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Panther softball splits with Buffaloes
spt deh gbhs softball v garden city safe at second
Great Bend High School Panther softball player Jenna Mauler (11) slides safely to second against Garden City High Buffaloes second baseman Lauren Koster (17) Thursday afternoon at the Great Bend Sports Complex. - photo by DALE HOGG Great Bend Tribune


Great Bend surprised Garden City 7-6 in extra innings to hand the Buffaloes their first Western Athletic Conference softball loss in two years.
But the defending WAC champions stayed in title contention by beating the Panthers 8-5 in Thursday’s second game. The Buffaloes (10-4, 5-1 WAC) eliminated the Panthers (7-9, 5-3 WAC) from WAC title contention. Garden City must sweep Dodge City Tuesday to capture the WAC title.
Aleah Urban scored the game-winning eighth-inning run on Olivia Urban’s hard-hit groundball to shortstop. Urban walked, stole second base and moved to third base when Olivia Urban missed a bunt. Olivia Urban grounded to shortstop with two strikes and no out.
The teams combined for 15 innings of intense softball which featured clutch hits, amazing catches and timely pitching.
“That was some of our best softball we’ve played all year. Garden City is a terrific softball team. We competed against them, which made for a great day,” said Great Bend coach Carrie Minton. “We pulled out a huge win that first game. I was awfully proud of the way the girls competed.”
The Buffaloes rolled past Great Bend 10-4 and 13-1 last year. The Buffaloes placed third in 6A and defeated Blue Valley 10-0 and Olathe South 5-3 and lost to 6A state champion Blue Valley Northwest 11-5.
GREAT BEND 7, GARDEN CITY 6 (G1) — Buffaloes Erykah Foster and Taylor Terpstra delivered RBIs in a two-run first inning. Laura Farmer’s two-run single was followed by Terpstra’s second sacrifice fly for a 5-0 lead after two innings.
The Panthers rallied against Garden City ace Hailey Dart. Cailee McMullen scored on a two-out fourth-inning error and Alyssa Keller tripled home McKayla Williams and Baylee Beck singled home Keller for a 5-3 score.
Lauren Koster’s sacrifice fly scored Farmer for a 6-3 lead. McMullen’s RBI single scored Kaylee Unruh in the fifth inning for a 6-4 score.
Panther pitcher Shanaeia Mehlhaff delivered a clutch defensive play with a 1-2-3 double play on Farmer’s sixth-inning groundball. Aleah Urban’s two-run home run scored Beck for a 6-6 tie.
“Shanaeia adjusted and hit her spots better,” Minton said. “She’s found an off-speed pitch that worked for her.”
Center fielder Aleah Urban anchored the Panthers’ defense with two running catches.
GARDEN CITY 8, GREAT BEND 5 (G2) — Garden City’s power and speed was on full display as Farmer, Gisselle Gutierrez and Vargas delivered two-run extra-base hits. Buffalo pitcher Dart was spectacular in relief with six innings of work.
“We missed a few plays and Garden City took extra bases and scored extra runs,” Minton said.
The Panthers led 4-3 when a bases-loaded walk, a wild pitch and an error led to four second-inning runs. Farmer’s RBI fifth-inning single tied it 4-4.
Gutierrez drilled the game-winning two-run double followed by Vargas’ booming two-run triple in the sixth inning off pitcher Shanaeia Mehlhaff. Brenna Bowers scored the Panthers’ fifth run after a triple.
Garden City 230 010 00 — 6 11 2
Great Bend 000 312 01 — 7 11 3
Dart, Vargas (6) and Foster. Shanaeia Mehlhaff and Unruh. W—Shanaeia Mehlhaff. L—Vargas, 4-1. 2B—GC—Foster, Terpstra; tGB—McMullen, Aleah Urban, Clark. 3B—GB—Keller. HR—GB—Aleah Urban.
Garden City 300 014 0 — 8 12 2
Great Bend 040 001 0 — 5 4 1
Vargas, Dart (2) and Foster. Shaneia Mehlhaff and Unruh. W—Dart 6-4. L—Shananeia Mehlhaff. 2B—GC—Farmer 2, Gutierrez. 3B—GC—Vargas.

Dodge City 4-0 12-2
Garden City 5-1 10-4
Great Bend 5-3 7-9
Liberal 0-4 6-8
Hays High 0-6 7-9

Dodge City 17-0, 12-2 Ulysses
Garden City 8-1, 5-1 Hays High

Great Bend 7, Garden City 6
Garden City 8, Great Bend 5
Hays High 2, Hays-TMP 1
Hays 4, Salina Sacred Heart 3

Elkhart at Liberal

DODGE CITY (4-0, 12-2)—WW Hays-TMP 6-4, 5-3; Wichita South 15-0, 12-1; L Goddard Eisenhower 9-20; L Derby 4-14; WW Hays High 12-4, 6-5; WW Wichita Heights 18-8, 17-5; WW Great Bend 4-1, 15-5; WW Ulysses 17-0, 12-2; 5-1—at Garden City; 5-4—at Emporia; 5-10—at Liberal

GARDEN CITY (5-1, 10-4)—WL Hays-TMP 7-3, 2-8; L Maize South 2-3, L Derby 0-10; WW Valley Center 12-6, 15-3; WW *Liberal 15-0, 15-0; WW Colby 14-0, 18-2; WW *Hays High 8-1, 5-1; WL *Great Bend 8-5, 6-7; 5-1—*Dodge City; 5-4—at Emporia; 5-5—at Emporia; 5-7—Goodland

GREAT BEND (5-3, 7-9)—WL Cheney; L Andover 0-10; W Hutchinson 16-0; WW *Liberal 10-0, 14-0; L Olathe North 0-15; L SM Northwest 2-9; L Lawrence 1-10; L Olathe Northwest 4-14; LL *Dodge City 1-4, 5-15; WW *Hays High 3-2, 7-6; WL *Garden City 7-6, 5-8; 5-1—at Derby; 5-8—at Hays-Thomas More Prep

LIBERAL (0-4, 6-8)—WW Stanton Co. 9-0, 10-7; WW Ulysses 12-2, 17-9; WL Hugoton 8-2, 1-3; LL *Great Bend 0-10, 0-14; LL *Garden City 0-15, 0-15; LL Wichita Southeast 4-14, 3-9; WL Scott City 11-9, 4-8; 4-27—Elkhart; 5-1—*Hays High; 5-10—*Dodge City

HAYS HIGH (0-6, 7-9)—WW Goodland 14-0, 8-1; W McPherson 7-6; L Andover 2-11; L Maize 3-13; L Goddard 0-11; LL Dodge City 4-12, 5-6; WW Colby 12-0, 15-5; LL *Great Bend 2-3, 6-7; LL *Garden City; WW Hays-TMP 2-1; Salina Sacred Heart 4-3; 5-1—*Liberal; 5-10—Andover Central