WICHITA— Virtually anything that could go wrong did offensively for Great Bend as the Panthers dropped a 5-0 decision in the opening round of the state softball championships against Blue Valley West Thursday.
Great Bend was limited to a pair of hits and three base runners against Blue Valley ace Perri Downey. Downey pitched with fire from the circle striking out 14 Panther batters.
Great Bend’s two hits came in the bottom of the sixth as Morgan Kottas and Hunter Middleton singled and doubled. Both were left stranded at third and second as the inning ended on a looking strikeout.
The Jaguars put up their first three runs in their half of the third and added two more in the closing at-bat.
Hunter Middleton worked the entire outing and retired six opposing batters. Middleton wraps up her senior season with 166 strikeouts. The Panthers close out the 2015 slate with a record of 20-3. Blue Valley West improves to 18-5 and will face undefeated Topeka Seaman tomorrow morning at 10 a.m. in the semifinals.