It is hard to say which part of the Great Bend High School softball team was more dominating in its doubleheader against Liberal at Harms Field on Tuesday — the pitching or the offense.
The offense scored 25 runs between the two games and the three pitchers to grace the mound for the Lady Panthers combined for 15 strikeouts in Great Bend’s 10-0 and 15-1 run-rule wins over its Western Athletic Conference opponent.
The Lady Panthers improved their record to 7-1 overall and 2-0 in the WAC.
In the first game, the Lady Panthers let Liberal’s first batter, Riley Hay, on base on a throwing error. Hay moved all the way to third base during the inning, but Abby Morrison struck out the next three Lady Redskins.
Morrison went three innings and didn’t record an out without a strikeout until the first batter in the top of the third when Caity Hinnergardt grounded out.
Morrison struck out the next two batters to finish the day with eight strikeouts.
“They are excited to be out there,” GBHS head coach Carrie Minton said of her pitchers. “Our (assistant) coach (Jaime Cabral) has said that they are on top of their game today.”
In the bottom of the first, Great Bend batted through its order and scored eight runs.
Stephanie Morrison, who finished the first game 3-for-3 with two runs scored and two RBIs, scored when Lexie Brack grounded into a fielder’s choice. Morrison slid into home and the Lady Redskins’ catcher fumbled the throw.
“She had a fantastic day at the plate,” Minton said of Morrison. “She has a lot of confidence and it showed today. She was ready to go.”
Kaitlee Spray drove in a run on a sacrifice fly. Bonny Boultinghouse drove in a pair of runs on a single to right field.
Emily Seiwert, who pitched the final two innings of the first game giving up one hit and striking out two, scored on a fielder’s choice, and one play later, Boultinghouse came home when Liberal’s catcher tried to catch Mrogan Fletchall stealing second.
“Emily has been working and we just haven’t had the chance to get her in there yet,” Minton said. “The girls have been pitching full games. They were in rhythm and so today we just told her we were going to try to get her in. Emily did fantastic.”
In Stephanie Morrison’s second at-bat of the inning, she blasted a liner to the right-field wall for an inside-the-park home run that scored the final two runs of the inning.
“The girls came out ready to play,” Minton said. “They went to the plate being aggressive and did what they needed to do on defense behind both Abby and Em (Emily Seiwert).”
Jordan Haney drove in a run on a double in the bottom of the second inning, and Brack drove in Haney with a sacrifice later in the same inning.
Haney pitched all five innings of the second game, striking out five batters while giving up four hits and a walk.
Haney also got it done from the plate, highlighting a 10-run third inning with a two-run blast over the left-field wall.
Stephanie Morrison continued to have a great day, going 3-for-4 in the second game with a triple and two singles.
Abby Morrison, who missed having an at bat in the first game due to three consecutive hit-by-pitches, went 2-for-3 with a triple, a single and another hit-by-pitch in the second game.
Great Bend travels to Scott City on Friday.