It finally happened.
The Great Bend High School softball was handed its first loss of the season at the hands of Western Athletic Conference foe Hays last Thursday — a 6-4 setback in the second game of a doubleheader.
GBHS head coach Carrie Minton said that her young team is ready to bounce back.
“We’ve talked about the loss a little bit,” Minton said. “We played well in the loss. Looking back, there were a few things that we could have done to win, but we played well.
“I think our girls are refocused. They are very competitive, so I think they’ll be fine.”
The twinbill with the Lady Indians was part of a WAC run in Great Bend’s schedule that started on the road at Dodge City on April 17 and ends today at the City of Great Bend Sports Complex against Garden City, which is 6-2 overall this season.
The doubleheader, which will be Great Bend’s final home games of the regular season, begins at 4.
“We’re expecting Garden City to be competitive,” Minton said. “We’re going to have to play very well to pull out a pair of wins (today). They have a great group of athletes that are well coached.”
The Lady Panthers, who are 13-1 overall, 5-1 in WAC play, are on track to top the best softball record school history, a 20-3 finish in 2006.
The team finished with an 18-2 regular season record under former head coach Jason Duvall.
Since 1992 when the high school first started its softball program, the Lady Panthers won the WAC nine times. They have been regional champions nine times.
In 1998, the Great Bend softball team finished fourth in Class 5A.
“We haven’t focused on any of that,” Minton said. “We talked about taking every doubleheader as one game at a time. We don’t really look at the big picture. We just focus on the next game.
“We know we’re finishing out our schedule with some great teams.”
After Garden City, Great Bend travels to McPherson for a triangular with Wichita Campus.
The Lady Panthers finish the regular season at Hutchinson.
“We play a triangular against McPherson and Campus,” Minton said. “They are both very good teams. Then we have a doubleheader with Hutchinson.
“Hutch always has good athletes, so we don’t want to get ahead of ourselves.”