BY JIM MISUNAS
VALLEY CENTER — A seventh-inning double by Great Bend Panther Brenna Bownes broke up a no-hitter by Valley Center pitcher Alyssa Crumbliss. The Hornets' pitcher struck out nine batters to spark an 8-0 regional softball victory over the Panthers Tuesday.
The Hornets led 2-0 when the game was delayed by lightning at 3:27 p.m. A 90-minute rain delay only delayed the time when Great Bend's softball season ended.
Hornet Maci George tripled and scored on Kennedy Johnson's first-inning single off pitcher Jordan Turner. Lucy Hooper's sacrifice fly scored Kraus after two walks and a single by Heidi Meyer.
When play resumed, a Crumbliss fourth-inning double drove home Ansley Kraus. George ripped a three-run homer to score courtesy runner Kylee Collins and Heidi Meyer for a 6-0 lead. Crumbliss delivered an RBI single to score Cheyenne Blackwood. George finished a 4-RBI game with a sacrifice fly that scored Hooper for an 8-0 lead.
Great Bend (7-13) had the first 15 batters retired when Analiz Rivas drew a sixth-inning walk. The Hornets (16-5) advanced to the 5A softball regional final.
Great Bend 000 000 0 — 0 1 4
Valley Center 110 411 x — 8 10 0
Turner, Thexton (4) and Bownes. Crumbliss and Johnson. W—Crumbliss. L—Turner, 5-7. 2B—GB—Bownes; VC—Kraus, Crumbliss; 3B—VC—George