The Great Bend High School softball team won a pair of games against Hoisington in a doubleheader on Thursday afternoon at Harms Field, which was capped by a two-run home run from Jordan Haney in the second game.
With the victories, consisting of 9-1 in the first game and 6-0 in the nightcap, the Lady Panthers improve to 4-0 on the season, a mark that GBHS head coach Carrie Minton said she does not read too much into.
“You can’t get overconfident at 4-0,” Minton said. “It’s too early in the season to have that kind of confidence.”
Hoisington falls to 1-3 this season.
In the first game, GBHS was able to take a 6-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning.
Haney, who went 3-for-4 in game one with a single, a double and a triple, got the Lady Panthers started with a double. Lexie Brack followed her up with a walk. Then Kaitlee Spray hit a single to load the bases.
“Offensively, I think we are just trying to find some confidence with people at the plate because we have the ability,” GBHS head coach Carrie Minton said. “We just have to get those looks. We’re getting there slowly but surely. We hit the ball in play a lot. We hit the ball at people a lot today.”
Emily Seiwert and Bonny Boultinghouse each put the ball in the infield and reached first on a fielder’s choices. Hoisington failed to make the play at the plate in both instances, giving Great Bend a 2-0 advantage.
“First of all, first game second inning, (Great Bend) gave us every opportunity to get out without giving up a run,” Hoisington head coach Lee VanScyoc said. “We gave up six runs. We had two plays at the plate. One, we pulled the catcher off the plate and the other one we were just a little bit late on the throw.
“With bases loaded, we had an opportunity to get out of that inning with no runs. That just blew us out.”
Morgan Fletchall drove in a run with a single, and Stephanie Morrison drove in a pair of runs on a single.
Abby Morrison, who pitched a complete game in the first game, recording four strikeouts and a walk, drove in the Lady Panthers’ final run in the second inning with a single.
“We just have so much confidence in our pitchers,” Minton said. “They know what they need to do once they get out there on the mound and they take care of business. We just have all the confidence in the world in them right now.”
Fletchall, who was 2-for-4 in the game, extended Great Bend’s lead with a two-run double in the bottom of the third inning, putting the Lady Panthers’ ahead 8-0.
Haney snagged an RBI with a triple in the bottom of the fifth, raising the score to 9-0.
Hoisington got onto the scoreboard in the top of the sixth inning when Shelby Boor got on base with a single, stole second base and scored on a double from Jennifer Funk.
“I’m going to assume that this is the best team we’re going to play all year,” VanScyoc said. “A lot of those kids played summer ball last year together. I knew they were good. They’re deep. They’re deep in their pitching, and a bunch of good kids.”
In the second game, rather than jump ahead like they did in the first game, the Lady Panthers built their lead slowly.
Seiwert drove in a run with a single in the bottom of the second inning, and another run scored when Nicole Reiter reached on an error in the bottom of the fourth.
With a 3-0 lead after five innings, the Lady Panthers put the game out of reach with a three-run sixth inning.
Reiter hit a single with one out to get GBHS started. Reiter advanced to second when Abby Morrison grounded out.
Haney, who pitched seven shutout innings for the Lady Panthers with seven strikeouts, blasted the ball off the scoreboard in center field for a two-run home run. It was Haney’s second home run in three games after her inside-the-park job against Salina Sacred Heart on Tuesday.
“Haney just has an unbelievable amount of confidence in her capabilities at the plate,” Minton said. “That just shows it. She knows what she wants and she’ll wait on it. She’s good about that.”
Spray scored a third run in the inning to give Great Bend a 6-0 lead.
“I think the girls have done a really good job,” Minton said. “Like I said before the season started, we were going to try some different things out and start some girls at different positions and I think the girls have done a very good job of stepping up and accepting those roles. They’re 4-0 and they’re the ones that have done it so we’re good to go.”
The Lady Panthers hit the field again tonight in Larned with the first game in the doubleheader, starting at 4.