Lady Buffs get back on track, sweep WAC openers
By ANDRES RIVAS
By ANDRES RIVAS
The Garden City Lady Buffs softball team hadn't been on the diamond in a week, and their last time resulted in a loss to the Goodland Cowgirls.
The Lady Buffs looked to get back on track with their first Western Athletic Conference games of the year as they faced off against the Liberal Lady Redskins on Tuesday at Tangeman Sports Complex.
It was a dominating performance in the Lady Buffs' return home, as they produced lopsided victories over the Lady Redskins, winning the opener 13-2 and the second 15-0 in mercy-rule endings of five and three innings.
The Lady Buffs started off the first game well, taking a 4-0 lead into the top of the second on runs by the lone pair of seniors on the team in Kennedy Brunson and Jamie St.Clair, Teammates Abbie Dart and Haley Saldana added in the other two runs. The Lady Redskins started their scoring in the second with their only runs of the day. The Lady Buffs eventually pushed the score to an eight run lead with a big third inning that saw six different Lady Buffs score. Sophomore Jenna Greenlee hit a three-run home run to provide the big blast of the inning.
Head coach Trina Moquett said that the wins were nice as it was the team's first conference games, but also stated that there are areas of improvement for her team.
"We like to hit a lot of small ball, moving runners on and I just think we can execute different things," Moquett said. "I just want the girls to execute when we have a plan of how we're going to score runs, especially against those better teams."
The Lady Buffs followed up their first WAC win by sweeping the nightcap with another run-ruled game, this one called in the bottom of the third when Jordan Terrones singled to center, scoring Haley Saldana from third for the clincher.
The wins gave some Lady Buffs' players feeling of euphoria.
"It felt pretty good, gave us confidence so now we can start preparing for the next WAC teams." Brunson said. But she also cautioned that the team has room to improve.
"The little things like signs, being students of the game and picking everything up she (Coach Moquett) is saying," Brunson said.
Abbie Dart, the lone freshman on the team, threw a perfect game for the Lady Buffs. With Dusti Befort handling the first game, Dart took the reins in the second game and played well, pitching a perfect game with eight strikeouts and a ground ball out to first in her three innings pitched.
Dart, who pitched a no-hitter earlier in the season, said she felt pretty good about the way she pitched in the game,
"It gave me more confidence." Dart said. She said she keeps a level head by "Just having fun and doing your best every time."
The Lady Buffs hit the road on Friday for a 4 p.m. doubleheader at Colby, where they will face the Lady Eagles in non-conference play.
Moquett said they're not looking past Colby.
"They (players) want to go into practice and get better as a team and play our game and do that to the best of our ability so that we can get ready for our next WAC conference," Moquett said. "Not to say that we're not going to get ready for Colby, but more focus on that (next) WAC game."
Liberal 020 00 -- 2 3 3
Garden City 406 3x -- 13 9 1
B. Granger; Befort. WP--Befort; LP--B. Granger. 2B--Liberal (Millsap), Garden City (Saldana). 3B--Garden City (Brunson); HR--Garden City (Greenlee).
Liberal 000 -- 0 0 4
Garden City 339 -- 15 11 0
No outs when winning scored in third inning.
B. Granger; Dart. WP--Dart; LP--B. Granger. 2B--Garden City (Befort, St. Clair, Dart). HR--Garden City (Brunson, Saldana).