MAIZE — Offensive struggles led Great Bend High School’s softball team to their first back-to-back losses of the season.
Making up a doubleheader against Maize, the Lady Panthers fell 2-1 in Game 1 and 3-0 in Game 2.
“It would’ve been a couple of good wins for us heading into the end of the regular season,” GBHS head coach Carrie Minton said. “We knew going in that they were a great team. We just have to learn from it and move on.”
Maize struck first in Game 1, plating a run while facing Braylin Bretz on the mound.
Bretz allowed six hits and two walks while striking out three batters.
Great Bend got that run back in the top of the fifth, but Maize regained the lead in the bottom of the sixth.
“In Game 1, we had a handful of errors in the second inning that hurt us,” Minton said. “That allowed them to get the opening run. We were able to tie it in the fifth inning. In the sixth, they had a couple of back-to-back singles that allowed the runners to advance. We just couldn’t get the bats going.”
Great Bend left five runners on base in the first game, and moving runners remained an issue in Game 2. The Lady Panthers left nine runners on base.
“In Game 2, we were able to get the bats working, but we just weren’t able to get the timely hit,” Minton said. “We left the bases loaded in the sixth. We left two on in the fifth. It was a frustrating day.”
Great Bend had nine hits altogether. Regan Unruh and Dakota Sanders each had two hits, going 2-for-3 and 2-for-4, respectively, to lead the Lady Panthers.
Hunter Middleton worked the circle for Great Bend in the second game, giving up six hits and two walks. She had four strikeouts.
Great Bend, sitting at 15-3 overall, is heading into the final doubleheader of the regular season, traveling to Hutchinson on Thursday.
The twinbill has Class 5A regional tournament seeding implications, as Great Bend is battling to earn a second seed and a chance to host a regional tournament.
“We’re still holding on to the No. 2 seed,” Minton said, “so we’re in control of our own destiny. If we sweep on Thursday, we get the two seed.”
— Kevin Price