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Middleton surpasses century mark in strikeouts in wins over Hays
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HAYS— Hunter Middleton would be $110 richer for the number of opposing batters she has retired this season. Middleton combined for 13 strikeouts over a two-game span putting her well over the 100 season strikeout mark as visiting Great Bend swept Hays in a road makeup game Tuesday.

The Panthers combined for 26 hits while holding Hays to 11 after Tuesday’s cleaning. The Panthers opened the series with a four-run attack and went on to a 7-0 shut out. In game two, a six-run drive over the first two innings propelled the visitors to a 12-4 victory.

Morgan Kottas went two for three in game one while Kacee Kasselman, Regan Unruh and Dakota Sanders finished at two for four each. Kottas, Kasselman and Hunter Middleton recorded doubles. Unruh and Middleton posted a pair of RBI while Kasselman, Kottas and Hannah Honomichl batted in a run each in the win.

Great Bend scored three runs in their first plate appearance and added another score in the second to take a 4-0 lead. The Panthers brought two more runs across in the in the fourth and one more in the seventh to put the cap on the 7-0 win.

Middleton picked up the win pitching a complete game shut out. Middleton yielded four hits and a walk but struck out nine opposing batters.

Lauren Welsch was perfect at the plate in Tuesday’s closer batting three for three while Middleton was two for two including a double. Sanders hit three for four including a pair of doubles while Kottas reached base twice out of three trips off a pair of hits. Hannah Mauler and Lakin Funk also had two for three outings in the victory. Mauler recorded a triple.

In the RBI department, Mauler and Unruch saddled three runs batted in each while Sanders had two RBI. Welsch and Kottas also had an RBI each in the win.

The Panthers won the hitting battle, 16-7. Following a 6-0 drive by Great Bend in the first two innings, Hays mustered a run in their half of the fifth and trailed 6-1. The Panthers put up a six-run payload over the sixth and seventh and upset a three-run, seventh inning rally by the Indians for the 12-4 win.   

Middleton pitched the first two frames before Hunter Marcum came on in relief. Middleton finished the second contest with a one-hit yield while striking out four Hays batters. Marcum gave up four runs off of six hits and struck out one opposing batter.

The Panthers improve to 12-2 on the season and remain atop of the WAC standings at 6-0.