GCCC softball splits with Dodge City

GCCC Sports Information Services
Garden City Community College's Lacey Kearsley connects with a Colby pitch on Arpil 24 during a game at Tangeman Sports Complex.  The Broncbusters split with Dodge City on the road Saturday.

Garden City clinches at least a share of West crown

DODGE CITY - On Saturday, Garden City Community College’s softball team inched closer to at least a share of the Jayhawk West crown.

Alexis Maestretti and Nya Chacon each homered, Lacey Kearsley struck out five, and Garden City beat Dodge City 10-4 at Legends Park.

The Broncbusters were rolling early. Elycia Johnson led off the game with a walk, and McKayla Encinias clubbed an RBI double to make it 1-0. Three batters later, Kearsley smashed a two-run double to the gap, Chacon followed with a run-scoring extra base hit, and Garden City had a 3-0 lead.

Amy Schmeckpeper's team made it 4-0 in the second, taking advantage of a one-out error; then scored on Encinias' double to center. Once Dodge City sliced the deficit in half with two runs in the third, the Broncbusters went back on the offensive in the fourth. Maestretti and Chacon crushed a pair of two-run homers to stretch the lead to six.

The Conquistadors answered with a run in their half of the fourth and another in the fifth before Garden City put the game away in sixth. Chacon doubled again, Griego slapped an RBI single, and Micaela Mirabal pushed a ball past a diving Ollevia Lowe at second to make it 10-4.

Kearsley picked up the win in the circle, allowing just one earned run on seven hits in a complete-game performance. Nya Chacon finished 3-for-4 with three RBI, Kearsley was 3-for-5 with three runs scored, and Encinias went 5-for-5 with two runs knocked in.

Game 2

Garden City had a division championship within its sights on Saturday. But Dodge City had other plans.

Madyson McCage homered, Kalei Villegas drove in two, and the Conquistadors pounded the Broncbusters 10-3 in game two at Legends Park. The loss meant Garden City won at least a share of the division title with Colby. A win, and they would have taken the league crown outright.

And again, Tara Reid, who enjoyed a tremendous first half of the season, struggled to find consistency in Saturday's finale. The freshman threw 103 pitches and was tagged for eight runs on eight hits. She was yanked after the fifth.

Her struggles began in the first when she issued a walk and a double, which was followed up by McCage's sacrifice fly, and Makayla Garcia's run-scoring extra base hit. Danika Utajara then took advantage of McKayla Encinias' error at second that made it 3-0. Then in the second, the Broncbusters committed another untimely miscue when Lacey Kearsley misplayed a ball at first with two outs that pushed another run across.

Garden City rallied back in the third, thanks to Encinias, who slapped a two-run double followed by Alexis Maestretti's RBI single that pulled the Broncbusters to within a run.

But that's as close as they got.

Dodge City answered with a three-run fourth before adding another in the fifth and two more in the sixth, powered by McCage's solo blast to center that put the home squad up 10-3.

Garden City was limited to just six hits and committed three costly errors. Elycia Johnson went 2-for-3 at the plate, and Reid dropped to 13-6 in the circle.

Utajara notched the win for the Conquistadors, allowing three runs on six hits in seven innings. She struck out three.