BY JIM MISUNAS
DODGE CITY — Great Bend pitcher Shanaeia Mehlhaff threw a masterpiece against a Dodge City team averaging 16 runs per game. Right fielder Makayla Williams saved the game with two catches. Catcher Kaylee Unruh rescued the Panthers with a double play.
Cleanup hitter Shailey Clark delivered the game-winning single that drove home Alyssa Keller for a 3-2 softball victory over Dodge City, the defending Western Athletic Conference champion. The 14-inning, three-hour affair is believed to be the longest softball game in school history.
Keller walked in the 14th inning and Jenna Mauler singled. Clark delivered the go-ahead hit that eluded Red Demon shortstop Marisela Landa. Mehlhaff matched Dodge City ace Raegan Lopp pitch-for-pitch through 14 innings.
Kaylee Unruh turned a eighth-inning bunt by Madison Armstrong into a double play. Makayla Williams caught Armstrong's liner to save the game in the 12th inning. Dodge City's Caroline Williams was thrown out at second base after a 14th-inning single.
Dodge City's Caroline Stephenson singled home Elise Helfrich in the first inning for 1-0 lead. Mehlhaff retired Zabree Rodriguez to strand two baserunners.
The Panthers stranded two baserunners in the first inning and third inning. Great Bend's Makayla Williams reached base an on fourth-inning error and scored on an infield error for a 1-1 tie. Aleah Urban scored on Mauler's ninth-inning single after a single and stolen base.
Dodge City's Lopp drove home Zabree Rodriguez for a 2-2 tie after a leadoff triple in the ninth inning.
Great Bend (6-4, 3-1) is tied with Garden City (7-1, 3-1 WAC) for first place. The Panthers play Hoisington and Ellinwood Thursday at Hoisington.
DODGE CITY 5, GREAT BEND 4 (G2) — Great Bend came within one base hit of a game-tying rally with a three-run seventh inning. Aleah Urban doubled and scored on Jenna Mauler's single. Makayla Williams singled home Mauler and Shailey Clark for a 5-4 score. But Dodge City pitcher Olivia Ortiz recorded the final out when pinch runner Abby Miller was tagged out on Brenna Bownes' single to survive with a one-run victory.
Dodge City scored five unearned runs off losing pitcher. Shanaeia Mehlhaff. After an error extended the third inning, the Red Demons scored runs on back-to-back walks. Caroline Stephenson, Zabree Rodriguez and Regan Gerber scored on an error for a 5-0 lead.
Williams singled home Clark in the fourth inning for a 5-1 score.
Great Bend 000 100 001 000 01 — 3 11 6
Dodge City 100 000 001 000 00 — 2 8 4
Shanaeia Mehlhaff and Kaylee Unruh. Raegan Lopp and Jones. W—Mehlhaff. L—Lopp. 3B—DC—Kalscheur. 3B—DC—Williams, Rodriguez.
Great Bend 000 100 3 — 4 10 2
Dodge City 005 000 x — 5 3 0
Shanaeia Mehlhaff and Unruh. Ortiz and Jones. W—Ortiz. L—Mehlhaff. 2B—GB—Urban.
Garden City 3-1 7-1
Great Bend 3-1 6-4
Dodge City 2-2 10-2
Hays High 1-3 3-3
Liberal 1-3 5-3