It is hard to go undefeated in a season.
Taking the field repeatedly throughout the spring, constantly giving opponents chances to break up the perfect season.
The Great Bend High School softball team suffered its first loss of the year, falling 6-4 in eight innings to Garden City in the first game of a doubleheader on Thursday.
The Lady Panthers rebounded to take the second game decisively, 8-1.
“We came out and played hard in both games,” GBHS head coach Carrie Minton said. “We just had a couple of errors defensively that hurt us in the first game. We left too many runners on. We had some crucial at-bats.
“Given what we’ve seen in the first part of the year to that, it’s tough to make that jump and make the adjustment as a batter.”
The Lady Buffaloes struck first at Elmo Lowry Field at Veterans Memorial Park, scoring their first run in the top of the second inning.
Great Bend responded in the bottom of the inning. Tarynn Stueder drove in Hunter Middleton with a single.
Garden City took the lead back in the third, scoring a pair of runs as it continued to force Great Bend’s defense to beat them.
“It caught us a little bit on our heels in the first game,” Minton said. “I thought we rebounded very well. In the second game, the girls came out and played very hard and played great defense.”
Kaylie Doll led off Great Bend’s half of the inning with a single.
She stole second and third, scoring on a throwing error when Garden City’s catcher tried to catch Kaylie stealing third.
The Lady Panthers got their first lead of the game in the bottom of the fifth.
Dakota Sanders blasted an RBI triple and scored on a passed ball to make it 4-3.
In the top of the seventh inning, Great Bend starting pitcher Braylin Bretz got herself into a jam, allowing the first two batters to reach base.
Minton decided to bring in Middleton to try for the save.
Middleton struck out her first batter faced, and induced a groundout to get the second out.
However, Garden City was able to tie the score and the game went into extra innings after Great Bend couldn’t get a run across in the bottom of the inning.
The Lady Buffs added two runs in the top of the eighth and held on to win.
Middleton got the loss, but she went seven innings in Game 2 to secure the complete-game win.
Great Bend opened scoring in the second game in the second inning when Kacee Kasselman drove in McKenna Mauler with a double.
Kaylie Doll traded places with her with an RBI double of her own.
Great Bend piled on the runs in the bottom of the third.
After two walks and a single, Stueder came to the plate with the bases loaded.
She crushed a triple to center field, scoring all three baserunners.
Stueder crossed the plate on a double from Regan Unruh.
“We came out and scored runs early, which I think allowed us to settle down a little bit in that second game,” Minton said.
Garden City got its one run across in the top of the fourth.
Great Bend got a run in the bottom of the inning on an error, and Elizabeth Barber crossed the plate in the sixth on a passed ball to make it 8-1 Lady Panthers.
Great Bend hosts Hays today at 4 p.m. at Veterans Memorial Park.
HIGH SCHOOL SOFTBALL
Western Athletic Conference
At Great Bend
Elmo Lowry Field
Garden City 6, Great Bend 4 (8)
123 456 78 R H E
GC 012 000 12 — 6 6 4
GB 011 020 00 — 4 9 1
Dusti Befort & Haley Saldana. Braylin Bretz, Hunter Middleton (7) & Dakota Sanders. W — Befort. L — Middleton. 2B — Garden City (Befort 2); Great Bend (Kelsie Doll; Elizabeth Barber). 3B — Great Bend (Sanders).
Great Bend 8, Garden City 1
123 456 7 R H E
GC 000 100 0 — 1 3 5
GB 024 011 x — 8 11 1
Abbie Dart & Shea Nordby. Hunter Middleton & Hannah Mauler. W — Middleton. L — Dart. 2B — Garden City (Kennedy Brunson; Jamie St. Clair); Great Bend (Middleton 2; McKenna Mauler; Kacee Kasselman; Regan Unruh). 3B — Great Bend (Tarynn Stueder).