seventh. Jesykah Foster, Abby Parr and Anjie Serrano each had two hits in a 9-hit attack for Coach Trina Moquett. Parr delivered a 2-run double in the third.
The three runs in the fifth came by benefit of three Liberal errors and a hit batter. The final run in the seventh came on Mya Cruz’s triple to right center, scoring Parr from first base.
Manwarren issued just one walk in going the distance. She threw 90 pitches in the complete game victory.
In the second contest, Liberal again scored first, getting its lone run in the third on a walk and three stolen bases. It wasn’t until the Buffs’ finally got untracked in the fourth with a single run to tie before unloading on Liberal with a 4-run fifth and a 5-run seventh to put the game out of reach.
In the 12-hit GCHS offensive output, Foster led the way with three hits while Manwarren and Gisselle Gutierrez each had two, with Manwarren getting a triple and Gutierrez a double. Foster had three RBIs while Cruz and Gutierrez had two each.
Manwarren had 102 pitches in her second complete game, issued only two walks to go with her 12 strikeouts. In 36.1 innings of work, Manwarren has an earned-run-average of just 0.96.
The doubleheader sweep came as the first action since the team lost senior first baseman Abby Ellerman to a likely season-ending injury that required surgery. Ellerman had been the team’s leading hitter (.593 batting average). She was tops on the team in RBIs with 22 in just six games with six extra base hits.
“Losing Abby was a tough one,” Moquett said. “It had been great getting to coach her after losing last season. She has grown so much and has been hitting so well for us. I think the (other) girls have all stepped up to fill the void.”
To fill the void by Ellerman’s loss, Moquett moved Gutierrez to first base and Cruz to third base.
“I’m proud of our team accepting that we all have to make changes to fill the void,” Moquett said. “We miss Abby’s presence and skill, but we have to move ahead and do the best we possibly can.”
The twin victories improves the Buffs’ season record to 7-1 overall and 3-1 in the WAC. Dodge City is currently leading the conference race by virtue of more games played, posting a 5-1 WAC mark and 9-1 overall.
The next two weeks will be pivotal for the Buffs, both in the WAC and for seeding purposes in the Class 6A regionals in mid-May. The Buffs hosted Liberal on Monday. On Tuesday, they have a single game at Great Bend (likely 4 p.m.) and then will host Great Bend on Thursday, in a doubleheader at Tangeman Sports Complex, starting at 3 p.m.
League standings through games of April 24 are: Dodge City (9-1/5-1); Garden City (7-1/3-1); Great Bend (5-6/5-4); Hays (6-5/4-5); Liberal (4-8/0-6).
Garden City 002 030 1 -- 6 9 2
Liberal 100 000 0 -- 1 2 4
Manwarren (W, 4-0) and Anjie Serrano. Serrano; Ormiston (L) and McClure. 2B-GC (Parr). 3B-GC (M. Cruz). LOB—GC 5, Liberal 3.
Garden City 000 140 5 -- 10 12 0
Liberal 001 000 0 -- 1 2 4
Manwarren (W, 5-0) and Anjie Serrano; Ormiston (L), McClure (7) and McClure, Ormiston (7). 2B-GC (Gutierrez). 3B-GC (Manwarren). SF-GC (Castro, K. Foster). LOB-GC 8, LIB 5.