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Great Bend starts Class 5A regional tourney play with Liberal today
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Great Bends Elizabeth Barber has 10 RBIs on 13 hits this season. - photo by Kevin Price Great Bend Tribune

It came down to a coin flip.
Heads or tails to decide whether it would take the Great Bend High School Lady Panthers one win or two to make it to the Class 5A state softball tournament.
Great Bend lost the flip against Goddard-Eisenhower, but they were able to maintain the opportunity to host a regional tournament at the Great Bend Sports Complex today.
“We were in a coin flip for the No. 1 seed,” GBHS head coach Carrie Minton said. “It would’ve been nice to have a first-round bye, but we’re fine where we’re at.”
It was a goal to host a regional tournament for the Lady Panthers, who finished 17-3 on the season. They are three wins short of tying a school record of 20 wins in a season, set in 2006.
“We had to go on the road last year,” Minton said. “We lost the championship game 2-1. This year, we’re going to be at home. We’ll be a lot more comfortable.”
Great Bend opens tournament play, challenging Liberal (7-11) at 3, followed by a semifinal game between Goddard and Valley Center at 4:30.
The Lady Panthers run-ruled Liberal in both games of a their Western Athletic Conference doubleheader. Great Bend won 18-0 in three innings and 13-0 in five.
Hunter Middleton pitched a no-hitter against the Lady Redskins in Game 2.
However, Minton was quick to point out that her team isn’t overlooking anyone.
“I think our girls have a good idea of what we’re up against,” Minton said. “They know what’s at stake. We’re just going to take it one game at a time.”
Middleton leads Great Bend at the plate, going 13-for-28 for a .464 batting average. The Lady Panthers have a combined batting average of .348.
Stephanie Morrison has a batting average of .455. She leads the team in singles (19) and doubles (8) and is tied for triples (2) with Kelsie Doll.
Morrison is second in runs scored with 22.
Samantha Dreiling (.400) leads the Lady Panthers with three home runs this season. Dreiling has the best on-base percentage at .571 with a team-leading 14 walks this season.
Hannah Mauler (.447) and Dakota Sanders (.421) are both batting over .400 this season.
McKenna Mauler leads Great Bend in runs scored (23) and RBIs (23).

• Lady Panthers top averages
Hunter Middleton, .464
Stephanie Morrison, .455
Hannah Mauler, .447
Dakota Sanders, .421
Samantha Dreiling, .400
McKenna Mauler, .359

• RBI leaders
M. Mauler, 23
Dreiling, 16
Kelsie Doll, 14
H. Mauler, 13
Elizabeth Barber, 10

Class 5A Regional Tournament
At Goddard-Eisenhower
Bracket 1
(1) Goddard-Eisenhower, bye
(4) Maize South, 13-5, vs. (5) Hays, 12-8, 4 p.m.
Regional championship, 5:30

At Great Bend Sports Complex
Bracket 2
(2) Great Bend, 17-3, vs. (7) Liberal, 7-11, 3
(3) Goddard, 15-3, vs. (6) Valley Center, 11-9, 4:30
Regional championship, 6