It was fitting that Great Bend’s last-gasp rally was extinguished by Derby third baseman Olivia Depew.
Depew tagged out a hustling Olivia Urban for the game’s final out as Derby escaped with a 7-6 softball victory Tuesday at Veteran’s Park after Depew pitched Derby to a 3-0 first-game victory.
The 6-foot Depew played a part in nine Great Bend outs, starting with the first three assists to the final two putouts.
Great Bend nearly finished a stunning rally with four runs in the bottom of the seventh inning. Cailee McMullen and Brooklyn Burkhart scored the fifth and sixth runs when Urban’s groundball was misplayed. Catcher Brooke Prunier fired to Depew, who tagged Urban out.
“We lost, but we lost trying to win the game,” said Great Bend coach Carrie Minton. “We made some adjustments and started hitting the ball really hard. Once we hit the ball hard, we gained more confidence at the plate.”
Time-after-time, Great Bend executed excellent defensive plays in the infield by holding runners, and in the outfield with running catches. Marcum made a spinning play to throw out a runner at home and shortstop Olivia Urban threw out a runner at home.
“We showed tremendous effort. Defensively, it was one of our better outings,” Minton said. “The girls did a great job playing aggressive on defense. We went after some runners at the plate.”
Great Bend (8-8) plays Hays-Thomas More Prep at home May 9.
DERBY 3, PANTHERS 0 — Great Bend pitcher Hunter Marcum yielded one earned run in the hard-luck loss against the powerful Derby lineup.
“Hunter did a good job keeping them in check,” Minton said. “Hunter did a gopod job adjusting.”
Great Bend catcher Shailey Clark missed applying a tag on Olivia Steinert after she was trapped in a rundown after a perfect throw from Sell in a decisive two-run third inning. Steinert scored when Clark relayed the ball to third base instead of simply tagging Steinert. Madi Young followed with a sacrifice fly for a 2-0 lead.
Derby’s Brianna Reeves singled home Depew in the fourth inning after a walk and error handed Derby an unearned run.
Depew struck out 12 batters to throw a three-hit shutout. After Burkhart and Baylee Beck moved to third and second base in the second inning, Burkhart cautiously stayed at third base on a nifty bunt by Alyssa Keller. Depew struck out Kaylee Urban to end the threat.
When Allison Neeland and Burkhart reached third and second base in the seventh, Depew struck out Beck and retired Kendel Sell to end the game.
DERBY 7, PANTHERS 6 — Derby’s Addie Parks drove home four runs and Derby’s top five hitters delivered 10 hits and six runs. Great Bend limited the damage with solid defensive plays on hard-hit balls.
Jenna Mauler’s RBI single off the shoe of Kiya McManus scored Emma Cape with Great Bend’s fourth-inning run. Cape’s RBI single brought home Beck in the fifth inning. Beck and Clark drew walks and McMullen’s single loaded the bases in the seventh inning off reliever Madi Young. Beck scored on Burkhart’s groundball that was misplayed. Two more runs scored on Urban’s groundball.
DERBY 3, PANTHERS 0
Derby 002 100 0 — 3 5 0
Great Bend 000 000 0 — 0 3 2
Depew and Haney. Marcum and Clark. W—Depew. L—Marcum.
DERBY 7, PANTHERS 6
Derby 002 100 0 — 7 11 2
Great Bend 000 110 4 — 6 7 2
McManus, Young (7) and Prunier. Marcum and Clark. W—McManus. L—Marcum. 2B—GB—Beck, Cape; D—Parks, Wheeler. 3B—D—Young.