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Lady Panthers sweep Hays to end WAC action at 5-1
Western Athletic Conference
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HAYS — The Great Bend High School softball team swept a Western Athletic Conference doubleheader at Hays on Saturday, winning 8-2 and 10-1.
The victories boost the Lady Panthers WAC record to 5-1, guaranteeing them at least half of a conference title.
Hays hosts Garden City on Tuesday for the final WAC doubleheader. If Garden City sweeps, it shares the conference title with Great Bend. If Garden City splits the doubleheader, Great Bend wins outright.
Great Bend’s pitching was phenomenal, according to Great Bend head coach Carrie Minton, especially coming off a pair of wins on Friday.
“Both of our pitchers threw really well today,” said Minton, whose team is 15-3 overall this season. “They both had a great day. Braylin (Bretz) pitched the first game after throwing in the second game on Friday, so she was back on the mound in about 12 hours.
“(Hunter) Middleton just turned in one of her amazing performances. I think that Hays was a little frustrated from losing the first game.”
In Game 2 out of 21 possible outs, Middleton accounted with 18 of them with strikeouts.
She also got it done at the plate, hitting one of two Great Bend three-run home runs. Dakota Sanders hit the other blast.
“She helped herself out at the plate,” Minton said. “She hit her home run in the fifth inning. That really opened things up for us.”
Bretz had four strikeouts and no walks in the lidlifter.
Great Bend went ahead 1-0 in the top of the first on a McKenna Mauler RBI double, one of two doubles for her in Game 1.
Hannah Mauler drove in a pair of runs with a double, highlighting a three-run third inning. Elizabeth Barber hit an RBI double in the fifth inning as the Lady Panthers opened up the score to 7-2.
Great Bend hosts Hutchinson on Thursday, starting at 4 p.m.

McPHERSON — After winning Game 1 of a triangular, beating McPherson 5-1, the Lady Panthers beat Salina South in walk-off fashion.
Kaylie Doll hit an RBI double in the bottom of the seventh inning, scoring Bonny Boultinghouse for a 7-6 victory.
“Last year, we had a little trouble at the triangular in McPherson,” Minton said. “I think these wins kind of gave us some confidence heading into this coming week.”
Salina South tied the game at six apiece with two runs in the top of the seventh as Middleton coming in to relieve Bretz, who through 6 1/3 innings with five strikeouts.
Middleton inherited a baserunner and allowed the two the Lady Cougars runs.
Boultinghouse got on base on a fielder’s choice in the bottom of the inning and scored from first on Doll’s double to left-center field.
Middleton had 12 strikeouts and one walk against McPherson.
In the top of the fifth, Stephanie Morrison had an RBI single, Samanth Dreiling drove in a run with a sacrifice bunt, McKenna Mauler hit a two-run double and Middleton capped the scoring with an RBI single to make it 5-0.
McPherson scored one run in the bottom of the fifth, but couldn’t make up the difference.

                                                              — Kevin Price


At McPherson


Great Bend 5, McPherson 1
             123  456  7         R    H    E
GBHS    000  050  0  —    5    6    3
MHS      000  010  0  —    1    3    1
     Hunter Middleton & Hannah Mauler; Steiner & Kerr. W — Middleton. L — Steiner. 2B — Great Bend (McKenna Mauler).

Great Bend 7, Salina South 6
             123  456  7        R      H     E
SSHS    300  010  2  —    6      8     1
GBHS    000  051  1  —    7    13     5
     Braylin Bretz & Dakota Sanders; Hogan & Otter. W — Middleton. L — Hogan. 2B — Great Bend (Elizabeth Barber, Kaylie Doll). 3B — Salina South (Isaacson).

Western Athletic Conference

At Hays


Great Bend 8, Hays 2
             123  456  7        R     H     E
GBHS    103  030  1  —    8    14    3
HHS      000  200  0  —    2     5     2
     Bretz & Sanders; Trough & Wells. W — Bretz. L — Trough. 2B — Great Bend (M. Mauler 2, Stephanie Morrison, H. Mauler, Sanders, Barber). HR — Hays (Schoendaler).

Great Bend 10, Hays 1
            123  456  7          R     H    E
GBHS    106  000  3  —    10    7    2
HHS      000  001  0  —     1     6    3
     Middleton & H. Mauler; Luebbers & Wells. W — Middleton. L — Luebbers. HR — Great Bend (Middleton, Sanders).