LIBERAL — Let the Western Athletic Conference softball season begin.
The Great Bend High School Lady Panthers swept their first WAC doubleheader at Liberal on Tuesday, winning 8-1 in the first game and 17-1 in five innings in the second.
It took Great Bend a little time to get its bats started.
“We had to adjust to their pitching,” GBHS head coach Carrie Minton said. “We were a little slow making the adjustments, but we eventually figured it out.”
The Lady Panthers scored two runs each in the third and fourth innings. They added another run in the sixth and finished the game with three in the seventh.
While Great Bend found ways to score, it didn’t utilize the eight walks from the Liberal pitchers as well as Minton would have liked.
“We didn’t do that good in the first game,” Minton said. “We left 11 runners on in the first game. We had the bases loaded in the first and second innings but we couldn’t score.
“We just started slow out the gates.”
Hunter Middleton worked the circle for another complete game. She gave up three hits and three walks while striking out nine.
Kaylie Doll went 2-for-5 with an RBI triple.
In the second game, Great Bend finalized its adjustments.
“Every single girl that played in the second game got across the plate,” Minton said. “They all scored. We only left three on base in that second game, so that was much better.”
Braylin Bretz gave up seven hits as she went all five innings for the Lady Panthers. She had five strikeouts, one walk and one hit by pitch.
Stephanie Morrison had two triples in the game, including one to lead off the first inning.
The Lady Panthers plated three in the first inning, two in the second and five in the third to start out at a 10-0 advantage before Liberal scored a run in the fourth.
Great Bend, which is 8-0 overall, 2-0 in the WAC, scored seven runs in the fifth inning to enact the run-rule.
“We’re off to a good start,” Minton said. “Things still need to be worked on. We have got great teams ahead of us on our schedule. We can’t get ahead of ourselves.”
Great Bend hosts Scott City in a doubleheader on Friday at 4 p.m.
— Kevin Price