Great Bend's softball team delivered two spectacular defensive plays to stay tied with Hays High 2-2 Wednesday.
But the Indians' Brenna Schwien spoiled the Panthers' day with the game-winning ninth-inning single that scored Lakyn Zimmerman for a 3-2 opening victory. Hays (5-4, 3-3 WAC) completed the doubleheader sweep over Great Bend (4-8, 2-4 WAC) with a 10-4 victory.
Zimmerman, Morgan Berry and Schwien hit consecutive singles in the ninth inning. Panther left fielder Melyne Fletchall threw out Berry at third base to end the ninth inning.
Hays pitcher Aubree Thomas retired the side in order to earn the hard-fought victory in a vintage pitcher's duel with Panther Jordan Turner. Thomas stranded eight Panther baserunners, three in scoring position. Turner overcame three errors and stranded 10 Hays runners, four in scoring position.
The Panthers showcased softball at its best by throwing out two Indian baserunners. Pinch runner Harlee Dannar was tagged out by shortstop Sydney Unruh on a sixth-inning relay throw from first baseman Analiz Rivas that prevented a bases-loaded, no-out situation. Second baseman Paige Thexton duplicated the feat by tagging out Reagan Winter in the seventh inning.
Hays took advantage of a fortunate break for a 2-2 tie when baserunner Berry bumped into Panther third baseman Grace Rowland on a catchable pop fly. The fly in foul territory could've been ruled interference on Berry for the third out. Sydney Fagan's two-out, two-run sixth-inning single scored Berry and Madyson Sennett for a 2-2 tie.
Great Bend led 2-0 on a pair of fourth-inning runs. Jordan Turner's single scored Thexton. Brenna Bownes scored on a wild pitch.
The teams took turns stranding runners in scoring position. Zimmerman, Schwien and Sennett were left in scoring position. Left fielder Fletchall and first baseman Rivas made solid defensive plays. Panthers Laura Daniel and Sydney Unruh were left at second base. Hays shortstop Ashlynn Zimmer anchored the Indian defense.
Unruh led the Panthers with 4-for-9 hitting in the twin bill. Berry delivered five hits and Reagan Winter, Zimmerman and Schwien each had four hits.
HAYS HIGH 10, PANTHERS 4 (G2) — Hays broke open a 2-1 game with eight runs in the fifth and sixth innings to sweep the doubleheader. Fagan and Zimmerman each drove home two runs in a 16-hit attack.
Unruh sparked the Panthers with a double, two hits and an RBI. Unruh turned a Zimmerman seventh-inning groundball into a double play.
Indians Fagan and Zimmer scored second-inning runs. Unruh doubled and scored on a Bownes third-inning groundball. Sennett, Fagan and Dezarae Schmidt delivered RBI fifth-inning singles.
Indians Winter and Zimmerman scored on a sixth-inning error and Berry stole home. Fagan and Lainey Hardman hit RBI singles for a 10-1 lead.
The Panthers scored two sixth-inning runs. Grace Rowland scored on a passed ball. Breanna Ridgeway scored on Unruh's groundball. Bownes doubled and courtesy runner Halle Post scored on Rivas' groundball for a 10-4 final.
Hays High 000 002 001 — 3 11 2
Great Bend 000 200 000 — 2 5 3
Thomas and Zimmerman. Turner and Bownes. W—Zimmerman. L—Turner. 2B—H—Schwien
Hays High 020 035 0 — 10 16 3
Great Bend 001 002 1 — 4 7 1
Thomas and Zimmerman. Thexton, Turner (6) and Bownes. W—Thomas. L—Thexton. 2B—GB—Unruh, Bownes